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  • Warning: Spoilers
    Edward G. Robinson is cast as a tough manager who discovers, quite by accident, a young bellhop (Wayne Morris) with a punch he feels is strong enough to win a championship for him…

    When the fighter falls for his sister (Jane Bryan), Robinson decides to double-cross him and arranges a bout with a tough opponent he feels will beat the kid to pieces…

    Bogart, stern and severe, was the malevolent gangster-manager of the tough opponent and, when Robinson has a change of heart through the intercession of his mistress (Bette Davis) and helps the kid win, he and Bogart wind up in a hail of bullets…

    The film was remade, in 1941, as "The Wagons Roll at Night" and later, in 1962, as a light-hearted musical in "Kid Gallahad," with Elvis Presley...
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "There isn't any room for feelings in this game" is how promoter Nick Donati (Edward G. Robinson) approaches boxing as well as life in general. When he witnesses a young bellhop (Wayne Morris) deck a top rated heavyweight at a swank party, he sees a future champ, and a way to undermine rival promoter Turkey Morgan (Humphrey Bogart). In Donati's corner is his girlfriend Fluff, Louise Phillips, disarmingly portrayed by the young and beautiful Bette Davis, who achieves more with her eyes and facial expressions than most actresses before or since.

    The boxing scenes are merely an under card for the real story of how Kid Galahad, named by Fluff as an homage to his gallant chivalry, meets and falls in love with Donati's sister Marie (Jane Bryan). Donati has no use for mugs who don't follow his orders in or out of the ring, or for guys who have eyes for his sister. Fluff, who secretly falls in love with Galahad realizes she doesn't have a chance - "It seems I'm always at ringside at the first fight... and the last". She encourages the Kid to follow his heart to be with the woman he loves.

    Feeling undermined, Donati seeks revenge by agreeing to a match with the now heavyweight champ, Chuck McGraw. Even with ten wins under his belt, Galahad is still green and no match for the champ. But McGraw is a reveler, who spends his down time partying and drinking instead of training. His promoter, Turkey Morgan also angles for the match sooner rather than later, realizing that his boy's regimen won't keep him champion for too long.

    By the time the sports press gets the story, it's all about how the convent girl (Marie) and the cabaret singer (Fluff) vie for Kid Galahad. But they each know where they stand, and must convince Nick during the climactic heavyweight title bout that he has to stand behind Galahad to uphold his own integrity with the Kid and himself.

    Edward G. Robinson is in top form here in a role that allows him to portray a less sinister side; the scene in which he visits his mother and talks to her at length in Italian are genuinely charming. Bogey has a smaller but no less important role in his manipulative handling of the champion McGraw and his rivalry with Donati. And it's a pleasure to watch Bette Davis use her Bette Davis eyes in scenes with Nick, Galahad and Marie, so expressive there's no need for words.
  • It's always hilarious today to see films where people like Lucille Ball and Bette Davis, whose voices are so familiar to audiences, are dubbed when singing. Bette's night club number in a rich contralto is a jarring moment in this movie.

    "Kid Galahad" is a 1937 film directed by Michael Curtiz and starring part of the excellent Warners roster: Edward G. Robinson, Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, Jane Bryan, and Wayne Morris. Morris is a hunky bellboy, nicknamed "Kid Galahad," made into a champion boxer by manager Nick Donati (Robinson); he falls for Robinson's pretty sister Marie(Bryan). Meanwhile, Robinson's girlfriend Louise (Davis) has fallen for Morris herself.

    Predictable drama, but the cast is terrific and the film moves very quickly. Everyone is terrific. Bogart was not yet a star, and is effective as Robinson's nemesis, Turkey.

    Obviously Warners loved this story - it was remade as The Wagons Roll at Night and later as a vehicle for Elvis.

    Boxing stories have always been great film fodder. There isn't anything exceptional about "Kid Galahad" except its cast, and you're sure not going to see the likes of them again.
  • This was certainly not the most original movie made by Warner Brothers, but it was an excellent showcase for the talents of Edward G. Robinson and cast. It's a perfect example of the type of film this company made so well in the 1930s--a simple and predictable story combined with excellent dialog and acting and breezy direction. While this story will not change the world, it is well worth the watching. By the way, this story has been remade several times---such as THE WAGONS ROLL AT MIDNIGHT (with Humphrey Bogart taking on the Edward G. Robineson part and Eddie Albert playing a lion tamer instead of a boxer) and KID GALAHAD (with Elvis). None of these films are quite as satisfying as this film. So my advice is, if you only want to see one, watch this one.
  • I'm kind of disappointed that I didn't send in my comments after I saw this film. This was an extremely enjoyable film. As a fan of Edward G. Robinson, I can say with great enthusiasm that he doesn't disappoint. Bette Davis is up to her smart-as-a-whip self which makes it even more entertaining. Humphrey Bogart puts on a role of a scheming man that makes him look better than he already is.

    Near the end, the film started to derail a bit and got a bit pointless, but it was all in good taste. It was also well-directed with Michael Curtiz at the helm. I couldn't imagine anyone else directing this. Boxing fans and movie buffs, see this film immediately. This is one film you will not want to miss.
  • Bette Davis was HOT! If anyone doesn't believe it, watch this movie. This movie features a lot of great actors but none of them even come close to matching Bette Davis. She is HOT! She makes this movie happen. Much of the movie is stagy and predictable, but Bette Davis is like a diamond. She sparkles. She shows what she's got and what she's got is a lot. She was ALL woman. Voluptuous. Pouting lips. Big, round eyes. Lovely hips. She had it all and wasn't afraid to show it off. And she could act! No wonder she was in so many great movies. Looks and talent. No wonder she's a legend. Humphrey Bogart and Edward G. Robinson were great as tough fight managers. Wayne Morris was also impressive in the title role. He really looked like a prize fighter and the whole movie exudes the atmosphere of the arena and locker room where much of the action takes place. When you watch Wayne Morris in this movie, you have to like him. A real star. But all that takes second place to Bette Davis in what had to be the hottest role of her career. It must have been a wonderful experience to be part of the production crew and watch Bette Davis act or just to be around her. She was a star.
  • The presence of a trio of some of the best Warner Brothers players from the studio era makes Kid Galahad worth watching. You cannot possibly go wrong in a film that has Edward G. Robinson, Bette Davis, and Humphrey Bogart.

    After a fight where Robinson's fighter is knocked out by Bogart's pugilist, Robinson throws a party any way. Robinson's palooka lost because he didn't listen to instructions. Bogey and his fighter William Haade come in anyway. During the festivities, William Haade gets fresh with Robinson's girl, Bette Davis, and young bellhop Wayne Morris flattens him with one punch. Robinson thinks he's found a new heavyweight.

    I doubt there have been too many people more innocent portrayed on the screen than Wayne Morris in this film. The gawky country kid who comes off like a young Jimmy Stewart with a little more meat on his bones manages to get both Davis and Robinson's kid sister Jane Bryan interested in him. That ticks off Robinson considerably and he starts looking at Morris in a new and bad light.

    Of course the presence of those three Hollywood legends makes Kid Galahad watchable. Davis with little to work with turns in a good performance as the decent girl friend of Robinson who while she's been around the track a few times, has a good heart. Jane Bryan is appealing herself as the sister. She retired early from the screen when she married Justin Dart the founder of Rexall Drugs. Later on Dart became an early backer of another Warner Brother contract player named Ronald Reagan when he opted for politics. Bryan by then a fashionable society hostess was also a big backer of the Gipper.

    Robinson is good, his fanatical interest in protecting his sister is not as bad as Paul Muni with Ann Dvorak in Scarface, but pretty close without crossing over into incest. Humphrey Bogart is also fine as the mobbed up manager, a type all to familiar in boxing.

    Kid Galahad is dated, you couldn't have someone today as innocent as Wayne Morris is portrayed on the screen, the film would be laughed at. But those were more innocent times.
  • Warner Bros. mix of gangster grit and boxing sweat has fight manager Edward G. Robinson battling with nemesis Humphrey Bogart over fighters, egos, and money (the only thing they don't argue about is dames!). Matters are complicated by a fresh, innocent rube, a bellhop with a right hook whom Robinson wins the confidence of. Bette Davis is Eddie's right-hand-gal who falls in love with the polite, shy Wayne Morris against her better judgment, while Jane Bryan as Eddie's kid sis wins the boxer's heart after graduating from convent school. Based on a Saturday Evening Post story, this smoky, super-emotional and physical melodrama allows each of its players to shine (except for Bryan, who isn't in the same league as the others). Michael Curtiz directed with skill and speed, though an early boxing sequence is too fast (with the film mechanically speeded up for no apparent reason); other scenes in the ring also look hokey, although these are the only incidents which do. Curtiz is amazingly adept at handling actors, and Davis is girlish and positively charming making sweet and light conversation with Morris, whose aw-shucks smiles at her tell us everything we need to know. Later remade as one of Elvis Presley's better pictures. A big fat hit. ***1/2 from ****
  • Kid Galahad (1937)

    *** (out of 4)

    Edward G. Robinson plays fight promoter Nick Donati who thinks he has found a fighter (Wayne Morris) he can take to the Championship. The only trouble is Nick's hot tempered anger, which gets him in trouble with his girlfriend (Bette Davis) and a gangster (Humphrey Bogart) who he double crosses. Not to mention his anger when the fighter begins to date his sister (Jane Bryan). This drama from Warner plays a little too long but there's no denying the extreme fun it contains due to the three legends appearing together as well as the strong supporting cast. The story is pretty predictable if you've seen any of the 30's boxing pictures but then again the genre had pretty much wore itself out in terms of plot details by the end of the silent era. With that said, the story here of a hot tempered manager makes for some nice drama but the story isn't what's going to bring people to this movie. Seeing Robinson, Davis and Bogart together is where the fun is at and the reason why people will be drawn to this film. It's rather strange that the Elvis remake was more popular than this one for sometime but I'm going to guess that was due to this one not being available for so many decades. Robinson turns in a good performance but it's certainly not among his best. Bogart is a lot of fun in his supporting role as the tough gangster. Davis nearly steals the film and delivers a very good performance as the woman always having to keep Robinson's temperature down. The real surprise comes from Bryan and Morris who are perfect together and steal the show in the end. Film buffs might not find too many original ideas here but that doesn't really matter due to the wonderful cast being held together by the strong direction of Curtiz.
  • Director Michael Curtiz was known for manly films like The Adventures Of Robin Hood, Captain Blood, Angles With Dirty Faces but he also directed women's pictures like Mildred Pierce and the musical Yankee Doodle Dandy. This is the first of six films where Curtiz worked with Humphrey Bogart, his most famous is Casablanca.

    The powerhouse triumvirate of talent almost overpowers the story. Kid Galahad stars Edward G. Robinson who is wonderful as the headstrong fight promoter, Bette Davis provides romantic chemistry as his compassionate girlfriend and Humphrey Bogart (still early in his career) plays a rival boxing manager that uses gangster tactics to get his own way.

    Bette Davis had just returned to Warner Bros. after attempting to walk out on her contract in 1935 when she made Kid Galahad, a hybrid gangster-boxing film in 1937. Although far from the types of vehicles that would make her the studio's top box office star in a few years, it served both her and the studio well. Warner's got her name on the marquee to draw her growing legions of female fans to an otherwise male- oriented film, while she got the chance to appeal to a more masculine audience than usual. The result was a hit for her that would remain a classic boxing flick for decades.

    Francis Wallace's novel, which had been serialized in The Saturday Evening Post, was a natural for Warner Bros. with its mix of boxing action and gangland corruption. The studio had the perfect actor for the role of tough fight manager Nick Donati in Edward G. Robinson, who had been a star there since his triumph in Little Caesar (1931). His gangland rival was a good role for supporting gangster star Humphrey Bogart. And the part of the young bellhop who belts his way to victory when the reigning champ puts the moves on Robinson's girlfriend (Davis), would be ideal for showcasing screen newcomer Wayne Morris. Davis was happy to accept the secondhand role, particularly as she was still waiting for the studio to develop a script for her next big vehicle, Jezebel (1938). She was also eager to work with Robinson, but after one day of shooting, he went to production chief Hal Wallis to demand she be replaced. In his opinion, she was little more than an uncontrolled, although gifted amateur. He would repeat that assessment in his memoirs, arguing that she had left the stage for Hollywood before developing control of her craft. Davis never spoke ill of Robinson, though she observed wryly in later years that he had stopped shooting during a death scene to complain to director Michael Curtiz that she and co-star Jane Bryan were drowning out his final speeches with their sobbing. The stars would never work together again.

    One lasting relationship that came out of the film was between Davis and Irving Rapper, who would direct her biggest hit, Now, Voyager (1942). Rapper had just been hired as the film's dialogue director when, on his first day, he watched Curtiz staging a fight scene between Davis and Robinson. When Davis failed to respond properly to a shove from Robinson, Curtiz yelled, "That's not the way to fight, you damn bum!" Davis asked him to show her what he wanted, so Curtiz took her place in the scene. Robinson didn't want to throw the director around, afraid the larger man would hurt him, but he got into things when Curtiz started playing the scene as a Davis imitation. When Robinson pushed the director, he banged into a table and bounced back, almost knocking over his leading man. Davis got the point and stepped into the scene. But Robinson forgot to adjust the shove for his much lighter leading lady, and she went flying across the stage, landing in Rapper's lap. "My God, who are you?" she asked. When Rapper introduced himself as the film's new dialogue director, she quipped, "Thank God you caught the ball!" The boxing scenes were as real and brutal as any filmed previously. After the scene in which Morris knocks out a boxer in the ring, Curtiz screamed that it looked fake and demanded a re-take. But they had to wait for the actor to regain consciousness; he really was down for the count. When Kid Galahad came out, the author Wallace was so impressed he sent Morris a telegram, "Thank you for bringing our boy over the border of fiction into reality."

    Kid Galahad was a hit with critics and audiences alike, with many of them praising Robinson and Davis for their professionalism and singling out Morris as a bright new talent. Ultimately, the studio would fail to come up with suitable follow-ups for the young actor, who would fade into supporting roles his best being in Stanley Kubrick's Paths Of Glory.

    Many critics also hailed the film as the best boxing picture to date. Please notice the fine character work of actors: Harry Carey as the trainer, Jane Bryan as Robinson's sister, William Haade as the Champ and Joe Cunningham as the reporter.

    Finally when The Mirisch Bros. bought the story as a vehicle for Elvis Presley (with Gig Young and Lola Albright in the other leads), Warner's re-titled Kid Galahad for television prints as The Battling Bellhop to avoid confusion with the Elvis re-make which was now a comedy-musical-boxing-drama.
  • This 1937 boxing film from "Warner Bros," is a well-crafted classic with some good boxing scenes and typically great performances from Edward G. Robinson and Bette Davis. Humphrey Bogart is given the thankless role of that of another gangster but he still adds something to "Kid Galahad." Robinson is a boxing promoter who needs a winner in his stable of prizefighters after he fires his latest protégé. A young bellhop shows some potential and Robinson trains him as the next heavyweight champion, potentially. The path to success is not easy as Robinson tries to avoid the wrath of Bogart and his mob of fellow hoodlums. What also doesn't help, is Robinson having a jealous streak regarding Davis and his being overly protective of his younger sister. Bette Davis is largely written out of the film after 53 minutes but she still makes a valuable contribution. The plot is quite straightforward and the pace is very snappy. The dialogue is pretty good for a film of this kind. It helps if you are a fan of the boxing sport because you will enjoy this film even more. Michael Curtiz displays his brilliance with the direction and keeps any unnecessary subplots out of the narrative. "Kid Galahad" was remade with Humphrey Bogart in "The Wagons Roll at Night," which is vastly inferior. This 1937 film is a classic.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Man, what stylized dialog! Like an old painting it has only grown more precious with time. When somebody asks fight promoter Edward G. Robinson if he really means that threat, he replies, "Say, I mean it PLENTY." Robinson discovers an amateur boxer with a tremendous punch, Wayne Morris, and he and Harry Carey teach Morris more sophisticated techniques like using his left and saving his right until there's an opening.

    Their opposite number is manager Humphrey Bogart, deceptive and frequently particeps criminis. Morris is sort of an innocent pawn and does what Robinson tells him. Morris seems on his way up the title and everything is going well and -- cherchez la femme! Robinson's moll, Bette Davis, falls for the big dumb lug of a fighter, but he's too dumb to realize it. Morris meets Robinson's sister, recently released from the convent for good behavior, and they fall for one another. Robinson is insanely jealous of both. He envies and hates Morris and agrees with Bogart to send Morris into the ring with the wrong instructions, thus losing the title fight.

    It was 1937 and this was Michael Curtiz at the helm. During Morris's rise to fame, we are subject to the banner headlines of half a dozen whirling newspapers with names that never were -- The Cincinnati Beobachter, the Minneapolis Dagbladet, the El Paso Concha, The Lancaster Volkskrant, The Chicago Gazeta Polska, and so on. The headlines leave no doubt about the message. GALAHAD FLOORS MANTICORE IN 2ND!!!! The performances are mostly up to par. Robinson has a chance to display the three personae he showed us in "Little Caesar": the cocky wise guy on the way up, the domineering boss, and the self-doubting hesitant who is unable to shoot his erstwhile partner.

    Bette Davis has never been better or more appealing. Whatever "magnetism" is, Jane Bryan doesn't have it.

    This was Wayne Morris's big break. He's tall, handsome, well-built, naive, and can't act. He had a fine war record. (Kids: that's a reference to World War II. The Allies (us) fought the Axis (them). PS: We won.) After that he appeared occasionally in villainous or wimpish roles, as in "Paths of Glory." Those roles fit the requirements of the Peter Principle. His boxing technique -- and I say this as an expert, having spent at least two, and possibly three, minutes in an amateur ring -- his boxing technique is rudimentary. He's supposed to have a long reach and lead with his left hand, right? So instead of facing his adversary at an angle, like a fencer presenting a smaller target, he stands facing his opponent foursquare, the reach of both hands now equal, throwing away any advantage he might have had.

    There's a surprisingly subtle moment embedded in all the action. Morris and Bryan are in love and spend a night in the city. Morris takes her to hear Bette Davis sing at a nightclub, and Davis, who silently loves Morris, joins them for a moment. Bryan and Davis have never met before. As Davis is about to leave them, Morris asks her to stay longer, but she demurs. Turning to Bryan she says with a polite smile, "You know, don't you?" "Yes." Morris puts down his drink and asks, "Know what?" He's so damned stupid it's all over his head.

    This film was put out by the Warners movie machine and delivers what you'd expect. It rockets along and leads to a satisfactory shoot out which the unambivalently good guys survive so they can live happily ever after. Except for Bette Davis, who wanders off alone into the night, perhaps on strike.
  • Kid Galahad (1937)

    A strong boxing world drama with Bette Davis and Edward G. Robinson? This can hardly go wrong, and it doesn't. It's also directed by the dependable Michael Curtiz, and has a smaller but strong role for Humphrey Bogart. The result if a full blown and rather complex drama going far beyond fixing fights and a boxer's improbable rise to the top.

    Davis in particular blows me away, playing both the sophisticated and wise wife of the great promoter, but also a sweet kid torn by love, a "dizzy fool." Her performance alone makes the movie a gem. I only wish she was in it more. Robinson is his dependable self, the nuanced strong guy with doubts and a big heart. Bogart, for those following him, plays a role he almost got typecast in, the tough guy criminal, and he's really good, if not very well-rounded type.

    Curtiz, of course, gets a different kind of admiration here, making the movie great, avoiding some clichés that were begging to be reused in any boxing story. He even gets the boxer, played with the emotion of a tree stump by Wayne Morris, to hold up his innocent simplicity well enough to fit into the rest of it. The crossed affections of the main characters is more convincing than it needed to be. It's good stuff. Watch how Curtiz, as always, complex scenes with amazing fluidity (an odd but amazing example is the series of scenes after the last fight in the back rooms).

    The one thing I can't judge is how convincing the boxing is, but it looks good to me, and since there is a bit of time spent watching the fighting in the ring this matters. The idea of the "good" fighter unwilling to throw a fight he can win fairly is built up here to the key climax, and Bogart and Robinson clash in the end in classic style. For the adventurous, this was remade in 1962 as an Elvis Presley vehicle. (And a sidebar trivia —the best Elvis movie is the 1970 "King Creole" directed by, yes, Michael Curtiz.)

    But back in 1937 came this feisty, complex, richly envisioned drama around the boxing world of the Great Depression, and it's a terrific one.
  • Edward G Robinson in any movie is a must see for the man loved what he did and he did it for us. Here is another fine flick for him to ply his wares and woo us over into the land of entertainment. Who doesn't like a rag to riches story which is really about the common man and his dreams. Some no-body guy wants to save enough money to buy a farm and in America there are many ways to do this. This movie shares one of them. Heart-strings will be pulled upon as there is not one but two love stories going on here, a real good bad guy, good guy and a hero. Special mention to Humphrey Bogart who doesn't disappoint. Watch the close-ups on his face during the fight matches. When things go well, Bogie gives his best facial and if they go less than well he gives his worse facial expressions. Of course what could be more rousing than a good fight to end the story with? Also notice the stands in the fight scenes. Long has every fight movie had to shoot the upper seats in darkness while some used cardboard cut-outs to fill in those seats. After all, how many extras do you want on payroll? In this movie they even turn on the lights so we can see everything real or not. Imagine going to see this decades ago, 25 cents, popcorn, cold drink and either with your girlfriend or some buddies. Great night out and it still holds! This is entertainment with...
  • I love Hollywood movies on boxing, movies like "Body And Soul", "Golden Boy", "Champion", "The Set-Up", "The Harder They Fall" and here's another classic I remember watching as a kid some 40 years or so ago and so was grateful to watch it again just now.

    For my money, it's an absolute winner, I mean how could it fail with Michael Curtiz directing the likes of Edward G Robinson, Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart in leading parts. Sure there's more than a touch of melodrama about the story, you see Eddie loves Bette but she loves Wayne Morris as the hayseed farmer's boy turned bellhop turned new heavyweight hope but he loves Eddie's fresh out of the convent kid sister Jane Bryan and even after all that is resolved, the movie still doesn't end entirely happily.

    Robinson's great as the not completely straight boxing manager who'll throw over any of his fighters who disobeys his instructions in and out of the ring. He's also over-protective of his pretty kid sister Bryan and is so determined to keep her out of any contact with the fight game he bans any of his fighters from ever meeting her. Eddie's own girl is sometime night-club singer played with verve by a beautifully accoutred Davis, who even gets to sing a song on screen, although thankfully she didn't branch out from there as a vocalist. Then there's Bogart, still playing heavies at this stage in his career, in support as Robinson's menacing, tough-as-nails and twice as crooked rival promoter, plus I really liked Morris and Bryan in their parts, not forgetting Harry Carey as the seen-it-all-before trainer who also acts as Robinson's conscience.

    Sure you could argue every character's a stereotype you've seen in every fight flick from the first bell, but it's done with such panache here that before long, like me you'll let it beat you around the head so much you'll end up enjoying it
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This review will contain information that some may perceive as "spoilers" for both the original KID GALAHAD, from 1937, and the Elvis Presley remake, from 1962. Probably few world reviewers have watched every minute of both of these flicks in the past month, so these comparisons are fresher in my mind than many. Mr. Morris makes a more convincing contender for the world heavyweight boxing championship than Mr. Presley. (Score one for Wayne.) Mr. Morris does not try to sing; what boxer WOULD?! (Score another for Wayne.) Before the Chippendales, the women of America went Ga-Ga over Mr. Morris' version of the Kid. (Score a third for Wayne on originality, as the initial American Sex King.) Mr. Morris' corner men and antagonists were played by Edward G. Robinson and Humphrey Bogart; playing these roles in the remake were Gig Young and David Lewis. (Score 97 for Wayne.) As you can see, there's no danger of a split decision here. Wayne Morris captures the title as the preeminent KID GALAHAD, 100-0!
  • Don't let the poster mislead you, "Kid Galahad" isn't a sport movie. See, in a sport movie, the athlete owes his success to his talent, his guts, strength, passion, heart and all the inspirational stuff; but in "Kid Galahad", the managers are the real fighters. In fact, the film follows a simple pattern, easily verifiable: whatever the manager suggests, it works, either to make the opponent lose or win. Take a scene, a good one by the way, where Bogart tells his champ to whisper some words to Robinson's protégé … although the outcome isn't in his favor, you know he got exactly what he wanted. It's just as if the final result only depended on the manager's aims and motivations, no matter how twisted they are.

    It seems simplistic but this is how it works in Michael Curtiz' "Kid Galahad", a seemingly Cinderella story about a young bellboy who becomes a boxer after demonstrating the value of his punch during an incident. Galahad is the chivalrous nickname to honor his gallantry and also because his real name Guisenberry (he's called Gooseberry by Robinson) wouldn't even sell free newspapers. In fact, the young boxer, who's too idealistic (euphemism for naive) to be believable, is more a bait for his trainer's personal schemes and the journalists who want some juicy events to print on big headlines … and I thought Mickey in "The Fighter" was passive, although Galahad has an excuse: the film isn't a sport film per se, and it might be inferior to "Rocky" but it's still better than "The Fighter"

    "Kid Galahad" isn't a sport film because it's mainly about sport-business, and the rivalry between two businessmen: in one side, Edward G. Robinson as Nick Donati (again, he plays an Italian American in a convincing way, his Italian delivery is molto bene) and in the other, Turkey Morgan, Bogart again as the treacherous villain with a derogatory name. And no matter how thrilling and well-made the boxing matches are, they're never as exciting as watching each of Robinson and Bogie trying to outsmart one another. If sport is a business, business is sport too, with fewer rules naturally… in fact, between Donati and Morgan, it's no holds barred, and let the most tactical win. And going into the depths of their calculations is one of the film's greatest delights.

    Yet as much as I enjoyed the movie, I couldn't overlook how dated it was, but nor for the reasons you'd think. It is not dated because of its sappy and predictable romance between 'Goosebbery', the gentle-giant who falls in love with Donati's sister although no signs of mutual attraction are ever showed. It is not dated because the athlete prefers the bland Marie to a young and charismatic Bette Davis playing Fluff, Donati's girlfriend. It is not dated because of the performance of Wayne Morris as Galahad, although he seems to gain more confidence as the film progresses. It is dated for one simple reason: we know that Bogart is the best actor in the film along with Robinson yet he gets the shortest screen time. Curtiz would (thankfully) amend himself by giving him the lead role of "Casablanca".

    I bet Curtiz would have blamed himself to have given such an ungrateful role to Bogie, or without giving him the chance to add some substance or redeeming qualities to his character. The fact is, because it's Bogart, we tend to root for him, or at least, to put Donati on an equal level of crookedness, which at one point of the film, shows. And by exploiting the more forgettable figure of the boxer without trying to keep a straight focus on the rivalry between Bogie and Robinson, there is a surely wasted opportunity to give more depth to Bogart's character. The film is never more exciting as in the scenes without the boxing champion. And Bogie is so great in playing strong but sensitive characters, it's painful to watch him as a one-dimensional bad guy.

    "Kid Galahad" succeeds in showing how boxing management works, with bookies and journalists as accessories, through the way they are lured into teasing the players' egos, as if the Press itself was only the extension of the ring… that's something not many films, even today, bothered to show and "Kid Galahad" is an eye-opening experience. Take the scene I previously mentioned, when Galahad is told to wear his adversary out without knocking him off, but then Morgan tells his protégé to whisper something about Fluff and he's immediately knocked down, proving that he's ready for a shot at the title, Donati is reluctant but then journalists are used as foils to provoke the match and they play their little game perfectly. The match isn't fixed except the one that goes outside, which ends up being the most important one.

    That documentary aspect of the film is really exciting and works like a great slice of American sports' life before the War. It's also one of the first bits of gangster revisionism movies before the iconic "Angels With Dirty Faces"… Robinson and Cagney will switch to other movie genres, while the eternal outsider, Humphrey Bogart, will stay on the crime drama and embody the most prevalent Post-War genre: film noir, letting him reveal this side of his iconic charisma, and just because it was made before "High Sierra" and "The Maltese Falcon" the film is dated, exciting but dated.

    It's redeemed by the great performances of the trio Robinson, Bogart and Davis, of the entertaining match games and the magnificent insight on sports business and its intricacies between journalism and money issues, which hasn't changed much. Well, I guess, it's not as dated as it seems. Not a heavyweight masterpiece, but a middle weight little gem.
  • The reason I was disappointed is that I'd seen it maybe ten years ago. And loved it. I thought it was superb, gripping, heartbreaking. Maybe that's how it does come across the first time one sees it.

    This time it was pretty routine. Bette Davis, improbably nicknamed Fluff in the movie, is fine. Edward G. Robinson, an excellent actor, does a good job. Wayne Morris is immensely likable.

    Morris plays the title character -- a bellboy discovered by fight-promoter Robinson at a party in a hotel. He has a fresh, innocent quality. He's also believable as a fighter. What happens is sad, though the Jane Bryan part is a little sugary. Not to say I don't like her. She could be an excellent actress.

    Morris went on to play in some very uninspired movies at Warner Brothers soon after this. He sounds like a most admirable human being but he didn't have a lot of charisma on screen. But here, early in his career, he is playing an honorable innocent. And he does a superb job.
  • Who can complain about a movie that pits Edward G. Robinson against Humphrey Bogart, and even throws in a young and surprisingly beautiful Bette Davis for added appeal?

    I guess I can.

    The cliches and stereotypes in "Kid Galahad" were probably cliches and stereotypes even in 1937, but because they still weren't THAT old, they didn't inspire the kind of snickers they do today. The big cliche here is the one about the sweet, mild-mannered innocent whose gentle dreams are achieved through violence. The innocent in this one is played by Wayne Morris. His gentle dream is to own a farm that he hopes to buy with his earnings as a bellhop. Fate intervenes, as it has a way of doing in the movies, and when bellhopping a party for boxing manager Edward G. Robinson, the big lug defends Bette's honor, displaying a mean right hook in doing so. Robinson is no fool and sees potential in the young man. The young man, dubbed Galahad in honor of his chivalry, is no fool either and sees a quicker and more profitable way to achieve his dream by stepping into the boxing ring. Galahad remains an innocent despite the company he keeps, and falls in love with Robinson's kid sister, also an innocent, one who works in a convent (!) These cliches would be revived in 1939's "Golden Boy" in which a young William Holden puts on the gloves to finance his violin lessons. One year later, James Cagney would bash in faces to send his kid brother to music school.

    Ah, contrast: the key to good drama. Well, maybe. Then again, maybe not.

    Galahad is too good to be true and is, therefore, unbelievable. Fortunately, his goody-goody persona, though getting plenty of screen time, is completely swamped by the dynamic presence of Robinson, Davis, and, in a small role, Humphrey Bogart, the terrific trio whose street smart performances keep this story in the gutter and away from that dreary farm Galahad dreams of owning. As long as they're on screen, director Michael Curtiz keeps "Kid Galahad" from becoming too smarmy, which in turn keeps it from becoming more dated than it might otherwise.
  • Don't be fooled by the starry cast! This average Warner Bros. boxing movie just recycles the usual clichés and mostly generates yawns instead of excitement.

    Of course, it's altogether not too bad and the big names get by on pure nostalgia, but the main plot line remains bland and forgettable despite some small touches of interest. The inconsistency of tone is another minus, while the Robinson-Davis liaison certainly has its share of snappy moments.

    But naturally, the pic's still miles ahead of the Elvis remake. Yuck!

    5 out of 10 'fluffy' Bette Davises
  • When bellhop Wayne Morris knocks out a heavyweight contender, boxing promoter Edward G. Robinson dubs him Kid Galahad and decides to make a champion out of him. But when Robinson's girlfriend Bette Davis falls for Morris and Morris falls for Robinson's kid sister Jane Bryan, it causes the promoter to turn against his protégé.

    Good sports drama from Warner Bros. with three big name stars, two of which were still on their way up. Edward G. Robinson's terrific in a role he plays with ease. Bette Davis is likable and sexy in the kind of role she hated playing. Humphrey Bogart plays one of his patented gangster characters. He's always fun. Harry Carey, Sr. is wonderful in a supporting role. First big role for Wayne Morris, who never reached the heights WB groomed him for. He's very likable in an "aww shucks" way. Remade in 1941 as a circus movie, The Wagons Roll At Night, with Bogart tackling the Robinson role. Remade again as an Elvis musical in 1962, probably the most famous of the three. This one's my favorite, though, with all the wonderful flavor WB urban dramas had in the 1930s. Nice boxing scenes and enjoyable characters make it a good one.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I admired Edward G. Robinson's acting when he was in films other than the standard gangster stories. Although this one does have some ties to gangsters (after all the boxing game wasn't any too clean back in the day), several aspects of this film put it a step above most boxing pictures.

    First, this film has heart. Not the gritty heart you might expect in a boxing film (although that is here, too), but the heart one feels seeing Robinson with his mother on the farm. From Florida to New York to White Plains, this film has a broader scope than most from the mid-1930s.

    Second, the fight scenes are relatively realistic. In the big fight toward the end of the film, watch for the rope burns on the hero's back.

    Third, while a cut above most films of the genre, this is still a morality play -- good versus evil.

    Fourth, the acting here is quite good. This is one of Edward G. Robinson's best pictures, from my perspective. He treads the fine line between good brother and son, and slightly dirty fight promoter very well. Despite some dirty dealings, you are able to maintain a liking of his character...until the close of the picture. Bette Davis is very good here, as well. She is treading a fine line as well -- in love with two men, and her depiction of the triangle is quite good. Humphrey Bogart is pretty dapper and quite handsome here, but make no mistake, for this story he's the real bad guy. Wayne Morris -- never high on my list of supporting actors -- plays the boxer who just wants to buy a farm just perfectly. And, he really looks as if he could be a boxer. Though it's not a large part, one of my very favorite character actors is here -- Harry Carey, as the cut man and trainer.

    As the film progresses, it's clear someone is going to die at the climax. Will it be Kid Galahad who dies in the ring? Will it be Edward G. Robinson who has walked the tightrope between honesty and evil? Will it be Humphrey Bogart who is the film's real bad guy.

    The choice of the closing scene is an interesting one.

    This is probably one for the DVD shelf.
  • wkr-5617422 May 2020
    Robinson, Davis, Bogart, Carey...thoroughly enjoyed this movie in the early days of their careers. Especially Davis. Loved her character. As a classic movie fan, this was fun to watch. Even Bogie was pretty!
  • There were two primary reasons for seeing 'Kid Galahad'. One was for the cast, Edward G. Robinson, Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart were three of the all-time greats and seeing them in the same film seemed to be even more irresistible than seeing them individually. The other being that it was directed by Michael Curtiz, who directed two of my favourite films 'Casablanca' and 'The Adventures of Robin Hood'.

    Neither the cast or Curtiz disappoint, and neither does 'Kid Galahad' as an overall film. It is not among the best of all involved, Robinson, Davis and Bogart did do better films and performances and when thinking of classic Curtiz 'Kid Galahad' to me is not quite there but very nearly is. It is still extremely entertaining and handled so cleverly, with everybody involved on never less than good form (top form actually), and is much more than a boxing/sports film (of which it is a fine example of how to do it well). Actually remember the film more for the drama, relationships and insights. It has been often compared to its remakes 'The Wagons Roll at Midnight', which also featured Bogart, and the Elvis Presley musical version from 1962, and of the three this is by quite some way the best.

    'Kid Galahad' may not have one of those stories full of surprises, can understand the predictable criticisms from anybody who have seen similar tropes in films frequently since before seeing the film.

    It also doesn't always have the most refined of production values, mostly they come off well but some occasional hokiness in the fights from being a little over-kinetic.

    Wayne Morris, whose career sadly faded into relative obscurity not long after, however is immensely likeable and easy to engage with in the title role, making the character very rootable. Even better are the three stars 'Kid Galahad' was seen for. Robinson is a very commanding and full of life screen presence, while pre-true stardom Davis and Bogart make every bit as strong impressions. Davis is both alluring and witty, while Bogart is malevolently tough and perhaps at his meanest without overdoing it. Jane Bryan is occasionally on the sugary side but mostly is very charming. A great job is done making the character relationships and conflicts interesting without it getting too over-heated.

    Curtiz directs with no signs of breaking momentum or losing control, while the editing is mostly tight, cohesive and keeps things moving nicely (if at times in need of a slowing down). The story does generally absorb and the fights are excitingly and dynamically choreographed and even if the outcomes are not in doubt there is still a sense of fun and danger. Other than Robinson, Davis and Bogart, a big star here is the script, sharp-witted, taut without any extraneous fat and with intricate insights on manners and morals.

    Overall, extremely entertaining. 8/10 Bethany Cox
  • mmallon44 September 2020
    The plot of Kid Galahad is routine fare in this gangster/sports picture but is executed with the top-notch craftsmanship. With Michael Curtiz directing (complete with one of his trademark shadows) and three cinematic icons carrying the picture, you know you're in safe hands. Kid Galahad is one of the better early attempts to capture boxing in a film, there's no sped-up footage although the fight scenes are quickly edited and the knockout during the titular character's first fight occurs off-screen. It wasn't until Gentleman Jim that cinematic boxing was filmed to a more realistic degree.

    Edward G. Robinson and Humphrey Bogart would play foes a total of five times, with Bogart getting the short end of the stick in four out of five of these pictures. In these pairings Robinson would play the redemptive character while Bogart would be a plain old scumbag. There's a fun rivalry dynamic with the two as competing boxing managers but along with their other pairings, this is by no means a complex role for Bogart. His part as the not so threateningly named Turkey Morgan is a two-dimensional bad guy but with Bogart, it's no less engaging. Likewise, I much prefer this more endearing and playful Bette Davis to high end, sophisticated melodrama Bette Davis she would go onto to portray starting with Jezebel. I also have to ask where the studio trying to make a sex symbol out of Davis in this film? I can't recall another film in which she exposed this much skin.

    Kid Galahad was made three years into the production code and it is interesting to consider how gangster films from this late 30's period would have differed had they been made a few years earlier. The aesthetics are much cleaner than if the movie had come out during the code but more significantly is the film's moral content. Although a gangster picture, Kid Galahad is somewhat of a Middle America morality tale. The film highlights a clear divide between the urban world of the mob and its lavish parties to the innocent and simple world of the countryside. Despite his path in life, Nick (Edward G. Robinson) tries to keep his sister ( a much more wholesome relationship than that featured in Scarface) and mother far away from gangsters (or mugs as he calls them) by housing his mother in the country and sending his sister away to a convent. Even the boy-scout bellhop turned prizefighter (Wayne Morris) desires to become a farmer when he leaves the prizefighting world behind. I suspect much of this stems an effort to disown the gangster lifestyle in favour of a more conservative one to fall in line with the production code.
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