Series: All Stars w/The Boy Friends

Director: Robert A. McGowan, Lloyd French
Producer: Hal Roach
Dialogue: H.M. Walker
Photography: Len Powers
Editor: Richard C. Currier
Sound: James Greene

Stars: Mickey Daniels, Mary Kornman, Jacqueline Wells, Grady Sutton, Eddie Morgan, Gordon Douglas
Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Released: 05 March 1932
Length: 2 reels
Production No.: S-5
Filming dates: November 16-22, 1931
Rating: 5/10

The Knockout

There's a party atmosphere going on with youngsters dancing to a pianist but not everybody is having fun. Glum-faced Mickey is sitting alone when Mary joins him. Betty observes that poor Mickey is bashful and is afraid to kiss any girl so Mary asks him why. Mickey admits that he is too nervous as he has to observe all the other happy couples around him. The party is then gatecrashed by Slug Mulligan (Gordon Douglas) and his cronies who take exception to Mickey and do their very best to embarrass him in front of the girls by making him talk and act like a baby - even dressing up as one and sucking on a bottle. Alabam and the other guys have taken refuge outside whilst Mickey continues to get humiliated.
The Freshman champ (Fred Kohler Jr) begins making unwanted advances on Mary (you can't blame him really) but she objects and expects for Mickey to defend her. When Mickey sizes up his potential opponent he declares that he has never kissed a girl - or hit a man. So when Mary takes care of one of those, Mickey deals with the second part! (see favourite bit). The champ ends up beaten and bruised and as a result he can no longer compete in the boxing match against Slug Mulligan as scheduled. So Mickey is chosen to take his place. As Mickey prepares for the fight he bumps into (literally) Mulligan in the locker room and the two get into an altercation. Alabam tries to give Mickey some reassurances about his fight which is due up shortly.
Eddie takes a battering in the ring and is brought back to the locker room where Mickey awaits. Mickey decides to quit but is ushered to the ring to take up the fight against Mulligan. Some of the girls have disguised themselves at ringside to show their support for Mickey but it's clear the odds are stacked against him. The referee calls the two competitors together and notices that Mickey is wearing his belt too high and so helps him pull it down, exposing a hot water bottle strapped to his stomach. The water bottle is removed and launched into the crowd as the fight gets under way. Mulligan throws one single punch which brings about Mickey's immediate resignation but Mulligan chases Mickey around the ring instead.
Mulligan begins to get frustrated with Mickey and complains to the referee. Mickey tries to turn the bout into a wrestling contest, jumping on Mulligan's back and getting the lacing from his glove tangled up with his opponent's. This leads to an unexpected shift in Mickey taking advantage by smacking Mulligan in the face several times as the elastic brings them together. But things don't last last as Mulligan gets the upper hand and starts laying Mickey out with a series of right hooks. Mary has seen enough and gives Mickey a kiss when he is flat out on the ropes. This brings him to life and he absolutely destroys Mulligan, relentlessly smashing the living crap out of him, and even offering to take out the referee for good measure. Full of confidence, Mickey calls out the entire audience but nobody takes him up on the offer and it ends in pandemonium when everyone jumps into the ring to bring Mickey under control.

Favourite bit
The two things Mickey has never done are: he has never kissed a girl and he has never hit a man. After Mary grabs him and plants a kiss on him Mickey swings his arm and punches the guy so hard he flies through a door and into a table. I must admit it made me laugh out loud.

Copyrighted March 28, 1932.
The twelfth film in The Boy Friends series.
Released on the same day as Laurel and Hardy's similar-themed Any Old Port!.

My opinion
I know it's only comedy and I know that off-screen they were all probably buddies but I really have a problem with watching the depiction of bullies in films. It makes me uneasy. Still, this is everything you would expect from a Boy Friends film. Not meant to be taken seriously and just plain silly harmless fun. Mary Kornman looks beautiful as always and the boxing bout at the end is a let down and just not believable but it just manages to get by. I would have probably rated this a 4 but that one funny scene with Mary kissing Mickey and him smacking Fred Kohler Jr in the face got it a 5. Average.

Mickey Daniels
Mary Kornman
Jacqueline Wells
Grady Sutton
Eddie Morgan
Gordon Douglas
Slug Mulligan, Sophomore champ
Harry Bernard
Fight referee
Betty Bolen
Fred Kohler Jr.
Freshman champ
Spec O'Donnell
Ringside spectator
Lyle Tayo
Marvin Hatley
Dick Gilbert
Locker room attendant
Helen Foster
Woman at party

UNIDENTIFIED CAST (click image to enlarge)

CREDITS (click image to enlarge)

(click any image to enlarge)

Jesse Brisson (identification of Helen Foster)

This page was last updated on: 09 September 2021