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Saturday, August 6, 2022
Prizefighter Andy Purcell was once the heavyweight champion of the world, but now, after years of boozing, his career is on the ropes. With sporadic gambling wins, he ekes out a living for himself and his young son, Dink, perhaps the only person in the world who still has faith in the champ. A run-in with the boy’s well-to-do mother at the racetrack raises the possibility of a different path for Dink, and ultimately leads to a comeback bout that offers Andy a shot at his former glory. Screenwriter Frances Marion penned The Champ with Wallace Beery in mind for the title role, and the movie would earn him an Oscar, but just as notable is Jackie Cooper’s turn as Dink. Cooper brings a charmingly streetwise flair to the performance and, in key moments, an emotional force beyond his years.