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The Contender

USA 1944
produced by
Bert Sternbach for PRC
directed by Sam Newfield
starring Buster Crabbe, Arline Judge, Julie Gibson, Donald Mayo, Glenn Strange, Milton Kibbee, Roland Drew, Sam Flint, George Turner, Duke York, Jimmy Aubrey, John L.Cason, James Dime, Jack Raymond, Gene Roth, Jack Bailey, Kit Guard, Ray Henderson, Jack Ingram, Jack Roper, Wally West, Donald Kerr, Buddy Murr, Joel Newfield, Alfred Purcell, Christopher Wren
story by George Wallace Sayre, Jay Doten, screenplay by George Wallace Sayre, Jay Doten, Raymond L.Schrock, music by Albert Glasser

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Gary Farrel (Buster Crabbe) is a poor truck driver who, in order to keep his son Mickey (Donald Mayo) at an expensive military academy, participates in a prizefight, which he wins, which in turn attracts the attention of boxing manager Kip Morgan (Roland Drew), who soon enough makes a star on the way to the championship title out of him. Also, reporter Linda (Arline Judge), who writes many an article in his favour, starts showing interest in him. Soon, Kip and Linda even fix up a fight between Gary and the championship contender Bomber (Duke York) ... but then Gary meets and falls for lovely Rita (Julie Gibson), a regular golddigger, and the two start partying heavily and Gary starts neglecting everything else but her, even his own son (whom he originally started boxing for). Sure, Gary defeats Bomber in the ring - if only just -, but his partying and boozing drives away Rita after a short while, and when he checks, Gary finds out he has thrown all of his money out of the window, even that intended for his boy's tuition. Plus, because of his behaviour out of the ring, he is banned from boxing by the association for a year, hence no shot at the title. Gary keeps on boxing for another association, just to earn a living, but his big days are long over, and he pretty much becomes a fall guy. Still, Kip and Linda haven't given up on him, track him down together with Mickey (who has since been thrown out of military school), and in the end persuade him to mend his ways, which means giving up boxing and marrying Linda ...

Glenn Strange plays Buster Crabbe's sidekick.

 

Routine boxing drama that has essentially nothing new to offer to the genre, but at least the cast is ok, with Buster Crabbe making a good boxer whose success has made him cocky, Arline Judge is fine as his caring girlfriend, and Julie Gibson is convincing as a dame who one really can fall for ...

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
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directed by
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written by
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