Champion

1949, Romance/Drama, 1h 39m

16 Reviews 500+ Ratings

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Champion Photos

Movie Info

Scrappy Michael "Midge" Kelly (Kirk Douglas), on the run from a shotgun marriage and needing to help support his handicapped brother, Connie (Arthur Kennedy), angles his way into a short-term job as a boxer. His life of hard knocks has given Midge a fiery temper and a will to win that quickly makes him one of the most popular fighters on the circuit. But when he gets instructed to take a dive in a championship bout, his bosses learn that no one tells Midge Kelly what to do.

Cast & Crew

Kirk Douglas
Michael 'Midge' Kelly
Marilyn Maxwell
Grace Diamond
Arthur Kennedy
Connie Kelly
Robert Stillman
Associate Producer
Dimitri Tiomkin
Original Music
Franz Planer
Cinematographer
Rudolph Sternad
Production Designer
Edward G. Boyle
Set Decoration
Gustaf M. Norin
Makeup Supervisor
Clem Beauchamp
Production Manager
Ivan Volkman
Assistant Director
Jean L. Speak
Sound Engineer
Dimitri Tiomkin
Music Director
Don Weis
Dialogue Editor
Mushy Callahan
Technical Advisor
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Critic Reviews for Champion

Audience Reviews for Champion

  • Nov 03, 2012
    "Champion" might seem like a another predictable drama at first glance, but it's more thoughtful and darker than you'd expect, and its ending is surprisingly pessimistic. Kirk Douglas gives an imperfect but rousing performance that goes well with a respectable supporting cast, which is headed by the likes of Arthur Kennedy and Paul Stewart. "Champion" is a drama crafted by capable hands, and it's pretty well-made, too.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer
  • Nov 07, 2010
    A taut and atmospheric classic that has long been considered one of the best boxing films ever made. It is a stark and gripping character study that concerns the rise and fall of a unscrupulous boxing champion Midge Kelly, played brilliantly by Kirk Douglas in his breakout Oscar nominated star-making performance, who began as a know-nothing beginner, but because of his underprivileged life as a youth, which has given him a persecution complex, that drives his relentless ambition, it soon makes him into a natural and fearsome boxer, who rockets to the top of his sport, to become the middleweight champion of the world, but fame and wealth quickly seduce what was already a man with serious issues to began with, he alienates and thrusts aside everyone around him, including his beloved crippled brother Connie, played impressively by Arthur Kennedy in a Oscar nominated turn and the three women in his life that he uses, than discards, wonderful played by Lola Albright, Marilyn Stewart, and Ruth Roman. His quiet, knowing manager Tommy Haley, very aptly played by Paul Stewart who helped build him up into a world class fighter, he also betrays. Kelly is such a cruel, selfish, contemptible and self-destructive bastard, that the dark and tragic ending will surprise no one, but the engrossing Oscar nominated screenplay and Douglas's powerful virtuoso performance will keep your eyes glued to the screen all the way until it reaches that end. Astute direction by Mark Robson, sharp Oscar winning editing by Harry W. Gestad, with sensational black & white cinematography by Franz Planer, which makes spectacular use of light and shadow, excellent fight scenes that are very well-staged, and realistically brutal. An outstanding melodrama which earned 6 Academy Awards including Best Actor: Kirk Douglas, Best Supporting Actor: Arthur Kennedy, Best Adapted Screenplay: Carl Foreman, Best Score: Dimitri Tiomkin, Best Editing: Harry W. Gestad. Highly Recommended.
    Danny R Super Reviewer
  • Aug 24, 2010
    Pretty much like watching "Body And Soul". Kirk Douglas is as good as Robert DeNiro was in "Raging Bull". This movie is no different from "Body And Soul". Corruption in the boxing biz, fast women, fast money, a shot at the title with consequences, shady managers, oh yeah can't forget a special love interest.
    Brian R Super Reviewer
  • Jan 21, 2009
    The best boxing movie you've never heard of. Kirk Douglas is under the radar but at the top of his game.
    Randy T Super Reviewer

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