Sunday 2 January 2011

Kid Galahad (The Battling Bellhop) [1937]

Kid Galahad was a pretty standard Warner Bros. movie – only that it wasn’t just a gangster film, rather it was more about the unavoidable presence of mobsters and racketeers in the world of professional boxing. Nonetheless, one must also state that, what should have been an indifferent addition in the oeuvre of the renowned production house, it was a reasonably effective film that does manage to keep one engaged. Edgar G. Robinson stars as Nick Donati, a fight manager, and while hosting a party after losing his prized boxer, he ends up acquainting a goody two-shoes bellhop, takes him under his wing, and converts him into a champion pugilist. And this evidently earns the ire of his counterpart (played well by Humphrey Bogart), a villainous mobster who manages the then-reigning champion. The movie also had Bette Davis as Nick’s mistress who finds herself falling for the young prizefighter. The film’s weakest point was that of the boxer as his character happens to be as two-dimensional as the hapless portrayal of the character. And though Bette Davis’ character had nothing much to offer, Edgar G. Robinson was quite good as a temperamental tough guy with an otherwise imperceptible soft interior. The predictable nature of the plot is saved thanks to the presence of a capable director like Michael Curtiz in the helm, and it must be said that film did have some impressive inside-the-ring boxing sequences.

p.s. Kid Galahad is part of Humphrey Bogart: The Essential Collection, a wonderful boxset release by Warner Bros.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Genre: Drama/Gangster Film/Sports Film
Language: English
Country: US

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