Champion

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This is the original Rocky filmed back in 1949 and in black and white. This is one of my favourite films and I treated myself to it last night after work.

The story follows two brothers heading off on their travels to the promise of a share in a restaurant. Unfortunately when they get there they realise they have been conned and end up being paid dishwashers. They are hard up and take whatever money they can get. Midge Kelly played by Kirk Douglas is used to fighting to get where he wants and he gets the chance to become a. Boxer and grabs it with both fists.

You see him train in an elegant sequence although most of his wins come down to raw ambition and spirit. You see him take on a number fighters as he wills his way to the top. Unfortunately money and success doesn’t make you a better person and boxing was a pretty dirty sport back then. A chance comes to throw a fight, But he just can’t do it. Midge wants the belt and doesn’t care if he puts his life, in danger to get it.

There are a few women by his side but only one he wants, but can’t have. They complicate matters for him and that’s no good. His brother who has always been with him gets left by the wayside as success looms. I can imagine that this character is very much like the true man having been so driven to success having felt the deep punishment of poverty.

The fight scenes scenes are short, raw and ragged. This is real fighting, but this is the story of the man behind the gloves. The end scene is dramatic and I won’t spoil it for you.

I have been a fan of Kirk Douglas since I was a little boy. It’s amazing that he is still around and one of the few golden era actors left. He certainly had passion and motivation which made him a little unpopular in Hollywood and even he admitted to that. You learn a lot however by the age of 99 and he has mellowed somewhat. To bring yourself from his background up to the top sometimes means you have to be singleminded and cut throat.

This is a great film and won an Oscar for cinematography. I think this was down to the fight scenes. Which st
ill stand up today.

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9/10

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