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The Champ (1931)

Passed | | Drama, Sport | 21 November 1931 (USA)
Trailer
1:25 | Trailer

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

Director:

King Vidor (uncredited)

Writers:

Frances Marion (story), Leonard Praskins (dialogue continuity) | 1 more credit »
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:

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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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:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was Jackie Cooper's first film for MGM. See more »

Goofs

When the Champ Andy Purcell punches the wall in the locker room, the wall has blood on it before Andy strikes it, and the bloody area gets larger as Andy continues punching and his own fist gets bloody. 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 Forecast (1945) See more »

Soundtracks

The Stars and Stripes Forever
(1896) (uncredited)
Written by John Philip Sousa
Played by the band at the racetrack
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Box Office Champ
11 October 2011 | by wes-connorsSee all my reviews

Along the California-Mexico border, boxer Wallace Beery (as Andy "Champ" Purcell) is alcoholic, out-of-shape, and unable to fight professionally. Consequently, he and cute son Jackie Cooper (as Dink) are poverty-stricken. Another problem is Mr. Beery's gambling. But, after winning some money, Beery gets young Cooper a racehorse they call "Little Champ" (formerly "Butterfly"). At the track, Cooper meets his mother, Irene Rich (as Linda). Small world. Now married to wealthy Hale Hamilton (as Tony), Ms. Rich decides she wants her son back. Beery refuses to give up Cooper, but his addictions make things difficult...

Directed by King Vidor, this won Beery his "Best Actor" Oscar. During the "Academy Award" presentations, Fredric March won for "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" (1931). Near the end, there was some discord about the award, so they announced Beery had also won by declaring contests finishing within three votes would be considered a tie. March won by a vote and was arguably a more accomplished actor, but Beery's performance here is better. Later, the Academy stopped revealing vote totals, making the new rule moot. He and Cooper, a nominee for the recent "Skippy" (1931), have great chemistry. The ending is classic.

******* The Champ (11/0/31) King Vidor ~ Wallace Beery, Jackie Cooper, Irene Rich, Roscoe Ates


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