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The Champ (1931)

Passed | | Drama, Sport | 21 November 1931 (USA)
Trailer
1:26 | Trailer
An alcoholic ex-boxer struggles to provide a good living for his son.

Director:

King Vidor (uncredited)

Writers:

Frances Marion (story), Wanda Tuchock (additional dialogue)
Reviews
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
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:

The knockout picture of the year! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 November 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El campeón 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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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

From 4:36 to 4:43, camera shadow in the tracking shot. 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.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dragnet Girl (1933) See more »

Soundtracks

The Monkeys Have No Tails in Pago Pago
(uncredited)
Composer uncertain
Sung a cappella by Wallace Beery
See more »

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User Reviews

Only someone with ice water in their veins could fail to be moved
8 August 2000 | by cphillips5See all my reviews

The central relationship of the adoring street-wise kid (Cooper) and his devoted, boozing, gambling ex-champ Dad (Beery) is astonishing. We are observing behavior here, not acting. Cooper gives the best child performance I've ever seen and Beery is utterly human, flawed and unforgettable.

This film is full of terrific moments - comedy and heartbreak. The friendship between Cooper and his black pal is beautifully color-blind. When Cooper states, "He's colored," it's with a child's open, untainted honesty. I find King Vidor's films to always resonate with humanity and compassion. He was one of our greatest filmmakers as Frances Marion was one of our greatest screenwriters.


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