The Contender (May 4, 1944)
Released on May 10, 1944: (running time 62 minutes) A truck driver turns professional boxer and the only person that can beat him is a golden-haired gold-digging glamour girl.
Produced by Bert Sternbach
Directed by Sam Newfield
Written by George Wallace Sayre, Jay Doten and Raymond L. Schrock
The Actors: Buster Crabbe (Gary Farrel), Arline Judge (Linda Martin, newspaper reporter), Julie Gibson (Rita Langdon, gold-digger), Donald Mayo (Mickey Farrel), Glenn Strange (Biff Benham), Milton Kibbee ('Pop' Turner, trainer), Roland Drew (Kip Morgan, fight manager), Sam Flint (Major Palmer, head of military school), George Turner (Sparky Callahan), Duke York ('Bomber' Brown), Jimmy Aubrey (dance club drunk), Jack Bailey (second fight ring announcer), John L. Cason (the Koko Kid), James Dime (Stoker Cooley, fighter), Kit Guard (Bomber Brown's second), Jack Hendricks (trainer), Jack Ingram (second reporter), Donald Kerr (first reporter), Buddy Murr (school boy), Joel Newfield (school boy), Alfred Purcell (school boy), Jack Raymond (Bomber's heckler in club), Jack Roper (fighter), Gene Roth (first fight ring announcer), Wally West (reporter), Christopher Wren (school boy)
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The Boxer, The Boy, The Blonde and The Brunette
Clarence Linden ‘Buster’ Crabbe was a swimming athlete. He held 16 world swimming records and 35 U.S. records, along with Olympic Gold medals in both the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam, and the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. Forty athletes from the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics were invited to Hollywood for a screen test, but only Buster Crabbe got a contract.
It didn’t take long before the movie studio created a publicity rivalry between Buster Crabbe and Olympic swimming champion Johnny Weissmuller. In April 1932 Johnny Weissmuller starred in his first Tarzan movie. As soon as it was released, independent producer Sol Lesser began negotiations to purchased the rights for “Tarzan the Fearless” from author Edgar Rice Burroughs. The price was probably higher than it might have been, because Burroughs had promised the lead in this story to his nephew James Pierce, and Sol Lesser wanted this story for Buster Crabbe. “Tarzan the Fearless” was made into a twelve-chapter movie serial, with one chapter playing every week at movie theaters. In addition, the first four chapters were edited into one feature length movie.
In this adventure, Buster Crabbe is a widower with a young son in military school. His truck driving job does not pay enough to keep his son in school, so he enters a company boxing match with a five-hundred-dollar prize. It turns out that he is a natural fighter with a powerful right punch, and it looks like he is headed for fame and fortune. Unfortunately, a blonde gold-digger decides to snare his heart, and our boxing papa decides that having fun with the party-girl is better than training with his boxing manager. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
Arline Judge and Glenn Strange
Arline Judge and Roland Drew
Buster Crabbe and Arline Judge
Buster Crabbe and Donald Mayo
Buster Crabbe and Glenn Strange
Glenn Strange and Buster Crabbe
Glenn Strange, Donald Mayo, Arline Judge
Glenn Strange and Milton Kibbee
Glenn Strange and Milton Kibbee
Julie Gibson and Roland Drew
Milton Kibbee and Buster Crabbe
Milton Kibbee, Glenn Strange, Roland Drew
Milton Kibbee and Glenn Strange
Roland Drew and Buster Crabbe