The Champ

Director: King Vidor
Year Released: 1931
Rating: 2.5

Jackie Cooper and father Wallace Beery - an ex-boxer who he calls "Champ" instead of "Dad" or "Pop" - bum around in Tijuana, Cooper sleeping in the gambling halls where "The Champ" spends his nights and together, the two of them living like vagabonds. The boy's real mother enters the picture - her marriage to Beery never worked out and they drifted apart - and she wants her son back (to lead a "proper," less "free" life). Cooper and Beery's attachment to each other is mighty strong, and the tyke outright refuses (his father doesn't disagree). Mushy and melodramatic, its impact will depend on how tolerant you are of manipulative movies.