I had seen the 1979 remake starring Jon Voigt and Faye Dunaway (the female part was much more important ) and I was not that impressed.Jon Voigt was too good-looking and too handsome to portray the champ successfully.The original really blew my mind:the Wallace Beery /Jackie Cooper team was a winning one and it's one of the best pairings man/boy in the history of cinema ,with echoes of Charlie Chaplin's "the kid" .Although the movie takes place in the prizefighters milieu,the plot is pure melodrama ,mainly aimed at the female audience .The reactionary side of the melodrama -the posh lady horrified at the people around her boy, a "normal" wealthy family is the safe way to happiness,etc- is present but emotion survives the tear-jerker side .And I dare you not to shed a tear when the boy screams "I want the champ!".
- Nov 2, 2009
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