Born to Fight (November 3, 1936)
Released on November 3, 1936: An honest boxer must contend with a gangster who insists that he throw a fight.
Directed by Charles Hutchison
Written by Peter B. Kyne with screenplay by Joseph O'Donnell and Sascha Baraniey.
The Actors: Frankie Darro ('Babyface' Madison), Kane Richmond (Tom 'Bomber' Brown and Tom Hayes), Jack La Rue (Smoothy Morgan), Frances Grant (Nan Howard), Sheila Bromley (Ada), Monte Collins (Gloomy Gus), Eddie Phillips (Duffy), Fred 'Snowflake' Toones (Snowflake), Allan Cavan (detective), Gino Corrado (Maitre d'hotel), Lester Dorr (party guest), Olin Francis (hobo), Harry Harvey (reporter), Jack Ingram (Morgan's henchman), Donald Kerr (Slim Goodall, broadcaster), Frank McCarroll (gym fighter), Philo McCullough (fight promoter), Charles McMurphy (cop), Bob Perry (referee), Hal Price (heckler).
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This one is for the men, and the gals that like a tough, no-holds-barred fighting man. There is more boxing action in this one than in most boxing movies, and Frankie Darro, usually a brash young murder detective, plays the part of 'Babyface' Madison, a lightweight boxer trained by Tom 'Bomber' Brown, a champion boxer who had to flee New York City after he knocked out a gangster who was trying to get him to fix a fight. Tom hits the road, with the cops after him, and winds up with a band of hobos where he meets Babyface Morgan. He sees some potential in Babyface and trains him to be a fighter. Now Babyface is ready for the big time in New York, where the cops and the gangsters are both on the lookout for him. The fur will fly when the gangsters discover that Bomber Brown is Babyface's trainer, and the fix is in . . . maybe. The poop will hit the fan and everyone nearby will get hit with the suspense surrounding the big fight. It is gangsters against honest boxers, and the outcome will leave you breathless. And if that isn't enough, we get to hear the famous African American bit part actor Fred 'Snowflake' Toons sing a song to get an apple pie, and he has a pretty good voice, if I so say so myself!
The short but athletic Frankie Darro, son of circus performers, acted in his first silent movie at the age of 6, and never looked back. Have you seen 'Forbidden Planet,' MGM's first big budget sci-fi movie, where Leslie Neilsen leads a space rocket to the planet Altair-4, where they meet a scientist and his daughter, and a robot that later became the robot on the 'Lost in Space' television show? Well, Frankie Darro was inside the robot doing all of the walking and arm movements. After his acting career slowed down, he continued in film as a stunt man, thanks to his athletic abilities. His movie carreer started in 1924, and he was in movies and television shows regularly until in 1975 when he played the part of a drunk in "Fugitive Lovers." Mr. Darro suffered a fatal heart attack on Christmas day in 1976 while visiting friends in Huntington Beach, California.