Knockout (1941)

71-72 mins | Drama | 29 March 1941

Director:

William Clemens

Producer:

Bryan Foy

Cinematographer:

Ted McCord

Editor:

Doug Gould

Production Designer:

Stanley Fleischer

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

According to a news item in HR , Arthur Kennedy was cast in the lead after the part was turned down by Wayne Morris. Cliff Edward's character is called "Sleepy" in the film, although he is listed as "Pinky" in the onscreen credits. Some modern critics have called Kennedy's portrayal of "Johnny" one of the most realistic boxing performances on film. The plot of this film closely resembles that of the 1934 Warner Bros. film The Personality Kid , starring Pat O'Brien and Glenda Farrell and directed by Alan Crosland (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; ... More Less

According to a news item in HR , Arthur Kennedy was cast in the lead after the part was turned down by Wayne Morris. Cliff Edward's character is called "Sleepy" in the film, although he is listed as "Pinky" in the onscreen credits. Some modern critics have called Kennedy's portrayal of "Johnny" one of the most realistic boxing performances on film. The plot of this film closely resembles that of the 1934 Warner Bros. film The Personality Kid , starring Pat O'Brien and Glenda Farrell and directed by Alan Crosland (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.3429). More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
9 Aug 1941.
---
Daily Variety
29 May 41
p. 3.
Film Daily
11 Jun 41
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Nov 40
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Jan 41
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
29 May 41
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
8 Feb 41
p. 55.
Variety
4 Jun 41
p.15.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Warner Bros.--First National Picture
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dial dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
SOUND
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
DETAILS
Release Date:
29 March 1941
Production Date:
late November--mid December 1940
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
29 March 1941
Copyright Number:
LP10356
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
71-72
Length(in feet):
6,560
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

Shortly after sports promoter Trego buys boxer Johnny Rocket's contract, he learns that Johnny plans to quit the ring after his next fight at the request of his fiancée, Angela Grinnelli. Trego is convinced that Johnny has what it takes to become a champion and when he cannot induce Johnny to change his mind, Trego makes sure that he is unable to find another job. Johnny and Angela marry, and when Angela becomes pregnant, Johnny asks Trego to take him back. One day while Johnny trains, Gloria Van Ness, the daughter of a newspaper publisher and an aspiring sports writer, comes by the gym. Trego introduces her to Johnny, whom he presents as the next big fighter. Gloria is interested in Johnny romantically, but devoted to Angela, he spurns her advances. One night, while Johnny is in the ring, Angela gives birth and the baby dies shortly afterward. Johnny feels guilty, but soon becomes even more dedicated to winning the championship. Before long, Johnny's head is turned by Gloria's interest and Angela leaves him. Then, convinced that he is undefeatable, Johnny fires Trego. In revenge, Trego gives Johnny a drugged mouthpiece and he loses his fight. Because Johnny's poor performance made it appear that he intentionally threw the fight, he is suspended from boxing. Now that he is no longer famous, Gloria drops Johnny, and using an assumed name, Johnny starts fighting in small towns. Eventually he suffers a concussion and is warned that he must never fight again. When Johnny learns that Angela paid his hospital bills, he attempts to see her, but is sent away ... +


Shortly after sports promoter Trego buys boxer Johnny Rocket's contract, he learns that Johnny plans to quit the ring after his next fight at the request of his fiancée, Angela Grinnelli. Trego is convinced that Johnny has what it takes to become a champion and when he cannot induce Johnny to change his mind, Trego makes sure that he is unable to find another job. Johnny and Angela marry, and when Angela becomes pregnant, Johnny asks Trego to take him back. One day while Johnny trains, Gloria Van Ness, the daughter of a newspaper publisher and an aspiring sports writer, comes by the gym. Trego introduces her to Johnny, whom he presents as the next big fighter. Gloria is interested in Johnny romantically, but devoted to Angela, he spurns her advances. One night, while Johnny is in the ring, Angela gives birth and the baby dies shortly afterward. Johnny feels guilty, but soon becomes even more dedicated to winning the championship. Before long, Johnny's head is turned by Gloria's interest and Angela leaves him. Then, convinced that he is undefeatable, Johnny fires Trego. In revenge, Trego gives Johnny a drugged mouthpiece and he loses his fight. Because Johnny's poor performance made it appear that he intentionally threw the fight, he is suspended from boxing. Now that he is no longer famous, Gloria drops Johnny, and using an assumed name, Johnny starts fighting in small towns. Eventually he suffers a concussion and is warned that he must never fight again. When Johnny learns that Angela paid his hospital bills, he attempts to see her, but is sent away by Angela's father. Feeling hopeless, Johnny enters another match. When Angela learns this, she rushes to the ring to stop him, but is too late. Johnny is not badly hurt, however, and now reunited, he and Angela leave for the country, where Johnny has gotten a job on a health farm. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.