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The Champ (1979 film)


The Champ (1979 film)

The Champ
Richard Amsel
Directed by Franco Zeffirelli
Produced by Dyson Lovell
Written by Frances Marion
Walter Newman
Starring Jon Voight
Faye Dunaway
Rick Schroder
Music by Dave Grusin
Cinematography Fred J. Koenekamp
Editing by Michael J. Sheridan
Studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Distributed by United Artists
Release date(s) 4 April 1979
Running time 122 mins
Country USA
Language English
Box office $30,441,738[1]

The Champ is a 1979 remake, directed by Franco Zeffirelli, of the 1931 Academy Award-winning film of the same name which was directed by King Vidor. It stars Jon Voight, Faye Dunaway, and Ricky Schroder. It is also the final film for actress Joan Blondell who died from leukemia on Christmas Day eight months later.


Billy Flynn, an ex-boxing champion, is now a horse trainer in Hialeah, Florida. He makes just enough money to raise his little son T.J., who Flynn has custody of his son after his wife Annie left him seven years ago. T.J. worships "The Champ," who has gambling debts and begins working on a comeback to give his boy a better future. Suddenly Annie shows up again and wants to become a part of T.J.'s life.

Reception, awards and recognition

It was panned by many critics who preferred the 1931 film, which, coincidentally, was also released by MGM. It has 40% on Rotten Tomatoes.[2] Time Out London called it Template:Cquote Writing for The New York Times, Vincent Canby loudly panned the movie, stating Template:Cquote

Schroder won the Golden Globe Award for "Best New Male Star of the Year in a Motion Picture" at age nine for his performance as T.J. Flynn. Voight was a nominee for Best Actor but lost out to Dustin Hoffman for his role in Kramer vs. Kramer. The Champ has also been called "the saddest movie in the world", and the final scene has been used in numerous psychology experiments to elicit a strong emotional response. According to Smithsonian magazine two psychologists, Robert Levenson and James Gross, conducted a study of more than 250 movie clips, and subjected them to 500 subjects in 1988, and concluded the last three minutes of the movie, where "T.J." sees his father win in his comeback fight only to witness his death in the dressing room afterwards, elicited the saddest response from a majority of the subjects. In the scene the grief-stricken "T.J." is inconsolable tugging his father's body while crying out "Champ, wake up. Please wake up, Champ."[3][4]



External links

  • Internet Movie Database
  • TCM Movie Database
  • AllRovi
  • Rotten Tomatoes
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