Champion (1949)

In this boxing drama, Kirk Douglas stars as Midge Kelly, a poor, ambitious boy who accidentally learns that he is a "natural" boxer. He wins his early fights with ease and eventually becomes champion of the world. Then rot sets in… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: January 1, 1949
DVD Release Date: April 22, 2013
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Critic Score: 92% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Tom Milne
Time Out

The Set-Up, made the same year, is infinitely superior.

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Steve Crum
Kansas City Kansan

One of the best fight films ever, also one of Kirk's best

Nell Minow
Movie Mom

Brilliant, searing, heartbreaking.

Bosley Crowther
New York Times

Kirk Douglas does a good, aggressive job, with a slight inclination to over-eagerness at times, which might amuse an old fight fan.

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TV Guide

Robson's direction is all action, wasting no time in telling this compelling story, and Carl Foreman's script is sharply observant of the boxing milieu.

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George Perry

The contrasting black and white cinematography perfectly fits the dark mood. The fight sequences are excitingly and realistically staged.

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Emanuel Levy

In his first Oscar nomination in Mark Robson's compelling melodrama, Kirk Douglas gives a ferociously realistic performance as a boxer determined to succeed at all costs.

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Douglas is so perfect in the role that the movie is never less than gripping.

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More reviews for Champion

Flixster Audience Score: 73% Flixster User Reviews
Randy Tippy
The best boxing movie you've never heard of. Kirk Douglas is under the radar but at the top of his game.
Stephen Earnest
"Champion" might seem like a another predictable drama at first glance, but it's more thoughtful and darker than you'd expect, and its… More
John Ballantine
Yeah...I enjoyed Kirk Douglas in many roles but I didn't particularly enjoy his turn as a fighter.
Brian R
Pretty much like watching "Body And Soul". Kirk Douglas is as good as Robert DeNiro was in "Raging Bull". This movie is no different from… More
Danny Rovira
A taut and atmospheric classic that has long been considered one of the best boxing films ever made. It is a stark and gripping character study that concerns… More