19 user 8 critic

Winner Take All (1932)

Unrated | | Drama | 16 July 1932 (USA)
Young boxer Jim Kane, resting at a New Mexico "health ranch," meets and falls for Peggy Harmon, former nightclub table singer...who needs $600 more for her sickly son to stay in the place. ... See full summary »


Roy Del Ruth


Gerald Beaumont (based on a story by), Robert Lord (adaptation) | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
James Cagney ... Jim 'Jimmy' Kane
Marian Nixon ... Peggy Harmon
Guy Kibbee ... Pop Slavin
Dickie Moore ... Dickie Harmon
Virginia Bruce ... Joan Gibson
Alan Mowbray ... Forbes - the Etiquette Teacher
Esther Howard ... Ann - Joan's Friend
Clarence Muse ... Rosebud -, the Trainer
Clarence Wilson ... Ben Isaacs
Ralf Harolde ... Legs Davis - Diamond Ring Seller
John Roche ... Roger Elliott


Young boxer Jim Kane, resting at a New Mexico "health ranch," meets and falls for Peggy Harmon, former nightclub table singer...who needs $600 more for her sickly son to stay in the place. To help her, Jim endangers his health with a tough boxing match in Tijuana. Before long, he's back fighting while Peggy stays in the desert. But in the city, after new triumphs, Jim meets Joan, a teasing Society blonde. Will he see through her before it's too late? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He Knocks Cupid for a Row of Hearts! See more »




Unrated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

16 July 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Campeão do Amor See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The short story upon which this film is based, "133 at 3" by Gerald Beaumont, was published in the March 1921 issue of Redbook magazine. See more »


In the final fight scene, Jimmy tells Rosebud to call Joan's apartment. He leaves the ring to make the call. However, when the ring announcer is introducing the fighters, Rosebud is in the ring with Jimmy. See more »


Pop Slavin: He can't leave 'em alone, he's just a Woman's Home Companion.
See more »


Featured in Terrible Joe Moran (1984) See more »


The Sidewalks of New York
(1894) (uncredited)
Music by Charles Lawlor
Played as background music when Jim leaves New York
See more »

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User Reviews

A paint by numbers boxing film, but Cagney makes it worth your time
14 April 2019 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

If it wasn't for the presence of cocky James Cagney, I'd probably say skip this one. It has a very mediocre plot line involving pride coming before a fall, with Cagney playing the boxer whose story is the object lesson. Cagney plays Jimmy Kane, a boxer who has a heart condition who, for some reason, needs a rest cure out West in the desert for a few months. His trainer is played by Guy Kibbee, who says things that lead you to believe that Kane loved the nightlife and that he is glad he is going somewhere that there isn't any.

But that doesn't mean Kane doesn't find a woman out at the rest cure ranch where he is staying. He runs into widow Peggy Harmon (Marian Nixon) who is at the ranch for her little son's sake (Dickie Moore) and they hit it off. When she can't raise the money to stay the extra three months that her son needs, Kane risks his health for a 2000 dollar fight to help her out. He winds up with a messed up nose and a cauliflower ear as a result.

Kane gets the medical OK to leave before Peggy can, and he pledges fidelity to her. The newly healthy Kane rises to the top of his profession again. And then he meets a society gal - Joan (Virginia Bruce). Joan is fascinated by Kane, but not sexually attracted to him and is also extremely embarrassed by his ignorance whenever they are out with "her set". The thing is, Kane doesn't see this and thinks Joan is as gaga over him like he is over the moon for her. His postcards to Peggy get increasingly infrequent and terse. Complications ensue.

This one does have a few things to recommend it. For one, this is one of Virginia Bruce's earliest credited roles and she does a a good job of playing a bad girl. And she isn't obvious either. You never know EXACTLY where she is taking this thing with Cagney's character. There is also a rather odd conversation when Joan's set is discussing Russia and "the great social experiment going on" over there and "the five year plan".

This film doesn't give the normally colorful and hilarious Guy Kibbee much to do, and that was a bit of a disappointment as was the bland part Marian Nixon got stuck with as Peggy. But, hey, how often do you get to see a plastic surgery angle dragged into a precode boxing film where it is the man trying to pretty up for the woman? Mildly recommended, and mainly for Cagney who never disappoints.

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