6.8/10
7,145
52 user 17 critic

The Champ (1979)

PG | | Drama, Sport | 4 April 1979 (USA)
A former boxer discovers that his biggest battle of all is going to be with his ex-wife, Annie, who returns after abandoning their young son seven years prior.

Director:

Franco Zeffirelli

Writers:

Frances Marion (story), Walter Newman
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jon Voight ... Billy
Faye Dunaway ... Annie
Ricky Schroder ... T.J.
Jack Warden ... Jackie
Arthur Hill ... Mike
Strother Martin ... Riley
Joan Blondell ... Dolly Kenyon
Mary Jo Catlett ... Josie
Elisha Cook Jr. ... Georgie (as Elisha Cook)
Stefan Gierasch ... Charlie Goodman
Allan Miller ... Whitey
Joe Tornatore ... Hesh
Shirlee Kong Shirlee Kong ... Donna Mae
Jeff Blum Jeff Blum ... Jeffie
Dana Elcar ... Hoffmaster
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Storyline

Billy Flynn, a former boxing champion, is now horse trainer in Hialeah. He makes just enough money to raise his little boy T.J., over whom he got custody after his wife Annie left him seven years ago. T.J. worships The Champ, who is now working on his comeback in order to give his boy a better future. But suddenly Annie shows up again. Written by Willy Vanhaelen <willy.vanhaelen@advalvas.be>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The More You Love, The Harder You Fight. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 April 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El campeón See more »

Filming Locations:

Florida, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,972,684, 8 April 1979, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$30,441,738
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jon Voight and Ricky Schroeder played father and son again in Return to Lonesome Dove (1993). See more »

Goofs

When Champ is badly beaten up in the ring near the end of the movie, he is almost unconscious. To try to make sure he is okay, Jackie asks Champ, "What day is it today?" Champ says, "Thursday, May 23rd." The film takes place in 1979. May 23rd, 1979 was actually a Wednesday. See more »

Quotes

[Billy just sees Annie after 7 years]
Billy: You know what I told him? I told him that you died, that you were killed in a car wreck. That you were a tramp and we're better off without you. You're dead! Do you understand that? You're dead! The kid's got no mother!
Annie: I am his mother.
Billy: You're dead! He's got no mother!
Annie: I'm here, I am his mother.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Paul O'Grady's Hollywood: Weepies (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A true tearjerker, I have never cried so much in a film
22 September 2002 | by traceyames17See all my reviews

This is arguably Jon Voight's finest acting performance with the possible exception of The Odessa File.

Jon Voight plays Billy Flynn an ex boxing champion with Ricky Shroder playing his eight year old son, T.J Flynn. Billy Flynn is now a horse trainer bringing up his son after a divorce some seven years ago when T.J. was just a baby. Billy loves a drink and is addicted to gambling and bringing up his son does have problems.

The problems intensify when his ex-wife, now remarried, appears on the scene to see her son after seven long years. T.J. knows her only as Annie and is played by Faye Dunaway. Annie starts to come between Billy and T.J even though T.J has undying love for his father. As Billy gets further into trouble, his only way of securing a life for his son is to make one last come-back into the boxing ring.

The film is very poignant, emotional and has so many sad sequences. Poor T.J. is constantly in tears and whenever his tears flowed, so did mine. The Champ is a superb movie, a must see, and although over 20 years old, still has a place today. The problems that existed then, still exist today. Booze, gambling, single parentage, divorce and reconciliation. Only the clothing fashions are different.


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