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Joe Palooka Meets Humphrey

Joe Palooka Meets Humphrey(1950)


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Boxing champion Joe Palooka and his new bride Anne are driving to Harrow Hot Springs for their honeymoon when Joe accidentally drives their car off the road. They are rescued by the rotund Humphrey Pennyworth, a good-natured but rather simple man, who effortlessly pulls their car out of the ditch. Humphrey, who lives with his sister Prunella, repairs the car, then follows the newlyweds to their hotel, explaining that he intends to stay with them for the duration of his thirty-day service guarantee. They are soon joined by Joe's manager, Knobby Walsh, who is alarmed by a newspaper headline proclaiming that Joe has announced his retirement. Joe assures him that he still plans to fight, but Knobby moves into the newlyweds' room, causing Joe and Anne to quarrel and spend the night apart. The next day, another boxer, Johnson, arrives with his manager, Belden, eager to arrange a match with Joe. When Carlton, the hotel clerk, hears this, he suggests holding the match at the county fair the following week to raise money for the local boys' club, and Joe reluctantly agrees. Humphrey walks in carrying the enormous engine from Joe's car, and when Johnson makes an insulting remark, Humphrey knocks him out with one punch. The mayor asks Humphrey to take Johnson's place in the ring, and Belden expresses an interest in managing him. Daunted by Humphrey's superhuman strength, Knobby wants to stop the fight from taking place, and when he sees a picture of Lord Cecil Poole, an English fight promoter, he gets an idea. Arraying himself in a wig and some natty clothes stolen from the hotel tailor's shop, Knobby achieves a striking resemblance to Lord Cecil. In this guise, he approaches Humphrey and offers to manage him, and is relieved when the nonviolent Humphrey claims that he does not want to fight anybody. In desperation, the mayor has members of the boys' club take offerings of food to the ravenous Humphrey, who then agrees to the match. Acting on a suspicion, Belden calls London and speaks to the real Lord Cecil, who immediately gets on a plane to America. The night of the fight, Knobby again disguises himself as Lord Cecil, but before he can reach Humphrey, Belden's men knock him out and take him to a hotel room. Belden then tells Humphrey lies about Joe, trying to get him angry enough to fight. Humphrey lacks technique, but he is impervious to Joe's blows, and the men go round after round before Knobby escapes from the hotel room and races to the match, just as the real Lord Cecil arrives. Shedding his disguise, Knobby advises Joe to circle his opponent, and Humphrey, who has now gone several hours without eating, soon becomes dizzy and collapses. Joe wins the match, and Prunella revives her brother with a pie. Later, Joe and Anne take Humphrey's bicycle and leave for a real honeymoon, unaware that Humphrey is riding along in the attached tool shed.