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-son tale 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.
Dink Purcell loves his alcoholic father, ex-heavyweight champion Andy "Champ" Purcell, despite his frequent binges, his frequent gambling and their squalid living conditions. And there's nothing Andy wouldn't do for Dink. When Andy wins a race horse gambling, he gives it to Dink and they race it at a Tijuana track. There, Andy meets Linda Carleton, a race horse owner herself, and they have an immediate rapport. But Linda's rich husband sees Andy and realizes Dink is Linda's son, who she gave up when she and Andy divorced. Andy is bribed $200 to allow Dink to visit with Linda, but refuses to allow Dink to spend six months with the Carletons. When Andy loses the horse gambling and winds up in jail after a drunken tirade, he realizes Dink's place is with his mother. Dink tearfully goes but sneaks out and returns at his first opportunity, filling a depressed Andy with a desire to make good. So Andy goes into training after his managers arrange a boxing match with the Mexican champion.
Theatrical Release: November 9th, 1931
DVD Review: Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover||
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|Distribution||Warner Home Video - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC|
Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.27 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital 2.0)|
|Subtitles||English, Spanish, French, None|
We should be quite thankful that Warner is going to such grand lengths to bring us classic films as this with such excellent transfers. Great contrast, a little visible grain and quite sharp make it very hard to believe the film is almost 75 years old.
I do have one niggling point - lately Warner seem to be including quite irrelevant extras in their packages. The featurette 'Crazy Horse' doesn't appear to have much to do with the main feature and I've noted other odd-ball additions from other releases that only have the time period in common.
I don't suppose this film would warrant a commentary but personally it has a very high level of enjoyment. I watched this as a boy and its melodrama-building charm is quite powerful... even as an adult. This is a real piece of classic Hollywood that deserves a place in your DVD collection. We strongly recommend!