Ex-Champ (1939)

Approved   |    |  Drama


Ex-Champ (1939) Poster

A former prizefighter tries to help his son pay off his gambling debts.


6.7/10
6

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14 September 2012 | nova-63
7
| Likable B Drama
An entertaining little B' drama. Victor McLaglen stars as a retired boxer who now works as a doorman. He is a well liked mug who has a devoted daughter, Joan (Nan Grey) and a snobbish son, Jeff (Donald Briggs). Even though Jeff is soft and looking for the easy life, his father stays loyal. Jeff works as a broker for a big firm and is set to marry the boss' daughter. One problem. The family is high society and Jeff fears his dad's low social standing would nix the marriage. So he pretends he has no family. McLaglen is hurt but sees Jeff's point and lets Jeff have it his way.

Jeff is married but soon he makes a very serious mistake. He "borrows" money from a client and invests in a "sure thing" stock. The "sure thing" loses big and Jeff is short his client's cash and looking at a jail term. His father quickly steps in and decides the only way to make the money Jeff needs is to train a young boxer, Bob Hill (Tom Brown) for a bout against the local champ.

McLaglen's plan is have his boy lose by drugging his fighter's drinking water. He will before hand place a big bet on his opponent to win. It's the only crooked thing he's ever done in his boxing career but his son's needs come first.

McLaglen's pal, Mushy (William Frawley) places the bet, but mistakenly places the bet on Bob Hill to win. Of course, everything works out in the end. Mushy drinks the tainted water meant for Bob. Bob knocks out the champ. And the prize money and gambling money help Jeff from serving a jail term. Jeff, feeling guilty over his treatment of his father, confesses to his wife and her family about his humble upbringing and they prove they aren't so bad by gladly excepting the good hearted McLaglen into the clan.

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