July is going to be a good month for Robert Taylor films on Turner Classic Movies. There are 6, including two showings of Party Girl. The first is The Crowd Roars, made in 1938. It is showing on Saturday July 7 at 6 a.m. est. Not closed captioned. Although I am not a boxing fan, I love this film.
Boxing doesn’t appeal to me, either for real or on screen so I approached The Crowd Roars with some trepidation. However, boxing is only the excuse for a film on the Depression, on corruption, on poverty and crime. Robert Taylor is superb as Tommy “Killer” McCoy, a young man who enters the ring strictly for the money. He has had the wolf at the door and doesn’t want to see it again. His distaste for being a “pug” and his longing for respectability come into play as he meets Maureen O’Sullivan and gets a glimpse of how “the other half” live. The fight scenes are exciting and vivid but not glamorized. A scene in the gym introduces a cast of brain-damaged pugs as Taylor prepares for his first big fight. The cinematography is excellent as is the lighting. There are no bad performances. Frank Morgan is the drunken father, Maureen O’Sullivan is the love interest, Edward Arnold the gangster, Lionel Stander the trainer. Jane Wyman has a small but pivotal role as a southern airhead. Highly recommended. Review by me for the Imdb.
Some behind the scenes photos:
Left to right: unknown; Gene Reynolds, Robert Taylor; Frank Morgan, Mr. Taylor, Lionel Stander; Frank Morgan, Mr.Taylor, Edward Arnold
Left to right: Robert Taylor, unknown; unknown, Margaret Sullavan, Mr. Taylor; Richard Thorpe, Mr. Taylor