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TCM Puts Up Its Dukes

TCM Puts Up Its Dukes - Along With Its Cagneys, Newmans, De Niros, Stallones and Presleys - in September Salute to Boxing Films

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) delivers a knock-out lineup in September with Hollywood Heavyweights: A Salute to Boxing in Film, a month-long festival featuring Hollywood’s finest in a collection of 41 boxing films. The salute includes the only film about the sport to capture a Best Picture Oscar® - ROCKY (1976, September 30, 12 a.m.) - and the two actors to win Best Actor Oscars® for playing boxers, Robert De Niro, in RAGING BULL (1980, September 2, 2 a.m.), and Wallace Beery, in THE CHAMP (1931, September 21, 8 p.m.). The festival features major bouts with some of Hollywood’s top stars, including James Cagney in THE IRISH IN US (1935, September 14, 8 p.m.), John Garfield in THEY MADE ME A CRIMINAL (1939, September 16, 9:30 p.m.), John Wayne in THE LIFE OF JIMMY DOLAN (1933, September 21, 11 p.m.) and Mickey Rooney in KILLER McCOY (1947, September 30, 10 p.m.). Hollywood Heavyweights airs on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the month, with each all-night marathon starting at 8 p.m.

The festival will also include A Ringside View, a series of short form documentary pieces featuring interviews with boxer and actor Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini; Angelo Dundee, trainer of fifteen World Champion boxers including Muhammed Ali; and Randolph Sugar, editor of Boxing Illustrated and writer of 20 books on the subject.

TCM’s Hollywood Heavyweights captures the full range of boxing pictures. The festival starts with a night of boxing bios September 2, featuring Paul Newman as Rocky Graziano in SOMEBODY UP THERE LIKES ME (1956, 8 p.m.), Errol Flynn as Jim Corbett in GENTLEMAN JIM (1942, 10 p.m.) and Robert De Niro as Jake La Motta in RAGING BULL. Also scheduled is a night of films with real-life boxing champs September 23, including Max Baer and Primo Carnera in THE HARDER THEY FALL (1956, 8 p.m.), which marked Humphrey Bogart’s last screen appearance, and Joe Louis in the black independent hit SPIRIT OF YOUTH (1937, 1:30 a.m.). Other highlights include gangster films set in the world of boxing like THE SET-UP (1949, September 9, 8 p.m.), starring Robert Ryan as a washed up fighter ordered to throw his last bout and a night of boxing noir, including Stanley Kubrick’s second film, KILLERS KISS (1955, September 16, 8 p.m.). There’s even a night of singing and dancing sluggers as Elvis Presley rocks around the ring in KID GALAHAD (1962, September 28, 8 p.m.) and Clark Gable dates musical star Marion Davies in CAIN AND MABEL (1936, 11:30 p.m.).

Boxing has been a mainstay of the movies since the earliest days of silent films, when footage of championship bouts was a hot item in nickelodeons. With the rise of Hollywood, the boxing film became a mainstay of studio production. In addition, boxing films provided a means of toughening up the images of such rising stars as Richard Barthelmess (The Patent Leather Kid - 1928) and Robert Taylor (THE CROWD ROARS - 1938, September 9, 11:30 p.m.). Almost every star stepped into the ring at one time or another. The screen’ s great clowns got mileage out of the sport’s comic possibilities, with everyone from Charles Chaplin (The Champion - 1915) to the Bowery Boys (MR. HEX - 1946, September 14, 2:45 a.m.) taking a swing at knockout laughs. Turner Classic Movies, currently seen in more than 32 million homes, is a 24-hour cable network from Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. TCM presents the greatest motion pictures of all time from the largest film library in the world, the combined Time Warner and Turner film libraries, from the ‘20s through the ‘80s, commercial-free and without interruption. For more information, please visit the TCM website at

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