Winner Take All

  • 1932
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Sports

For his first boxing picture, James Cagney plays Jim Kane, a fighter on the mend in a New Mexico health resort. He's been sent there courtesy of fans' donations, having spent most of his own money on alcohol and women. At the resort, he meets Peggy (Marian Nixon) and her small son, Dickie (Dickie Moore), who are about to be kicked out because she can't...read more

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For his first boxing picture, James Cagney plays Jim Kane, a fighter on the mend in a New Mexico health resort. He's been sent there courtesy of fans' donations, having spent most of his own money on alcohol and women. At the resort, he meets Peggy (Marian Nixon) and her small son,

Dickie (Dickie Moore), who are about to be kicked out because she can't pay her bill. Jim agrees to help out by entering the ring once more, and wins the prize money, but gets his nose smashed for his efforts. Returning to New York City determined to take the town by storm, Jim meets socialite

Joan (Virginia Bruce) and falls for her. He gets his nose fixed to impress her, and takes care to protect his new snooter in the ring, but his skills as a fighter suffer as a result. The fans turn on him, Joan begins to grow bored, and the pug begins to realize that his life has taken a wrong

turn. Though the story is simplistic, this is a strong drama, delivered with gusto by the cast. Cagney is at his best, creating a realistic portrait of a fighter who lets his ego balloon out of proportion. Roy Del Ruth's direction wisely concentrates on the characters, allowing the fine ensemble

to give the drama its power. Cagney, who approached his role with the utmost seriousness and was determined to make his characterization realistic, trained with Harvey Perry, an ex-welterweight who also has a bit part in the film. The sparring sessions paid off, for Cagney's moves look like the

real thing and it's obvious he's in the thick of the fray in both closeups and long shots. Cagney's skills in the film were so impressive that the rumor circulated for some time that the actor was a former prizefighter.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: For his first boxing picture, James Cagney plays Jim Kane, a fighter on the mend in a New Mexico health resort. He's been sent there courtesy of fans' donations, having spent most of his own money on alcohol and women. At the resort, he meets Peggy (Marian… (more)

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