Mark Robson (1949)

PG Certificate


Our Score
Kirk Douglas here gives one of the definitive performances of his career as ruthless boxer Midge Kelly, who will stop at almost nothing to become a success. Though inferior to that other great boxing drama, The Set-Up (made the same year), Champion is still flashy and watchable, thanks to some razor-sharp, Oscar-winning editing (the only win from six nominations). Douglas repeatedly betrays his disabled brother (Arthur Kennedy), his watchful manager (Paul Stewart) and the women in his life (Marilyn Maxwell and Ruth Roman among them) right up until his fist-breaking comeuppance - a punishment producer Stanley Kramer must have wished he could have inflicted upon Douglas in real life after the star had a nose job halfway through production, meaning nobody could lay a glove on him. That aside, this remains a real achievement for all concerned.


A war veteran criss-crosses America with his disabled brother in tow as he builds a new career as a renowned prizefighter. However, his ruthless determination to make it to the top drives him to betray the people closest to him. Drama, starring Kirk Douglas, Marilyn Maxwell, Arthur Kennedy, Paul Stewart and Ruth Roman.

Cast & Crew

Michael `Midge' Kelly Kirk Douglas
Grace Diamond Marilyn Maxwell
Connie Kelly Arthur Kennedy
Tommy Haley Paul Stewart
Emma Bryce Ruth Roman
Palmer Harris Lola Albright
Jerome Harris Luis Van Rooten
Lew Bryce Harry Shannon
Director Mark Robson
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Other Information

Language: EnglishBlack and whiteGuidance: Edited for violence.Available on: video and DVD