The Champ | Chicago Reader

The Champ

Franco Zeffirelli uses exactly two shots in this soggy remake of King Vidor's 1931 film—close and long, and when you see the latter, you know it's only a setup for a punch with the former. The tear-jerking is so determined and persistent that your ducts feel as if they'd been worked over with a catheter. But despite its great length, the film never makes sense of its central relationship, between Jon Voight's washed-up prizefighter and Faye Dunaway's chichi fashion designer. No substance, no sobs; with Ricky Schroder and Jack Warden (1979).

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