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Champion (1949)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir, Sport | 20 May 1949 (USA)
Boxer Midge Kelly rises to fame...mainly by stepping on other people.

Director:

Mark Robson

Writers:

Carl Foreman (screenplay), Ring Lardner (story "Champion")
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Kirk Douglas ... Midge
Marilyn Maxwell ... Grace
Arthur Kennedy ... Connie
Paul Stewart ... Haley
Ruth Roman ... Emma
Lola Albright ... Palmer
Luis Van Rooten Luis Van Rooten ... Harris
Harry Shannon ... Lew
John Daheim John Daheim ... Dunne (as John Day)
Ralph Sanford ... Hammond
Esther Howard ... Mrs. Kelly
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Storyline

Midge Kelly, hitchhiking west with lame brother Connie, is hustled unprepared into a pro boxing match. Though he's severely beaten, manager Tommy Haley finds him promising. Arrived in California, Midge and Connie find nothing but a menial job from which Midge gets relief by seducing Emma, a lovely young waitress. One shotgun marriage later, ambitious Midge falls back on the only option he knows: boxing. Seduced by cheering crowds, money, and a succession of blondes, Midge becomes more and more of a hero in public...and a heel in private. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

boxing | boxer | gym | waitress | promoter | See All (34) »

Taglines:

Fighting or loving, he was the... CHAMPION See more »

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir | Sport

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 May 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Champion See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$600,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"The Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on October 13, 1949 with Kirk Douglas and Marilyn Maxwell reprising their film roles. See more »

Goofs

Midge mangles the sculpture that Palmer has made of him, twisting the head out of alignment. In next shot, the head of statue is back in its original location. See more »

Quotes

Connie: Oh, this rotten business!
Midge: Aw, lay off the business. It's like any other business, only here the blood shows.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer-colorized version. See more »


Soundtracks

Never Be It Said
By Dimitri Tiomkin and Goldie Goldmark (as "Goldie" Goldmark)
Sung by Polly Bergen (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

Riveting role for Douglas, unrealistic boxing scenes.
18 July 2004 | by louis-kingSee all my reviews

Douglas must have felt this film was his big chance at a starring role. His intensity is bruising and as riveting as Cagney in 'White Heat' or Pacino in 'Scarface'. Imagine what Kirk Douglas would have done with the part of Gordon Gekko in 'Wall Street'!

I was disappointed that the character Midge Kelly was never convincing as a skilled boxer. He never slips a single punch, never shows any footwork, never shows any combinations. In the training sequences you see him skip roping expertly with speed & timing, but whenever he gets in the ring he just walks straight toward his opponent with no bobbing or weaving, taking 2 or 3 hits to deliver 1. In a real fight he would have been taken out in the first round.

I noticed that early in the movie before Midge becomes a boxer, he gets in the ring out of desperation for some quick money and gets beaten badly. The boxer who skillfully beats him to a pulp looks very much like Courtland Shepard, who played boxer Tony Zale vs Paul Newman's Rocky Graziano in 'Somebody Up There Likes Me' Unfortunately, this boxer-actor, who actually has a spoken line, is never credited.


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