Palooka

Here is another ’30s film based on a comic strip, from back in the days when the still called them comic strips rather than graphic novels. Joe Palooka is a farm boy who is strong as an ox but good-hearted. His one claim to fame is that his long-estranged father was a champion prize fighter. One day fight promoter Knobby Walsh (Jimmy Durante)  is driving by the farm with the current heavyweight champ in the car when he has a wreck. Joe somehow winds up punching out the champ, and Knobby convinces him to go into the ring. Palooka is soon near the top, while life in the big city threatens his aw-shucks innocence. While Stuart Erwin plays the title role, the real star is Jimmy Durante, who was still very much in his prime.

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