Grab your dreams, come out of your corner and step out swinging. The double Oscar winner The Champ is ready to take on the world! With feet planted, chin tucked and its heart unashamedly on its sleeve, this original father... more »-son tale (remade in 1979) remains one of the all-time great tearjerkers. In an Academy Award-winning Best Actor performance, burly Wallace Beery - he of the fog-cutter voice and gruff warmth - plays the washed-up prizefighter making a ring comeback to provide for his son. Nine-year-old Our Gang comedy star Jackie Cooper is Dink, as devoted a son as ever stood in any man's corner. Laugh. Cry. Cheer. Cry some more. Even as The Champ breaks your heart, it heals the spirit.« less
"Although this flick is essentially sheer hokum, THE CHAMP was made with such superb professionalism in all departments that it achieved record business in depression - stricken 1931; it also gave Wallace Beery and screenwriter Frances Marion Academy Awards. It was M-G-M's biggest smash hit of the year. This third ideal role Marion wrote for Beery was that of a broken-down boxer who made a comeback for the sake of his idolising son, Jackie Cooper. The nine-year-old graduate from OUR GANG got even praise from the critics - and audible sobbing from audiences! The great director, King Vidor, extracted genuine pathos from both stars and there is also good work from the likes of Roscoe Ates, Irene Rich and Hale Hamilton."
An old-time favourite
DONNA M METZ | 03/14/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Take a sentimental journey but don't forget to bring your Kleenex! This old time film classic will transport you right back to the 30's like few else can. As a kid I remember waiting up til 11 o'clock at night to see the Late Show or even the Late Late Show just to see Wallace Beery and Jackie Cooper....who said big girl's don't cry? DMM"
One of King Vidor's Best
Quilmiense | USA/Spain | 07/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
This is a wonderful drama, social, human and familial. As all good classics there's more to the story than just surface plot. You can see it from multiple perspectives, among them the social one is always very present in Vidor's films.
But first of all this is a great, great movie. One of those that will make you cry in a couple of scenes at least; if you don't, you'd better check your pulse.
Now, here are the subterraneous plots that I see: 1) The familial, the relation between a divorced father and his little son, whom he loves immensely and by whom he is likewise corresponded. This, actually, is not a plot but a naturalistic depiction of this relationship thru story details and characterization. 2) The social. The incompatibility between high-class minded people and simple minded/humble people. 3) The individual relationships between the three main characters or roles: the uneducated and loving father, the apparently educated and classy mother and the innocent child. This triangle gives a lot of food for thought about the mysteries of the human soul. And every viewer will have his own take on this side of the story.
I hope we'll be able to see soon on dvd more of Vidor's great classics, like "The Crowd", "The Fountainhead", "Our Daily Bread", or the great "The Big Parade".
One more thing: The quality of the dvd is exeptional. It doesn't seem like you are watching an old movie at all. "
A Story About True Devotion
D. Stephen Boyd | 01/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I enjoy watching The Champ movie because it is well acted in both the father and son roles. Wallace Beery gives a convincing performance as a despairing father who was driven to drinking and gambling but cared much for his son. He was aware that he had become a "has been" in the sport of boxing and was desperate to find a way to support himself and his child. Though Andy Purcell (Beery) had allowed these vices into his life, his love and sensitivity toward his son came through brilliantly in the generosity he showed to keep the boy happy.
Purcell's son Dink, played by Jackie Cooper, was completely devoted to his father. Dink was being raised in a less-than-desirable environment and had adopted some crude ways but, in spite of everything, was charming, friendly, and caring to his father and to friends. Though Andy disappointed him on a few occasions in the movie, Dink's loyalty and love for him came shining through to the very end when the boy witnessed the death of his father.
The story, acted out, brings tears, sentiment, and evokes tender feelings for both Andy who wanted so much to make his son happy and for Dink who remained faithful to his father through it all. The honesty in Dink's character provides a moral lesson and example for children today to stay faithful and to love and honor their parents, no matter what may happen. "
David Baldwin | Philadelphia,PA USA | 08/01/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It would be easy to dismiss "The Champ" as merely a manipulative tear-jerker. Possibly, but if you're going to be manipulated at least have it done by the best. There is nothing slick here. Director King Vidor vividly captures the desolate seediness of Depression-era Tijuana. The film's climactic fight scene is very realistic. Wallace Beery won the Oscar for his role as the Champ but he could very well have shared it with young Jackie Cooper(not even nominated) as his wise beyond his years son,Deke. The chemistry is dynamic between the lovably grizzled Beery and the heart-rending Cooper. The formula here is timeless so the story doesn't date in the least. You could remake it today and I have no doubt it would still work. Which leads me to the 1979 remake with Jon Voight and Ricky Schroder. Despite the generally negative buzz that surrounded it at the time it's not that bad."