Joe Palooka, Champ


1h 10m 1946

Brief Synopsis

Manager Knobby Walsh discovers young hunk Joe Palooka and trains him to fight the champ. Mobsters try to make life tough for Joe and his socialite girlfriend Anne. Cameos by several boxing stars.

Film Details

Release Date
May 28, 1946
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Monogram Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Monogram Distributing Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the comic strip "Joe Palooka" created by Ham Fisher, distributed by McNaught Syndicate (1928--1984).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 10m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Synopsis

When fight promoter Knobby Walsh is asked by a reporter how he ended up managing his champ, Joe Palooka, he recalls the time, just before he met Joe, when he was managing fighter Al Costa: Soon after taking the heavyweight championship title, Costa is lured away from Knobby by gangster Florini, who takes advantage of the fact that Knobby does not have a written contract with his fighter. Knobby, realizing that he has little chance in getting Costa back from the powerful Florini mob, begins a fruitless search for a new fighter to represent. When Knobby's money runs out, he decides to take his old cronies on a road tour to stage fake fights. While traveling through the country, Knobby and his pals drive into Pop Palooka's Larksville, Pennsylvania gas station, where they meet Pop's son Joe. Knobby and his cohorts spend the night with the Palookas, as does stranded motorist Anne Howe. Joe later takes Anne out for a night on the town. Next to the Palookas' house is a barn that Knobby and his men rent for their staged fights. During one of their events, Joe is coaxed into the ring, and all eyes are soon focused on him as he flattens all four of his contenders. In an instant, Knobby realizes that he has his new fighter and that Joe will be an easy match for Costa. Joe, however, is reluctant to fight professionally, and consents to do so only after insisting that there be no written contract between him and Knobby. Joe's first six fights result in easy victories, and Joe becomes an overnight sensation. His fighting career is soon imperiled, however, when the snobbish Ronnie Brewster begins to vie for Anne's affections and Joe is driven to distraction. After punching Ronnie for insulting him, Joe threatens to leave both Anne and Knobby. He eventually changes his mind, though, and continues to fight. When Lefty and Curly, two of Florini's thugs, take Joe aside and offer to pay him more than his salary for taking a dive in the upcoming fight against Costa, Joe is insulted and punches them. He then tells Knobby about the incident, and Knobby, certain that Florini will retaliate, takes Joe to a secret training facility. During the big fight, the boxing commissioner notices Florini's men absent from their seats and alerts the security men, who find a Florini gunman in the camera booth preparing to shoot Joe. The gunman is shot before he can pull the trigger, however, and Joe, after fighting his way to victory, is declared the world champion and reunited with Anne.

Film Details

Release Date
May 28, 1946
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Monogram Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Monogram Distributing Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the comic strip "Joe Palooka" created by Ham Fisher, distributed by McNaught Syndicate (1928--1984).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 10m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Joe Palooka, Champ was the first of eleven Monogram-produced films based on the "Joe Palooka" comic strip. The films in the Monogram series all starred Joe Kirkwood, Jr. as "Joe Palooka." The last film in the Monogram series, Joe Palooka in Triple Cross, was released in 1951. An earlier film based on the comic strip characters was the 1934 United Artists release Palooka, starring Jimmy Durante, Stuart Erwin and Lupe Velez (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40). Joe Palooka, Champ marked the motion picture debut of Kirkwood, who, in 1954 produced and starred in a syndicated television series called The Joe Palooka Story. For additional information on the series, please consult the Series Index.