6.3/10
266
12 user 3 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.

Director:

Benjamin Stoloff

Writers:

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

On Disc

at Amazon

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Second Chorus (1940)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

When perennial college students Danny O'Neill and Hank Taylor are forced to make it on their own, the competitive pair get jobs with Artie Shaw's band and reunite with ex-manager Ellen Miller.

Director: H.C. Potter
Stars: Fred Astaire, Paulette Goddard, Artie Shaw
Royal Wedding (1951)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A brother and sister dance act encounter challenges and romance when booked in London during the Royal Wedding.

Director: Stanley Donen
Stars: Fred Astaire, Jane Powell, Peter Lawford
Dixiana (1930)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

In antebellum New Orleans, two men vie for the affections of a beautiful young girl during Mardi Gras.

Director: Luther Reed
Stars: Bebe Daniels, Everett Marshall, Bert Wheeler
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A Universal Army enlistment promotion, produced as a musical showcase for Harry James, the Andrews Sisters, Joe E. Lewis, and Donald O'Connor & Peggy Ryan. The film's thin plot has James ... See full summary »

Director: Edward F. Cline
Stars: The Andrews Sisters, Dick Foran, Joe E. Lewis
Patterns (1956)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

When Fred Staples is recruited onto the board of a high-powered New York corporation, he finds his ethics and ambition at odds.

Director: Fielder Cook
Stars: Van Heflin, Everett Sloane, Ed Begley
Short | Comedy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Packed with music by the greats of the time.

Director: Joseph Kohn
Stars: Cholly Atkins, Louie Bellson, Delta Rhythm Boys
Certificate: Passed Mystery | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Clint Turner is arrested for the murder of his girlfriend Judy's father, a rival rancher who was an enemy of his own father.

Director: D. Ross Lederman
Stars: Buck Jones, John Wayne, Susan Fleming
Pitfall (1948)
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Married insurance adjuster John Forbes falls for femme fatale Mona Stevens while her boyfriend is in jail and all suffer serious consequences as a result.

Director: André De Toth
Stars: Dick Powell, Lizabeth Scott, Jane Wyatt
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The rise of a showgirl, Gloria Hughes, culminating in a Ziegfeld extravaganza "Glorifying the American Girl".

Director: Millard Webb
Stars: Mary Eaton, Eddie Cantor, Helen Morgan
Little Caesar (1931)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A small-time criminal moves to a big city to seek bigger fortune.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Glenda Farrell
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A photographer finds herself falling under the spell of a witch.

Director: Corrado Farina
Stars: Carroll Baker, George Eastman, Isabelle De Funès
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A young hoodlum rises up through the ranks of the Chicago underworld, even as a gangster's accidental death threatens to spark a bloody mob war.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: James Cagney, Jean Harlow, Edward Woods
Edit

Cast

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)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Gus Arnheim Gus Arnheim ... Orchestra Bandleader
Edit

Storyline

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

Genres:

Comedy | Music

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 January 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Joe Palooka See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-release)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

United Artists/Reliance production #8200. See more »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Followed by Joe Palooka Meets Humphrey (1950) See more »

Soundtracks

M-O-T-H-E-R, a Word That Means the World to Me
(1915) (uncredited)
Music by Theodore Morse
Lyrics by Howard Johnson
Sung a cappella in part by Jimmy Durante
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Full of clichés, but still very likable.
13 November 2009 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

Wow. PALOOKA might have just about every boxing cliché known to films, yet somehow it manages to be very likable and a great film for lovers of old B-movies. Much of this is because the dialog hums and the stars do the most with the material.

Stu Erwin plays Joe Palooka--a farm boy who is discovered by a boxing promoter (Jimmy Durante) and becomes a nation-wide sensation. Erwin is good as a country boy though he is an odd choice to play the title character. In the comic, Joe was a heavyweight boxer but Erwin is pretty scrawny--and far from physically imposing. Despite the odd casting, Erwin is pretty good. Plus, able supporting characters help his performance quite a bit.

I am surprised to admit this, but probably the best actor in the film was Jimmy Durante. In the past I have been HIGHLY critical of some of his films, though the fault wasn't entirely Durante's. MGM foolishly paired him with Buster Keaton in sound films--even though Keaton's style was the polar opposite of Durante's. Keaton was a silent comic and Durante was brash and loud--very, very loud! Here, however, his insanely loud and dynamic persona actually works--much like it did in Hollywood PARTY. I liked how he constantly poked fun at himself and the ending with him and his new wife was wonderful--you just have to see it to believe it.

As for the plot, there are so many familiar plot elements--the bad woman who turns Joe's attention away from his virtuous girlfriend and boxing, the mother who is determined that her son won't throw his life away in the ring, the estranged father, etc., etc., etc.. Yet, despite all this it is also highly entertaining and fun throughout. A very good B film that is more enjoyable and fun than its score of 6 would usually indicate.


3 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 12 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed