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Champion

Posted by martinteller on November 30, 2010

The rise of prizefighter Midge Kelly, leaving in his wake a trail of betrayal and broken hearts.  This is a very routine boxing drama, but in a comfortable way.  I rate it a notch above Body & Soul but not as high as The Set-Up, both as a film and a noir.  Kirk Douglas gives a grand performance, tackling the kind of ruthless, ambitious character he does so well.  The supporting actors are all pretty good, too, especially Paul Stewart and Arthur Kennedy (seeing Kennedy made me start fantasizing about a Blu-Ray box set of Mann’s westerns… maybe someday).  Some excellent photography ties it together nicely.  There’s a couple of sour notes, though.  The training montage is rendered ridiculous by Tiomkin’s goofy score.  And there’s one of the most egregious examples of production code silliness I’ve ever seen: a shotgun wedding over… a rather chaste smooch.  Nitpicking, I know.  Still a very entertaining movie, even if it’s a little too familiar.  Rating: 8

IMDb
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