Originally Liebe in Ring, this German part-talkie is a generally agreeable effort to transform heavyweight boxing champ Max Schmeling into a movie star. It's the old saw about an ...
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Originally Liebe in Ring, this German part-talkie is a generally agreeable effort to transform heavyweight boxing champ Max Schmeling into a movie star. It's the old saw about an up-and-coming pugilist who ignores his loyal girlfriend in favor of a wealthy adventuress. His new romance nearly wrecks the hero's career, but with the help of his friends -- and of course, his real sweetheart -- he makes a spectacular comeback. The final scenes show Schmeling and his new bride heading for America, which was evidently Mecca so far as pre-Hitlerian German filmmakers were concerned. Max Schmeling's leading lady in Love in the Ring is Olga Tschechowa; in real life, he married the equally popular actress Anny Ondra. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
My review is based on the 1936 American version of this film, THE COMEBACK, which has a long discourse by an American boxer following Schmeling's defeat of Joe Louis.
This is a perfectly ordinary poor-young-boxer-makes-good film, including the mother who disapproves of his fighting, the poor young woman who loves him, the humorous but honest fight manager (in American pictures it was typically played by James Gleason), and, of course, the evil vamp who leads him astray. I am sure that the roots of this story may be found in Aeschylus, but it's a dependable tale and always subject to a fresh retelling.
Here they try to freshen it by using Max Schmeling -- at the time World Heavyweight Champion -- in the lead. He is a handsome young man and in an era of rising nationalism, he was turned into a symbol of Aryan Purity by the Nazis, who publicly ignored the fact that his wife was Czech and his manager was Jewish. Schmeling is a good-looking fellow who hits his marks and does his stuff competently. The result is a decent film that is of greater than usual interest because of its historical context.
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