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Ex-Champ (1939)

Approved | | Drama | 16 June 1939 (USA)
A former prizefighter tries to help his son pay off his gambling debts.


Phil Rosen (as Philip Rosen)


Alex Gottlieb (screenplay), Edmund L. Hartmann (screenplay) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview:
Victor McLaglen ... Tom 'Gunner' Grey
Tom Brown ... Bob Hill
Nan Grey ... Joan Grey
William Frawley ... Mushy Harrington
Constance Moore ... Doris Courtney
Donald Briggs ... Jeffrey Grey
Samuel S. Hinds ... Edward P. Nash - Boxing Commissioner
Thurston Hall ... Mr. Courtney
Marc Lawrence ... Bill Crosle - Olsen's Manager
Charles Halton ... Trilby


Tom "Gunner" Grey, an ex-heavyweight champion prizefighter, down on his luck and working as a doorman, disowns his son, Jeff Grey (Donald Briggs), a prizefight who quits in order to marry socialite Doris Courtney (Constance Moore). "Gunner" now spends his spare time training Bob Hill (Tom Brown), a promising young welterweight. Complication arise after Jeff steals some money from a gambling syndicate and "Gunner", in order to save his son, who can't pay back the syndicate, from gang vengeance, plans to drug his protege Bob in an important welterweight bout and bet on his opponent Olsen (Kid Chissel , the reigning champion, and use his winnings to pay of the gamblers. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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User Reviews

Likable B Drama
14 September 2012 | by nova-63See all my reviews

An entertaining little B' drama. Victor McLaglen stars as a retired boxer who now works as a doorman. He is a well liked mug who has a devoted daughter, Joan (Nan Grey) and a snobbish son, Jeff (Donald Briggs). Even though Jeff is soft and looking for the easy life, his father stays loyal. Jeff works as a broker for a big firm and is set to marry the boss' daughter. One problem. The family is high society and Jeff fears his dad's low social standing would nix the marriage. So he pretends he has no family. McLaglen is hurt but sees Jeff's point and lets Jeff have it his way.

Jeff is married but soon he makes a very serious mistake. He "borrows" money from a client and invests in a "sure thing" stock. The "sure thing" loses big and Jeff is short his client's cash and looking at a jail term. His father quickly steps in and decides the only way to make the money Jeff needs is to train a young boxer, Bob Hill (Tom Brown) for a bout against the local champ.

McLaglen's plan is have his boy lose by drugging his fighter's drinking water. He will before hand place a big bet on his opponent to win. It's the only crooked thing he's ever done in his boxing career but his son's needs come first.

McLaglen's pal, Mushy (William Frawley) places the bet, but mistakenly places the bet on Bob Hill to win. Of course, everything works out in the end. Mushy drinks the tainted water meant for Bob. Bob knocks out the champ. And the prize money and gambling money help Jeff from serving a jail term. Jeff, feeling guilty over his treatment of his father, confesses to his wife and her family about his humble upbringing and they prove they aren't so bad by gladly excepting the good hearted McLaglen into the clan.

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Release Date:

16 June 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Herói de Ontem See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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