Champion ★★★½

Almost nothing in this extremely predictable cautionary tale is going to surprise anybody, and none of it is particular penetrating. But it’s still got a grit and texture that’s highly watchable, helped in no small part by the beautiful noir cinematography. It’s also as good an example of the archetypal Kurt Douglas tragic hero—an extremely brash striver suffering from a dearth of compassion on his way to the top. It’s a worthy warm-up for superior entries like “Ace in the Hole” and “The Bad and the Beautiful.”

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