GenreDrama CinematographyCarl E. Guthrie CountryUnited States
Release date1948 WriterGeorge Carleton Brown (story), Bernard Girard CastWayne Morris (Chris Thorgenson), Lois Maxwell (Karen Long), Gordon MacRae (Johnny Grant), Mary Stuart (Midge Parker), Anthony Warde (Con Festig), Jimmy Ames (Angel Panzer) Similar moviesLove - Honor and Behave (1938), Whiplash (1948), Where God Left His Shoes (2007), Shannons Rainbow (2009), Love Is the Drug (2006)
TaglineHe kissed his way into trouble... and had to fight his way out!!!
The Big Punch is an American drama boxing film released in 1948. The film was directed by Sherry Shourds and produced by Saul Elkins. It stars Gordon MacRae, Lois Maxwell, Wayne Morris, Mary Stuart and Eddie Dunn. It is considered to be an American film noir, and was MacRae's film debut, after signing a five-year contract with Warner Bros.
Maxwell would become known later as Miss Moneypenny in the James Bond film series.
New York City boxer Johnny Grant (MacRae) has been ordered by his manager to "throw" his next match, but Johnny double-crosses him and knocks out his opponent instead. The manager decides to get even; he kills a police officer and frames the boxer for the murder.
Johnny leaves town and hides out with Chris Thorgenson (Morris), a pastor, in a small Pennsylvania town. Johnny phones his girlfriend, Midge Parker (Stuart), and asks that she hire a private detective to clear his name. Chris helps him get a job at the local bank, but Johnny is blackmailed into robbing the bank. Johnny refuses and plots to run away, but Chris stops him.
A police chief identifies Johnny as the wanted killer. Karen Long (Maxwell) convinces the chief to let them find the real murderer, and she and Chris go to New York to help find him. The real killer is revealed, and now that his name has been cleared, Johnny returns to New York.
The following is a partial list of actors appearing in the film. The movie marked MacRae's film acting debut, after being signed to a five-year contract with Warner Bros. Maxwell would later be cast in the role of Miss Moneypenny in the James Bond franchise from 1962 - 1985, and Stuart went on to appear in the soap operas, Search for Tomorrow (35 years), One Life to Live and Guiding Light.
Wayne Morris - Chris Thorgenson
Lois Maxwell - Karen Long
Gordon MacRae - Johnny Grant
Mary Stuart - Midge Parker
Anthony Warde - Con Festig
Jimmy Ames - Angel Panzer
Marc Logan - Milo Brown
Eddie Dunn - Ed Hardy
Charles Marsh - Sam Bancroft
Dick Walsh - Quarterback
Douglas Kennedy (actor) - Announcer's voice
Joe McTurk - Blinkie
Reviews and reception
Variety said of MacRae's film debut, "He should get along in films, presenting an easy personality and an ability to read lines credibly. He doesn't need vocalizing to sell himself."Leonard Maltin said that the film was a "serviceable melodrama". The Internet Movie Database rates it as 6.6/10, based on user reviews. The Screen Guild Theater broadcast a thirty-minute radio adaptation of the movie on February 3, 1949 (episode 412) with Wayne Morris reprising his film role.