Champion Film Details
Overview: Boxer Midge Kelly rises to fame…mainly by stepping on other people.
Tagline: Fighting or loving, he was the… CHAMPION
Review: ******SPOILERS****** The movie starts with “The Champion” Midge Kelly, Kirk Douglas, entering the boxing ring to defend his title. It then fades to flashback to the life of Midge Kelly and how he got to the point where he’s the champion of the world. Midge and his brother Connie, Arthur Kennedy, had a rough life before he made it big in the boxing world. One day hitch-hiking to California he’s picked up by someone who offers to get him job selling refreshments in a boxing arena and when the job falls through Midge gets into a fight with the manager and a couple of security guards. Midge is given a chance to square himself for the damage that he caused by boxing in a match where he’s offered $35.00 which Midge jumps at. Midge loses the fight but is so impressive that a fight manager Tommy Haley, Paul Stewart, offers to manage him in the fight business. Midge, being battered and beaten in his first and hopefully only fight, tells Haley isn’t interested. Coming to L.A to what they,Midge & Connie, thought that they were part owners in a diner the Kelly boys find out that their partner in the establishment took off with their share of the money and they were left out in the cold. Midge and his brother Connie end up washing the dishes and sweeping and mopping the floors of what they thought that was their diner.Midge soon falls in love with the diner owners daughter Emma, Ruth Roman, and they get married. Not getting anywhere Midge decides to take up Haley’s offer to manage him and become a boxer. Looking him up Midge finds out that Haley is retired from the fight game. Midge never the less talks Haley into managing him and with Haley’s guidance Midge zooms all the way to the top of the boxing game. It’s then that he’s set up to fight in a match with the top contender to the title, Johnny Dunne, John Daheim. Told to throw the fight because the fix is in and if he does he’ll get another chance Midge doesn’t cooperate and knocks out Johnny in the first round. After the fight Midge is beaten up by the mobsters who bet against him. After all the dust settles down it turns out that by not throwing the fight Midge became more popular then ever! Midge, by not cooperating, gets a shot at the title without the mobs help. Like with all egomaniacs like himself as Midge becomes more famous he forgets who his friends are and gets in with the very people who wouldn’t give Midge a second look before he became famous. Midge becomes estranged from his wife, for a beautiful blond Grace (Marilyn Maxwell). Midge also fires Haley for a mob connected manager Jerry Harris, Louis Van Rooten, who was the person who wanted Midge to throw the fight with Dunne. and had Midge beaten up for not doing it. Midge gets his title shot and easily wins the championship and after that Midge starts having an affair with Harris’s wife Palmer, Lola Albright. When Harris finds out about MIdge’s affair with Palmar he offers Midge 100% of his share of the purse, $65,000.00, with Johnny Dunne who he’s to defend his title against. Midge jumps at Harris’ offer to the shock of Palmer who thought that he was really in love with her. Midge must have suddenly realized that she’s already married or maybe the money helped too. With The flashback ended and his championship on the line Midge battles Johnny Dunne in defense of his title. Midge ends getting the worst of it and just when it looks like he’s through and that the fight is over for him, with him being knocked out, Midge comes alive. Opening up with a savage barrage of lefts and rights Midge knocks out Dunne and ends up retaining his title. Later in the locker room Midge dies from the terrible beating that he took from Dunne. Midge’s brother Connie, who he clobbered before the fight over his treatment of Emma, is asked by the fight reporters what he thought of Midge. In what looked like he was going to say just what a heel he was Connie stopped, in mid-sentence, and just said that Midge was a champion and a credit to the fight business. which everyone in the movie as well as in the theater audience, despite Midge’s rotten behavior, couldn’t deny. Probably Kirk Douglas’s best film and it’s a shame that the Academy didn’t see fit to award him as best actor for 1949 for it.
Country: United States
Duration: 99 min
Genre: Drama, Film-Noir, Sport
Also known as: Champion,Le champion,Шампионът,De kampioen,Nyrkkeilysankari champion,Ha-Alooff,Flogismena pathi,El triunfador,Czempion,Campionul,Zwischen Frauen und Seilen,Nyrkkeilysankari,O Invencível,Чемпион,Sieger ohne Herz,Boxningshjälten,O Grande Ídolo,Sampion,El ídolo de barro,Ο πρωταθλητής,Il grande campione,チャンピオン（1949）