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The Personality Kid

(1934 b 68')

En: 5 Ed: 4

A boxer managed by his wife wins several fixed fights and then wins after he agreed to lose.

Dancing and yodeling boxer Ritzy McCarty (Pat O'Brien) wins a fight. He is managed by his wife Joan (Glenda Farrell). Joan wants to get $20,000 to buy a house and then get out of boxing. She gets the promoter Gavin (Robert Gleckler) to accept 35% instead of 50%. Artist Patricia Merrill (Claire Dodd), sitting ringside, smiles at Ritzy. He is knocked out of the ring, and she tells him her phone number. After Ritzy wins again, he calls, and she invites him to a party at the Biltmore. Ritzy shows her his fancy footwork, dancing. She asks him to pose for her, and Joan negotiates a $750 fee. Patricia paints Ritzy in a leopard skin; he kisses her and gets home after 4 a.m. Joan shows him a news story about him and Patricia. Joan finds out he kissed her and slaps him; but they make up.

Ritzy dances with Patricia and tells the reporter Rankin not to write about him and Patricia. She gives Ritzy good-luck dolls and asks him to win in the 5th round, which he does. Ritzy kisses Joan and goes to see if Sullivan is hurt. Sullivan tells Ritzy he let him win and knocks him down to prove it. Ritzy asks Gavin why Sullivan took a dive. Gavin tells him that Joan knew the fights were framed, and she admits it, saying she didn't want him hurt. Ritzy quarrels with Joan and leaves. He is suspended because of the scandal. Patricia tells him she is not in love with him.

On the street Ritzy orders a hamburger. Joan joins him. He tells her he's living in a hotel; but she finds him sleeping at the train station and slips him some cash. Ed offers Ritzy $100 to lose a fight, but Ritzy hits him. In a store window he advertises a healthy lecture on body building. Patricia asks Ritzy about his wife; he hasn't seen Joan for six months. Patricia asks Ritzy to come see her; but when he goes to the address, he finds Joan. She is pregnant. Ritzy goes back to Ed, gets a $5 cash advance and agrees to throw the fight. He takes groceries to Joan.

Before the fight Ritzy calls the hospital maternity ward. Fans boo Ritzy and suspect a fake. He is told to make it look good. After Ritzy is told the baby is a boy, he keeps getting up after being knocked down and then wins the fight. The writer Rankin tells him he's all right. Ritzy tells Ed he couldn't do it, and they beat him up in the alley. Ritzy visits Joan and tells her he is broke. Stephens tells Ritzy he will be paid for the Sullivan fight, and he can put him back in the game. Ritzy hopes to become champion.

Unfortunately the ending gives false hope in a sport that is brutal even when it is not corrupt.

Copyright © 1999 by Sanderson Beck

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