12 user 4 critic

Palooka (1934)

Unrated | | Comedy, Music | 26 January 1934 (USA)
Knobby discovers young hunk Palooka and trains him to fight the reigning champ, also drunken sot, Al McSwatt.


Benjamin Stoloff


Ham Fisher (comic strip creator), Jack Jevne (screen play) | 4 more credits »




Complete credited cast:
Jimmy Durante ... Knobby Walsh
Lupe Velez ... Nina Madero
Stuart Erwin ... Joe Palooka
Marjorie Rambeau ... Mayme Palooka
Robert Armstrong ... Pete Palooka
Mary Carlisle ... Anne Howe
William Cagney ... Al McSwatt
Thelma Todd ... Trixie
Franklyn Ardell ... Doc Wise
Tom Dugan ... Whitey
Louise Beavers ... Crystal
Fred 'Snowflake' Toones ... Smokey (as Snowflake)
Gus Arnheim Gus Arnheim ... Orchestra Bandleader
Learn more

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Mayme walks out on her husband, Pete Palooka, after he wins the middleweight championship and shows his proclivity for life in the fast lane. She raises son Joe on a farm, by herself. When slippery fight manager Knobby Walsh happens to discover Joe's surprising punching power, he signs him. With current champion Al McSwatt needing an easy opponent, Walsh gets Joe the fight. Palooka steals the championship( and girlfriend Nina Madero) from McSwatt when McSwatt shows up for the fight drunk. Now it's Joe's turn to live in the fast lane, winning fights(that are set ups by Walsh) and drinking hard with vamp Nina. However, when McSwatt and his manager trick Joe into a rematch, it's time to test his real boxing talent. Written by Gary Jackson <garyjack5@cogeco.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Second DON JUAN..and TWICE as GOOD as the FIRST- JAMES CASANOVA BEAUCAIRE DURANTE-Playing Two Parts-One GIN-One VERMOUTH!!! (Print Ad-Buffalo Courier-Express, ((Buffalo , NY)) 15 March 1934) See more »


Comedy | Music


Unrated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


United Artists/Reliance production #8200. See more »


Doc Wise: He's no more a champ than you're an Indian.
Knobby Walsh: I am an Indian; and my name is Sittin' Pretty.
See more »


Followed by Joe Palooka in Fighting Mad (1948) See more »


The Band Played On
(1895) (uncredited)
Music by Chas. B. Ward
Lyrics by John F. Palmer
Played at the theatre
See more »

User Reviews

Inka Dinka Palooka
10 October 2010 | by wes-connorsSee all my reviews

Based on Ham Fisher's famous comic strip boxing hero… A flashback opening reveals middleweight Stuart Erwin (as Joe Palooka) was left with mother Marjorie Rambeau (as Mayme) by womanizing champion father Robert Armstrong (as Pete)… Twenty years later, Ms. Rambeau holds her years well. But, son Erwin seems to have aged an extra decade. Still, Erwin enters the ring, after being admired fighting by manager Jimmy Durante (as Knobby Walsh). Mr. Durante pushes Erwin into action, promoting him as the new "Palooka" (after his famous father).

Erwin wins the championship crown from William Cagney (as Al McSwatt), who is disadvantaged by arriving drunk for the title bout. Erwin also wins Mr. Cagney's hotsy-totsy girlfriend Lupe Velez (as Nina Madero). All of this puts yokel Erwin on the fast lane, upsetting mama and home-town sweetheart Mary Carlisle (as Anne). Note that "Reliance Pictures" makes Bill Cagney up to look exactly like his big brother, James "Jimmy" Cagney. Ms. Velez wears some eye-popping low-cut gowns. And, Durante introduces his top ten hit "Inka Dinka Doo".

**** Palooka (1/26/34) Benjamin Stoloff ~ Jimmy Durante, Stuart Erwin, Lupe Velez, William Cagney

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Release Date:

26 January 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Joe Palooka See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (re-release)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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