Keep Punching (1939)

81 mins | Drama | 1939

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HISTORY

According to the onscreen credits, this picture was copyrighted in 1939; however, no information concerning its registration for copyright has been located. Keep Punching marked the film debut of world welterweight champion Henry Armstrong. According to an article in the New York Age , the film was produced in Harlem. According to modern sources, the cast also included Alvin Childress, and the production company was Film Art Studios, ... More Less

According to the onscreen credits, this picture was copyrighted in 1939; however, no information concerning its registration for copyright has been located. Keep Punching marked the film debut of world welterweight champion Henry Armstrong. According to an article in the New York Age , the film was produced in Harlem. According to modern sources, the cast also included Alvin Childress, and the production company was Film Art Studios, Inc. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Hollywood Reporter
5 Dec 39
p. 1.
New York Age
2-Dec-39
---
New York American
2 Dec 1939.
---
The Exhibitor
13 Dec 39
p. 443.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCERS
Prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
MUSIC
Mus score
SOUND
Sd eng
SOURCES
SONGS
"Lazy Moon," music by J. Rosamund Johnson, lyrics by Bob Cole
"Comes Love Again," music and lyrics by Herbert Goodwin
"Lift Every Voice and Sing," music and lyrics by James Weldon and J. Rosamund Johnson.
DETAILS
Premiere Information:
World premiere at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem: 8 December 1939
Physical Properties:
Sound
Blue Seal Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
81
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

At the Lincoln Prep School graduation ceremony, Henry Jackson is the pride of the community. Although his teachers and girl friend, Fanny Singleton, want Henry to enter college to become a lawyer, Ed Watson and Speedy, who have noticed the young man's athletic prowess in school, want him to go to New York and box. Henry prefers to become a prizefighter, and he persuades his family to support his decision. With Watson as his manager, Henry goes to New York with Fanny and soon becomes a success. Henry is introduced to Hemingway, who backs him as he breaks into the big time and helps to arrange a championship bout with Pedro Lopez. As Henry trains with Speedy, he meets an old friend from his hometown, Frank Harrison, who has become a corrupt boxing operator. Frank takes Henry to Baron Skinner's Sunset Club and presents him to his associate, Miss Jerry Jordan, whom he calls the "most beautiful girl in New York." Henry also meets an honest friend, "Windy" Butler, who is now known as "Dynamite." Later, Henry is asked to present an award at the club's beauty contest while Windy wins a prize for his jitterbugging. When Watson learns that Henry is out when he should be quietly preparing for his fight, he argues with Henry and leaves him. Meanwhile, the Jacksons prepare to travel to New York to see Henry's fight with Pedro. Frank, who is betting against Henry, tries to lure him with Jerry, but Henry remains sincere and loyal and tells Jerry about his love for Fanny. Desperate, Frank forces Jerry to put a knockout drug ... +


At the Lincoln Prep School graduation ceremony, Henry Jackson is the pride of the community. Although his teachers and girl friend, Fanny Singleton, want Henry to enter college to become a lawyer, Ed Watson and Speedy, who have noticed the young man's athletic prowess in school, want him to go to New York and box. Henry prefers to become a prizefighter, and he persuades his family to support his decision. With Watson as his manager, Henry goes to New York with Fanny and soon becomes a success. Henry is introduced to Hemingway, who backs him as he breaks into the big time and helps to arrange a championship bout with Pedro Lopez. As Henry trains with Speedy, he meets an old friend from his hometown, Frank Harrison, who has become a corrupt boxing operator. Frank takes Henry to Baron Skinner's Sunset Club and presents him to his associate, Miss Jerry Jordan, whom he calls the "most beautiful girl in New York." Henry also meets an honest friend, "Windy" Butler, who is now known as "Dynamite." Later, Henry is asked to present an award at the club's beauty contest while Windy wins a prize for his jitterbugging. When Watson learns that Henry is out when he should be quietly preparing for his fight, he argues with Henry and leaves him. Meanwhile, the Jacksons prepare to travel to New York to see Henry's fight with Pedro. Frank, who is betting against Henry, tries to lure him with Jerry, but Henry remains sincere and loyal and tells Jerry about his love for Fanny. Desperate, Frank forces Jerry to put a knockout drug into Henry's drink, but Windy sees the scheme and takes the drug himself to save his friend. At the fight, Watson reappears, but Henry is battered during the early rounds. Jerry, unaware of Windy's action, leaves the stadium and wanders into a church, where she prays for Henry and her own redemption. After overhearing the newspaper boys announce the headline that Henry has won in a knockout, Jerry returns to Frank's apartment to pack her things to leave. Meanwhile, Frank, who has lost all his money betting on Pedro, is killed by angry creditors. Everyone is proud of Henry, and with his family, Fanny and Windy, he returns to Frank's apartment for a party, unaware of what has happened to Windy, who has since recovered from drinking the poison. At the party, Fanny meets Jerry, and although at first she suspects the worst, she is soon relieved when Jerry tells her how lucky she is to have Henry. Fanny and Henry resolve never to be apart, and Henry says that he will probably go back to college. +

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.