An alcoholic ex-boxer struggles to provide a good living for his son.

Director:

King Vidor

Writers:

Frances Marion (story), Wanda Tuchock (additional dialogue)
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Wallace Beery ... Andy Purcell - The Champ
Jackie Cooper ... Dink Purcell
Irene Rich ... Linda Carleton
Roscoe Ates ... Sponge (as Rosco Ates)
Edward Brophy ... Tim
Hale Hamilton ... Tony Carleton
Jesse Scott Jesse Scott ... Jonah
Marcia Mae Jones ... Mary Lou Carleton
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Storyline

Dink Purcell loves his alcoholic father, ex-heavyweight champion Andy "Champ" Purcell, despite his frequent binges, his frequent gambling and their squalid living conditions. And there's nothing Andy wouldn't do for Dink. When Andy wins a race horse gambling, he gives it to Dink and they race it at a Tijuana track. There, Dink meets Linda Carleton, a race horse owner herself, and they have an immediate rapport. But Linda's rich husband sees Andy and realizes Dink is Linda's son, who she gave up when she and Andy divorced. Andy is bribed $200 to allow Dink to visit with Linda, but refuses to allow Dink to spend six months with the Carletons. When Andy loses the horse gambling and winds up in jail after a drunken tirade, he realizes Dink's place is with his mother. Dink tearfully goes but sneaks out and returns at his first opportunity, filling a depressed Andy with a desire to make good. So Andy goes into training after his managers arrange a boxing match with the Mexican champion. Written by Arthur Hausner <genart@volcano.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Don't fail to get a ringside seat! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film ranked second as best picture in the 1932 Film Daily poll of national critics, being beaten only by Grand Hotel (1932). See more »

Goofs

As Dink plays on the balcony awaiting his meeting with Linda, he steals chewing gum and candy for himself off of a table on the balcony. He then steals the contents of a box of cigarettes, saying that he'll "bring some home for the Champ", and stuffs them into his right jacket pocket. However, during the ride home, Andy reaches into Dink's right jacket pocket and finds cigars rather than the cigarettes which we clearly saw Dink steal. See more »

Quotes

[Dink compares the swanky home to his own]
Dink Purcell: The Champ and I ain't fixed up swell as this, but our joint's more lively.
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Connections

Remade as The Champ (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

The Stars and Stripes Forever
(1896) (uncredited)
Written by John Philip Sousa
Played by the band at the racetrack
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User Reviews

 
Blueprint Film
2 March 2006 | by PiafreduxSee all my reviews

'The Champ' seems to have been a blueprint film for all the others of the tough-tender school that followed it, and - owing entirely to Jackie Cooper's playing perfectly off of Wallace Beery's has-been, alcoholic pug - it's perfectly charming.

Yes, the fight scene is rather hokey: had they tried to use Wallace Beery's telegraphed-the-day-before roundhouse punches, even the toe-to-toe sluggers of 'The Champ's bygone day wouldn't have survived one round in the ring. But the film isn't about the fight scene, it's about the love of father for son and son for father - and to this day 'The Champ's' story artfully delivers its soft knock-out blow with tender sucker punches and love-taps to the heart.

Compared with today's fare 'The Champ's' pacing is slow but the time taken works nicely, especially in the one-on-one scenes captivatingly played by Cooper and Beery.

There's plenty of archetypal King Vidor composition-in-frame that's still imitated today, and in many instances the lighting is exemplary of the gorgeous black & white textural artistry of Hollywood's Golden Age. Lovers of classic B&W work might want to grab more than a few frames from the DVD.

Beery's work is quite good here, but Jackie Cooper's remarkable, potent chops steal the show - and your heart; though 'The Champ' has a good many fine, classical attributes there's none better in it than Cooper's unforgettable performance.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 November 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Champ See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

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