The Champ is a movie about a down-on-his-luck boxer who is trying to take care of his son while his life is in shambles. It's a sweet relationship in the opening scenes because it establishes how father and son have learned to help each other. It also makes it clear that, no matter how much the father lets him down, the son loves him unconditionally. Things get really complicated, though, when the mother arrives back in town and decides she wants a part in her son's life. It's a pretty tough story that, despite all appearances to the contrary, is more about that father-son relationship than it is about prize-fighting. I was definitely engaged by the story, and cared what would happen to the kid. I did struggle with the lackluster acting of the kids in the film, they have that Little Rascals feel to their performance where it seems like they simply shout every line. Wallace Beery was good in the titular role, even if he didn't look much like an actual boxer. It didn't really matter because the boxing didn't look real anyways. I think it's just a symptom of the time, but the way they captured all the fights was not great, and included a lot of under-cranking to make the pace look comically accelerated. I think the real problem for me was the fact that, even though I haven't seen the remake with Jon Voight and Ricky Schroder, I have seen the final scene a number of times so I knew how this would end. It's a strong scene, but my anticipation of it made me less emotional when it arrived. Overall, I think The Champ is a fine film, but it's not one that left a strong impression on me.