The Champ

1979, Movie, PG, 121 mins


The original film took 85 minutes, this one 121; the extra length has not improved the story. This time, Voight is Billy, a prizefighter/racetrack hanger-on in Florida. A drunk and a gambler, he dreams about a ring comeback while his son, Schroder (who looks remarkably like Voight, adding to the believability of their relationship), keeps an eye on him. Ex-wife Dunaway, now a pillar of society, wants to get Schroder back, and a bitter custody battle looms. The rest of the film is an updated version of the more gritty original, given an inappropriately lush look by director Zeffirelli. Voight, who makes a more likely looking boxer than beefy Wallace Beery does, already played a fighter in THE ALL-AMERICAN BOY (1973). The film received an Oscar nomination for Best Score. leave a comment

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Jimmy Smith: The Champ Live 1962/1999
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