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The Big Punch

The Big Punch(1948)

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Crying Boy

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FULL SYNOPSIS

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When New York City boxing promoter Con Festig offers college football player Chris Thorgenson a professional boxing contract, Chris turns him down, explaining that his goal is to become a minister. His dedication so impresses boxer Johnny Grant that rather than throw his next match, as Festig has ordered him to do, he wins. Festig then plots with his henchman, Angel Panzer, to get even with Johnny and get rid of nosy policeman Ryan at the same time. After Angel warns Johnny to get out of town, Festig kills Ryan and frames Johnny for the murder. When Johnny learns of the murder, he decides to hide out with Chris, who has just received his first appointment to a church in the small town of Longacre. First, Johnny telephones his girl friend, Midge Parker, and asks her to hire a private detective to help clear his name. When Chris arrives at his post, he practices his first sermon at the church, where he is overheard by Karen Long. Although Karen is not a regular member of the congregation, her boss, a church member, invites her to stay for the dinner they have planned to welcome Chris. Afterward, Karen tells Chris that she was a nurse during the war, but after that experience, was unable to return to nursing and now works in a bank. Late that night, Johnny arrives at Chris's home and tells him that he has left boxing, having refused to throw his last match. Chris agrees to let him stay at his house and gets him a job at the bank. One Sunday, after learning that some people in the congregation are upset by the fact that he is a former football player, Chris announces that his religion does not stop in the church, and so he intends to take his work into the town. Although Johnny has fallen in love with Karen, she makes it clear that she loves Chris. Some time later, Midge arrives in town with Milo Brown, the private detective whom she hired. Midge tells Johnny that she is now married to Milo and threatens to expose him unless he helps them rob the town bank. Rather than do so, Johnny prepares to run away, but is stopped by Chris. When Johnny tells Chris about the murder charge, Chris offers to go to New York with him and help him clear himself. Then police chief Ed Hardy arrives, having identified Johnny as the wanted killer. After Karen convinces Hardy to let them find the real murderer, she and Chris travel to New York. There Karen persuades Angel to help her blackmail Johnny into robbing the Longacre bank in hopes that he will be forced to reveal Ryan's murderer. Back in Longacre, Chris, who is worried that Karen's plan is too dangerous, tries to persuade Angel to name the real killer and, when Angel refuses, uses his boxing skills on the thug. Karen telephones Hardy for help, and he arrives in time to hear Chris reading the Bible to Angel, who has written out a confession naming Festig as Ryan's murderer. Now that his name is cleared, Johnny returns to New York, after divulging to Chris the real object of Karen's affections.