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Joe Palooka, Champ (1946)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama, Sport | 28 May 1946 (USA)
Manager Knobby Walsh discovers young hunk Joe Palooka and trains him to fight the champ. Mobsters try to make life tough for Joe and his socialite girlfriend Anne. Cameos by several boxing stars.


Reginald Le Borg


Cy Endfield (screenplay) (as Cyril Endfield), Albert DePina (screenplay) (as Albert de Pina) | 2 more credits »


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Joe is witness to a mob killing. Two of the killers are after him. He is drugged before the big fight which is watched on TV by his manager Knobby and the thugs who are holding Knobby hostage.

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The third of the Monogram series based on Ham Fisher's "Joe Palooka" comic strip, opens with Knobby Walsh (Leon Errol), the manager of Joe Palooka (Joe Kirkkwood), trying to talk his way ... See full summary »

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The Joe Palooka Story (TV Series 1954)
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Joe Palooka is a mild mannered boxer who is in love with Anne and goes about life in a gentle way. This syndicated series was based on a narrative first popular as a comic book, then a radio show.

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Joe Palooka goes blind during a fight. An operation restores his vision, but he's told not to fight for a year. His trainer Knobby has picked up another fighter, but gangsters are pressing ... See full summary »

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Joe is scheduled for the big fight as usual. This one has more fight sequences than plot.

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Leon Errol ... Knobby Walsh
Joe Kirkwood Jr. ... Joe Palooka
Elyse Knox ... Anne Howe
Eduardo Ciannelli ... Florini
Joe Sawyer ... Lefty
Elisha Cook Jr. ... Eugene
Warren Hymer ... Ira Eyler
Robert Kent ... Ronnie Brewster
Sarah Padden ... Mom Palooka
Joe Louis ... Joe Louis
Sam McDaniel ... Smoky
Eddie Gribbon ... Louie, the Louisiana Lion
Manuel Ángeles Ortiz Manuel Ángeles Ortiz ... Manuel Ortiz (as Manuel Ortiz)
Henry Armstrong Henry Armstrong ... Henry Armstrong
J. Farrell MacDonald ... Long-Count Bowman


In this first entry of the Monogram features based on the comic-strip character created by Ham Fisher (while not the first use of the character on the screen), fight manager and promoter Knobby Walsh trains Al Costa to fight for the heavyweight championship, but gangster Florini, with the help of his henchmen, Lefty and Curly, takes the budding champion away from him. Knobby begins the search for a new fighter by taking four fighters and handler Smoky on a tour of tank towns. He finds Joe Palooka, a natural boxer, in a small town. Anne Howe, a society girl passing through town, helps persuade the shy-and-gentle farm boy to sign a contract with Knobby. Joe wins a string of sensational matches and, while training for the championship match with the recently-crowned champion Costa, Anne invites him to a party where her snobby society friend Ronnie Brewster makes a fool of Joe. The latter's training suffers as a result of this and estrangements from Knobby and Anne, but he rebuffs the ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Leon Errol, Joe Kirkwood, Elyse Knox plus these all-time Kings of the Ring Joe Louis, Henry Armstrong, Jimmy McLarnin, Manuel Ortiz. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Sport


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

28 May 1946 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Joe Palooka, champion See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Monogram Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Followed by Gentleman Joe Palooka (1946) See more »

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User Reviews

Interesting cast in "tried and true" boxing yarn with humorous overtones
12 December 2005 | by bumper-7See all my reviews

"Joe Palooka, Champ" is the first in a series of 11 black and white movies cranked out by Monogram Pictures (from 1946 through 1951) based on comic strip characters created by Ham Fisher.

Producer Hal E. Chester (formerly a "Dead End Kid" in in films) corralled a far better-than-average cast (for a Monogram production ) which included Leon Errol, Elyse Knox, Eduardo Cianelli, Joe Sawyer, Elisha Cook, Jr., Warren Hymer, Robert Kent, Sarah Padden, Dave Willock, J. Farrell McDonald, Phillip Van Zandt, Betty Blythe, Carol Hughes and Jeff Corey! 6'1" blonde haired golfer Joe Kirkwood, Jr. was selected to play Joe Palooka. He essayed an easy-going charm which was quite ingratiating.

Walk-on cameos by boxing greats Joe Louis, Henry Armstrong and Manuel Ortiz provided added allure to veteran director Reginald LeBorg's 70 minute "B" comedy/drama.

The "tried and true" premise of this yarn involved fight manager Knobby Walsh discovering hick Joe Palooka and developing him into a prize-winning contender.

Enjoyable, but immediately forgettable, opener for a popular series from a poverty row studio.

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