Keep Punching

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  • 1939 drama starring World Champion Henry Armstrong
  • Synopsis:
    At the Lincoln Prep School graduation ceremony, Henry Jackson (Henry Armstrong) is the pride of the community. Although his teachers and girl friend, Fanny Singleton (Francine Everett), want Henry to enter college to become a lawyer, Ed Watson (Lionel Monagas) and Speedy (Canada Lee), who have noticed the young man's athletic prowess in school, want him to go to New York and box. Henry prefers to become a prizefighter, and he persuades his family to support his decision. With Watson as his manager, Henry goes to New York with Fanny and soon becomes a success. Henry is introduced to Hemingway (George Wiltshire), who backs him as he breaks into the big time and helps to arrange a championship bout with Pedro Lopez. As Henry trains with Speedy, he meets an old friend from his hometown, Frank Harrison (Willie Bryant), who has become a corrupt boxing operator. Frank takes Henry to Baron Skinner's (Dooley Wilson) Sunset Club and presents him to his associate, Miss Jerry Jordan (Mae Johnson), whom he calls the "most beautiful girl in New York." Henry also meets an honest friend, "Windy" Butler (Hamtree Harrington), who is now known as "Dynamite." Later, Henry is asked to present an award at the club's beauty contest while Windy wins a prize for his jitterbugging. When Watson learns that Henry is out when he should be quietly preparing for his fight, he argues with Henry and leaves him. Meanwhile, the Jacksons prepare to travel to New York to see Henry's fight with Pedro. Frank, who is betting against Henry, tries to lure him with Jerry, but Henry remains sincere and loyal and tells Jerry about his love for Fanny. Desperate, Frank forces Jerry to put a knockout drug into Henry's drink, but Windy sees the scheme and takes the drug himself to save his friend. At the fight, Watson reappears, but Henry is battered during the early rounds. Jerry, unaware of Windy's action, leaves the stadium and wanders into a church, where she prays for Henry and her own redemption. After overhearing the newspaper boys announce the headline that Henry has won in a knockout, Jerry returns to Frank's apartment to pack her things to leave. Meanwhile, Frank, who has lost all his money betting on Pedro, is killed by angry creditors. Everyone is proud of Henry, and with his family, Fanny and Windy, he returns to Frank's apartment for a party, unaware of what has happened to Windy, who has since recovered from drinking the poison. At the party, Fanny meets Jerry, and although at first she suspects the worst, she is soon relieved when Jerry tells her how lucky she is to have Henry. Fanny and Henry resolve never to be apart, and Henry says that he will probably go back to college.
  • Internet Movie Database link
  • Turner Classic Movies link