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To the world, he's a loser. To his son, he's The Champ.
|A has-been boxer tries to make a comeback, with only his son to inspire him.|
Editor's NoteIn many ways a male version of Vidor's STELLA DALLAS, THE CHAMP also works overtime on the tear ducts. Wallace Beery stars as Andy "Champ" Purcell, the former heavyweight champion, now down and out, who is kept alive by the devotion of his young son, Dink (Jackie Cooper). The champ is trying to make a comeback but continues to backslide into drinking and gambling in Tijuana dives, despite the efforts of Dink and his friends to save the boxer from himself. While gambling, the Champ does manage to win a horse, and while he and Dink are at the track, the boy runs into his mother, Linda (Irene Rich), although neither knows the other. When she speaks with the Champ, he agrees that the boy would be better off living with her and her wealthy husband, Tony (Hale Hamilton). Hiding his love behind a mask of indifference, the Champ convinces the boy to go to the country to live with his mother. But Dink can't abide the separation and runs away to rejoin his father in time for the biggest fight of his career. An unusually understated and affecting performance by Beery along with good work by Cooper erase some of the triteness of the melodrama, which must have spoken powerfully to depression-era audiences whose numbers undoubtedly included more than a few "Champs" struggling to care for their children.
Cast & Crew
|Frances Marion - Writer|
|Gordon Avil - Cinematographer|
|Hugh Wynn - Editor|
|King Vidor - Director|
|King Vidor - Producer|
|Wallace Beery, Winner, Best Actor|
|Frances Marion, Winner, Best Writing, Screenplay|
|King Vidor, Nominee, Best Director|