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Features
The 50 Greatest Sports Movies
We rank the very best sports films

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41

The Champion (1915)

DIRECTOR Charles Chaplin
STARS Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Ernest Van Pelt, Lloyd Bacon, Leo White

Chaplin's short sports comedy is the rags-to-right hooks story of a tramp recruited to be a human punching bag for a powerful pugilist. But before heading in, he stumbles on a horseshoe, which becomes more than just his lucky charm. With his seemingly unbeatable power punch, our hero ends up facing a world champion –and falling for his trainer's daughter. It's all largely an excuse for Chaplin to show off his legendary slapstick skills and rubbery physical abilities while poking fun at sports clichés and underdog stories, but it's still more entertaining than most of the films it skewers.

The Champion
QUICK POLL
Should The Champion be higher or lower on the list?
Higher
Lower

The Stats
THE SPORT
Boxing
THE PLAYER
"The Challenger" (Chaplin)
DOCUMENTARY?
No.
DEFINING MOMENT
The big fight is a master class in Chaplin's ability to mine laughs from any situation. Witness his shaking hands with his bulldog pal as he leaves the dressing room.
KEY TACTICS
Forget tactics - dumb luck and loose limbs are your main advantage in Charlie's world.
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Have your say Agree with the list? Which sports movie would you add to the list? Register or login now to have your say.


Your Comments

1 See Also
Karate Kid, The Waterboy, The foot fist way, Hot rod, Caddy Shack, The mighty ducks, coach carter, blades of glory, mean machine, leatherheads, the ringer, nacho libre, kicking and screaming, baseketball, remember the titans, brians song, don king: only in america, cinderella man, million dollar baby, somebody up there likes me, the boxer, knuckle, bend it like beckham, fever pitch, zidane Read More

Posted on Saturday September 15, 2012, 18:42 by bnicholson50

2 RE: What the Hell!?
l largely an excuse for Chaplin to show off his legendary slapstick skills and rubbery physical abilities while poking fun at sports clichés and underdog stories, but it's still more entertaining than most of the films it skewers. ow exactly does Chaplin, in 1915, skewer films that are very very far from being made and poking fun at sports clichés that do not yet exist? Read More

Posted on Wednesday July 25, 2012, 00:42 by Evil_Bob

3 RE: Rocky - third place
BASEketball should totally be in here. Okay it's not a real sport, but it is a sport movie. And it's funny as shit wise a pretty damn solid list. (Rocky 2-4 should be included as well, but maybe that's being a bit greedy...) Read More

Posted on Tuesday July 24, 2012, 13:55 by Whistler


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