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The Champ

4.5 out of 5 stars 128 customer reviews

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(Jul 09, 2002)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Jon Voight plays Billy Flynn, an ex-champion boxer who was KO'd by booze and gambling. When the wealthy, estranged mother of Flynn's young son begins trying to lure the boy away from him, Flynn must return to the ring to provide for his child.

Amazon.com

A young Rick Schroder makes his cute-as-all-get-out film debut in this 1979 tearjerker from director Franco Zeffirelli. Jon Voight plays Billy Flynn, a former champion boxer now given to drinking, gambling, and raising his son T.J. (Schroder, billed here as Ricky) as best he can. The ups and downs of the devoted codependent pair might be enough movie on their own, but soon enough Annie (Faye Dunaway) shows up and displays a strangely protective interest in T.J. Though the plot jumps around too much to quite hold together, The Champ is certainly affecting, and all three leads take the film so earnestly that somehow it works. Voight is believable both as a boxer and as a well-intentioned screwup of a dad, and Schroder is a fine young actor (and irresistibly adorable). Special DVD features include audio commentary from Jon Voight and Rick Schroder and the documentary Behind the Scenes with the Champ. --Ali Davis

Special Features

  • Behind-the-scenes featurette

Product Details

  • Actors: Jon Voight, Faye Dunaway, Ricky Schroder, Jack Warden, Arthur Hill
  • Directors: Franco Zeffirelli
  • Writers: Frances Marion, Walter Newman
  • Producers: Dyson Lovell
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0), French (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: July 9, 2002
  • Run Time: 121 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000648ZW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,858 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Champ" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
"The Champ" is the story of a child caught in a situation that, like a tidal wave, tosses him in places that are at times frightening and places that he does not neccesarily want to go.
It has elements, in that respect, to "E. T." and "A. I.", but unlike those two films, this motion picture is not symbolic--it could really happen to someone. "The Champ" springs from the same well as "A Street Car Named Desire" and "Kramer vs. Kramer", it is the story of people and their passions--and how those ambitions lead them to and away from one another. To specifically review the DVD, I would strongly urge viwers NOT
to overlook the commentary feature, as John Voight and Rick Schroder give great insights to an excellent film. Speaking of Schroder, while Henry Thomas and Haley Joel Osment were and are outstanding child performers, Schroder, because he did it so well and at a younger age, has my greatest admiration. Is five stars enough?
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Format: DVD
The Champ is an astounding motion picture directed by Franco Zeffirelli with outstanding performances by Jon Voight, Faye Dunaway and the unbelievably convincing Ricky Schroder.
The movie is the best intimate melodramatic tearjerker that I have ever seen. One view of this film will leave you with a lump in your throat and teary eyes, the next viewings will just leave you in plain tears. Yes, its that kind of movie that you'd see more than once and still feel engaged.
Jon Voight plays former boxer Billy Flynn who is down on his luck raising his son TJ, played by Schroder, alone after his wife, played by Dunaway, left him and the boy and went on to marry a millionaire after he falls out of his life of boxing, doctor's orders. The movie brings you close to the lives of all three of these characters, you feel their pain, their grief, and their emptiness. Billy has turned to drinking to escape the pain of not being able to return to boxing to support a family. TJ does not know his mother since she left him when he was still an infant, and still sees his deadbeat father as a hero, calling him 'champ'. Faye Dunaway's character can't seem to cope with the fact that her son has grown up believing she is dead and can only take him as a friend after bumping into him at a horserace, the horse that 'champ' bought him was competing in this race. The story begins to unfold when the three characters enter each other's lives again.
What's more beautiful about this movie is its musical score. The music is really another character in the film, and is quite breathtaking.
Highly Recommended
A
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I remember seeing this movie in the theater when I was 16. I still recall that everybody there was crying by the end. I don't think I've seen a performance by a child star that can rival little Ricky Schroder's effort in this film. This was his first acting job and he stole the show with what was easily an Oscar winning performance. This movie is a remake of an older film by the same title made back in the early 1930's; this remake is superior on all counts. Jackie Cooper, then age nine played the role covered here by Schroder, who turned eight, while on the set. Wallace Beerey played the title role done here by Jon Voight. The film is about as perfect as any drama could hope to be because it deals so honestly with very real family issues. Especially the love of a father for his son. The events told in the story could happen to anyone. Perhaps that's why it was such a success in the theaters. Performaces by all the actors were simply fantastic, but again Schroder's will leave you stunned. I've never been able to get through this film without tearing up; as it's unquestionably, one of the most powerfully emotional films ever made.
I highly recommend it to everyone. The DVD has a very honest and insightful audio commentary by both Voight and Schroder. Their comments actually reinforce the picture's true emotional power; and together, they recall special moments that clearly indicate to it's viewers, why this movie will always stand the test of time. You'll see why the Best Picture Oscar should have gone to this film, it earned it in every sense of the word.
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By A Customer on March 16, 2004
Format: DVD
I loved this film from start to finish. I just bought the DVD from Amazon and it played all the way through, no problem. I was a little worried when I ordered it because I read the other customer's reviews and had problems with the DVD being defective. I first saw this film in 1996 when I was 11 when I missed it on TV and I rented it from the video store. I liked the part where the Champ (Jon Voight) gave T.J. (Ricky Schroder) the horse and it touched my heart. The part in scene 17 where Annie (Faye Dunaway) reveals to T.J. that she is his mother is a little disturbing. There is a little foul language in it, but other than that it is a great film for the family.
When you watch this film, don't forget the Kleenex box and this is one of the films that really made me cry. I recommend this film to everyone!
10/10
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Look no further than this movie!
What Haley Joel Osmond was to "The Sixth Sense", Rick Schroder was to "The Champ"... even more so in my opinion. Despite great performances by John Voight and Faye Dunaway, Schroder carries this film. When folks speak of how much a tear-jerker this movie is... I believe they are speaking of little Ricky's performance at the very end.. a scene which will no doubt leave anyone in tears.
This is definitely an "old school" movie... with less action than dialogue. And despite the fact that Schroder's dialogue is a little too sophisticated for an 8 year-old to give realistically, this is a fabulous movie.
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