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Keep Punching (1939)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 7 December 1939 (USA)
Henry Jackson, known as Little Dynamite, is a Golden Gloves champion, who agrees to turn professional when approached by fight manager Ed Watson, despite the opposition raised by his father... See full summary »


John Clein


J. Rosamond Johnson (story), Marcy Klauber (screenplay)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Henry Armstrong Henry Armstrong ... Henry Jackson
Willie Bryant Willie Bryant ... Frank Harrison
Mae E. Johnson Mae E. Johnson ... Jerry Jordan (as Mae Johnson)
Hamtree Harrington Hamtree Harrington ... 'Windy' Butler
Canada Lee ... Speedy Joe Williams (Henry's Trainer)
Lionel Monagas Lionel Monagas ... Eddie 'Ed' Watson (Henry's Manager)
Francine Everett Francine Everett ... Fanny Singleton
Dooley Wilson ... Baron Skinner (as Arthur 'Dooley' Wilson)
Hilda Offley Hilda Offley ... Mrs. Jackson (Henry's Mother)
Walter Robinson Walter Robinson ... Mr. Jackson (Henry's Father)
George Wiltshire George Wiltshire ... Jack Hemingway
J. Rosamond Johnson ... The Minister
Buddy Bowser Buddy Bowser ... Harrison's Friend
Elson Wright Elson Wright ... Bartender
Lee Norman Lee Norman ... Bandleader Norman Lee


Henry Jackson, known as Little Dynamite, is a Golden Gloves champion, who agrees to turn professional when approached by fight manager Ed Watson, despite the opposition raised by his father and Fanny Singleton, his sweetheart. Soon, Jackson is ready to fight for the championship, when he runs into Frank Harrison, an old school friend. Harrison is not the faithful friend that Jackson believes him to be as he is betting heavily that the heavily-favored Jackson will lose the bout. To ensure he does, Harrison introduces Jackson to a hot mama, Jerry Jordan, who is instructed to make him drink, stay out late and generally mess him up by whatever means. The day of the fight, Harrison orders Jerry to slip Jackson a sleeping potion just before he leaves for the fight. Jerry, now in love with Jackson, finally agrees after Harrison threatens her. A few hours before the fight, Jackson, Windy, a Harlem hanger-on, Harrison and Jerry are in Harrison's apartment when Jerry proposes a toast to Jordan.... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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THE CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS With a Terrific Cast of Colored Stars (original poster)


Crime | Drama | Romance | Sport


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Film debut of Francine Everett. See more »


Featured in Frankie Manning: Ambassador of the Lindy Hop (2010) See more »


Lift Every Voice and Sing
Written by James Weldon Johnson (as James Weldon) and J. Rosamond Johnson (as J. Rosamond Johnson)
Sung as background at the high school graduation
See more »

User Reviews

You'll enjoy this movie!
2 March 2006 | by msladysoulSee all my reviews

This is one of the best of Black Cinema, proving Blacks were capable of portraying roles and people from all walks of life, not just black people or stereotypes of blacks to tell a story. Something that Blacks in Hollywood should be doing but if Blacks want that they will have to make their own movies but today Blacks are able to be movie stars, rich and famous but yet still in stereotypical roles but too blind to see. Anyways, the cast in a A plus cast featuring popular actors, actresses, dancers and bandleaders, one of the most beautiful actresses of screen, Francine Everett, one of the few to earn the title movie star, plays the part of sweet Fannie Singleton who is Henry's beau and unfortunately is not very encouraging but turns a leaf towards the end and learns you have to stand by your man or someone else will, and that someone else is Jerry Jordan played Mae Johnson, a popular actress who is perfect as the femme fatale trying to ruin Henry's career but makes up for her wrong, her partner in crime is Handsome, charming Willie Bryant a childhood friend of Henry's who befriending him again to ruin him, veteran actors Canada Lee, Lionel Monogas, George Wiltshire and Hilda Offley adds their years of experience to the movies. Hamtree Harrington is very funny and able to be funny without being a buffoon like Hollywood were making of Stepin Fetchit. Francine Everett, was one of the best, most familiar faces of Black Cinema as it is now called, back than it was called, All Black Cast or Race Film movies. Francine was able to play any type of role, naturally and effectively. Hollywood would only offer Francine stereotypical roles which she thought weren't deserving to her talent so that's why she didn't have much success there so within Black Cinema she was willing to play various parts and have her talent exploited positively. Francine was loved as much by black audiences as Lena Horne and Dorothy Dandridge was but just because only cross-overs and ones who were approving to whites are only remembered which is wrong to overlook blacks who stayed stars within their race and helped in the enhancement of blacks in movies by making their own and who done more for the race but are hardly ever mentioned in Black history achievements so I guess whites determined who's remembered or important in Black history. Francine truly was the greatest, whether Hollywood or Black Cinema, who cares, movies are movies, Black Cinema provided Francine the opportunities to be a versatile actress unlike Hollywood than and now. Francine truly deserves more recognition and any movies she was in was always watchable. No actress was ever as charming, beautiful, vivacious and lively as Francine then and now. You sure will enjoy this movie, especially the musical number and nightclub scenes. If you want to see what Blacks were really like back then and why Blacks were considered the greatest entertainers in the 1930s and 1940's, watch this movie and other Black Cinema films which will show why whites couldn't stay out of Harlem than. This movie, among others, provide a very different portrayals of Blacks than Hollywood, no homely, dumb, stereotypical types but very good-looking, well-dressed, well-spoken Blacks just like whites, they prove they are human beings, playing their parts without a label or stereotype that anyone would be proud of.

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Release Date:

7 December 1939 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

M.C. Pictures Inc. See more »
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Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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