6.9/10
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54 user 18 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 »

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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 most poignant love-triangle of all - a father, his son, and the woman who came between them. 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

Gross USA:

$30,441,738

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$30,441,738
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

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

One of the final films of Strother Martin and Joan Blondell. See more »

Goofs

At the gym in the beginning of the film, Tex Cobb is being battered in a sparring match and his seconds call him Tommy. At the end of the film, Cobb is featured as Roland Bowers, Heavyweight Contender. See more »

Quotes

[Annie just revealed to T.J. she is his mother]
Annie: I'm your mother.
T.J.: No, my mother's dead. She's a beautiful angel.
Annie: No she's not, I'm here and I love you.
T.J.: You don't live with us, you're not married to Champ.
Annie: Listen to me T.J., you don't have to live with someone to love them, I love you.
T.J.: Do you love the Champ? Do you? Do you love him? No you're not my mother.
Annie: No, no please listen to me. It's not that simple. T.J. listen to me.
T.J.: Go away. Please don't touch me. I don't want you, I don't want you.
Annie: Timmy...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #22.10 (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Very disappointed...

...with the rating of this masterpiece. A 5.8/10? -_- I am upset about this.

What you have here is an epic movie that deserves a 9/10. It's the story of the love between a boy and his father, and the boy trying to make it on his own when his mother and father can't.

The movie starts out very big on horse-racing, showing how Jon Voight, "The Champ", is and gives brief glimpses into his past life. After awhile though, his whole past comes back to him when his son unknowingly meets his mother and develops a bond with her. Conflict between him and his wife rises and we see even deeper into what was a merely a shell of his life in the beginning of the film; he is complicated and emotionally bruised man, snapping sometimes at his son that he loves with all his heart.

The film has the most believable performances I have ever seen on screen, and is a tearjerker. But it doesn't try to make you cry once; the entire second half of the film is full of these scenes. Some work while others don't. Either way, it shows the true power and delicacy of unconditional love, and the way it ends leaves you gasping for breath because of the emotional impact it leaves. Not perfect, but it deserves a solid 9.0/10.


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