IMDb > Dempsey (1983) (TV)

Dempsey (1983) (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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Release Date:
28 September 1983 (USA) See more »
True story about Jack Dempsey, one of the most famous professional US boxers who made his name in the 1920's as the world heavyweight champion and media sensation. | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. See more »
Depression Lessons #4
 (From MUBI. 23 November 2011, 8:43 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
He came to brawl See more (3 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Treat Williams ... Jack Dempsey

Sam Waterston ... Doc Kearns

Sally Kellerman ... Maxine Cates

Victoria Tennant ... Estelle Taylor

Peter Mark Richman ... Tex Rickard

Jesse Vint ... Bernie Dempsey

Robert Harper ... Damon Runyon
John McLiam ... Hyrum Dempsey

Bonnie Bartlett ... Celia Dempsey

James Noble ... Gavin McNab
John Lehne ... Gene Normile
Cliff Emmich ... Otto
Michael McManus ... Babe Ruth

Mark L. Taylor ... Price (as Mark Taylor)
Jimmy Nickerson ... Gene Tunney
Jack O'Leary ... Jerry the Greek
Walker Edmiston ... Announcer
Richard Karron ... Morgan
Clay Hodges ... Jess Willard

Terence McGovern ... Benson
Michael Fox ... Judge Dooling
Richard Winterstein ... Trent (as Richard Winters)
Thomas Bellin ... Howard Dillard
Glenn Robards ... Barbour
Vernon Scott ... Small Boy
Lana Schwab ... Woman at Fight
Galen Thompson ... Eddie
Rosanna Huffman ... Woman at door
Ron Cummins ... Fan
Jimmy Lennon Sr. ... Humphreys (as Jimmy Lennon)
Marty Denkin ... Dave Barry
Robert Darnell ... John Reisler
Joel Lewin ... Official
Rebecca White ... Elsie
Madison Arnold ... Man at Bar
Ray Galvin ... Bartender
Beata Jachulski ... Flashy Lady
Wally Rose ... Ollie Pecord
S. John Launer ... Speaker (as John Launer)
Al Silvani ... Bronson
Bill Caplan ... Ring Announcer
Eli Cummins ... Luis Firpo
Larry Rozadilla ... 1st Referee
Walt La Rue ... 2nd Referee
John McKee ... Actor
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Estee Chandler ... Elsie Dempsey
Don Charles McGovern ... Fireman Jimmy Flynn (as Don McGovern)

Directed by
Gus Trikonis 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Barbara Piatelli Dempsey  book
Jack Dempsey  book
Edward Di Lorenzo 

Produced by
Jay Benson .... producer
Charles W. Fries .... executive producer (as Charles Fries)
Original Music by
Billy Goldenberg 
Cinematography by
Sol Negrin 
Ric Waite 
Film Editing by
Thomas Fries 
Art Direction by
Paul Peters 
Set Decoration by
Ray Molyneaux  (as Malcolm R. Molyneux)
Makeup Department
Bron Roylance .... makeup artist
Marvin G. Westmore .... key makeup artist (as Marv Westmore)
Jay Cannistraci .... additional makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
William P. Owens .... executive production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Craig Huston .... first assistant director
Richard H. Prince .... second assistant director
Sound Department
Richard Dwan Jr. .... adr editor
Richard Dwan Jr. .... dialogue editor
Keith A. Wester .... sound mixer (as Keith Wester)
Special Effects by
Wayne Beauchamp .... special effects
Gene LeBell .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
Eric D. Andersen .... camera operator (as Eric Anderson)
Carl Boles .... gaffer
Harold Rabuse .... key grip
Richard Walden .... additional camera operator
Dale Alexander .... key grip (uncredited)
Music Department
George Doering .... musician
John Fresco .... music supervisor
John Fresco .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Other crew
Orin Kennedy .... location manager
Al Silvani .... fight trainer
Joan Stevenson .... production coordinator

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
100 min | Belgium:112 min (video version)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Iceland:12 | Norway:16 (video premiere)

Did You Know?

The African-American fighter named "Johnson" who injures Dempsey was in real life John Lester Johnson, who would later go on to do bit part acting roles, most notably "Bumbo" ("Uncle George") in the "Our Gang" short "The Kid from Borneo."See more »
[After Dempsey loses a fight.]
Estelle Taylor:What happened?
Jack Dempsey:Honey, I forgot to duck.
See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
He came to brawl, 11 February 2014
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

This biographical film of Jack Dempsey based on a work by his daughter more or less hits the high points of his colorful life and no coincidence it came out the year the great champ died. No criticism from the subject himself.

Born William Harrison Dempsey and known as Harry to his blood family, he adopted the name Jack after the middleweight champion whose life straddled the 19th and 20th centuries. His killer instinct in the ring was hewed in the hobo jungles where he lived when went out on his own to become a prizefighter. Dempsey never came to a boxing match, his fights were always Pier 6 brawls.

Treat Williams fits the conception I had of Jack Dempsey from the many things I read about him. As does Sam Waterston as Jack 'Doc' Kearns who was his manager. In real life they never quite reconciled as you see at the end of this film. In fact Kearns disparaged Dempsey after they split for the rest of his life. Kearns later on managed another icon of the Roaring Twenties Middleweight Champion Mickey Walker who was another brawler like Dempsey.

Best in the film however is Sally Kellerman as Dempsey first wife who was a prostitute whom he married while still in the tank towns as fighter. She split with Dempsey, but came back with a vengeance to smear his name in the hopes of being bought off. Talk about a woman scorned.

Dempsey's second wife was silent movie queen Estelle Taylor who if you believe Doc Kearns got him too used to the good life. When he faced Gene Tunney for the first time in 1926, Dempsey had not had a title defense since 1923. Before that he defended the title with a decent average of fights. No boxing commission in the world today would allow that. Taylor is played by Victoria Tennant.

Not a great film, but both Williams and Waterston are great in their parts and Sally Kellerman is outstanding.

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