Body and Soul

Synopsis: Charley Davis wins an amateur boxing match and is taken on by promoter Quinn. Charley's mother doesn't want him to fight, but when Charley's father is accidentally killed, Charley sets up a fight for money. His career blooms as he wins fight after fight, but soon an unethical promoter named Roberts begins to show an interest in Charley, and Charley finds himself faced with increasingly difficult choices.
Director(s): Robert Rossen
Production: United Artists
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
104 min



Where's he going? The champ must be crazy.

He's got a fight tomorrow night.

- Yeah, I know.

I'll get him.

- Hiya, champ!

- How ya shake, champ?

- Okay, kid.

- It's Charlie Davis!

- Charlie!

- Hello, Ma.

Careful Charlie, you'll cut yourself.

What do you want, Charlie?

Ben died.

- When?

- Today. I had to come down anyway

for the fight tomorrow.

I couldn't sleep, Ma. I thought maybe I...

- Peg is sleeping here, Charlie.

- Oh.

I couldn't stand it up there, Ma.

After they took Ben away.

I couldn't sleep, so I came down.

I had to find a place where I could lie down.

You know, Ma.

You have to find a place...

I didn't mean all those things I said to Peg...You know that.

What's the matter? Don't you want me here?

The butcher was closed, but I got everything else from the grocer.



Go away, Charlie...Go away.

Hey, lay off of that!...I knew him when he was a kid in the poolroom. He used to beat everybody.

What a fighter!

You leaving, champ?

Oh, hello, Champ! She'll be through in a few minutes...

Can I check your coat?

- Hello, champ.

- Bourbon.


Hi, champ.

Hello, sweetie. Quinn's been going nuts. You've been every place in town but here.

Why didn't you come here first, Charlie ?

How does it look, Charlie, the night before the fight...3 a.m. and you loaded?

Come on, Alice, let's go.

Okay, champ.

Just on the nose, Davis.

All fat! Nightclub fat!

Whisky fat! 35-year-old fat!

- Too bad about Ben.

- Yeah.

- You in good shape tonight, Marlowe?

- Great shape.

- Two pounds under Davis.

- Think you're gonna lick him?

- I've licked everybody in the division.

Are you nervous?

Nervous? He's nervous! It took the Boxing Commission two years. It took every sportswriter two years...

- It took me two years to pressure Davis into this fight.

- In what round do you think you're gonna stop him?

I'll stop him in two if his legs hold out.

Look you, lay off the propaganda. Can't you keep this loud mouth shut?

I'm in charge of the muscles, not the brains.

Say...What eye are you using, champ, the good eye or the glass one?

Vince...go see what boxer's on.

That was great publicity, Charlie, smacking Marlowe this afternoon...

- I meant to hit him.

The kid was putting on an act to make it look good.

I could knock that Marlowe on his ear in two rounds.

What's wrong, Charlie ?

The books are all balanced. The bets are in. You bet your purse against yourself.

You gotta be business-like, Charlie...Just because the kid talks a little fresh...

Give me the tape, Quinn.

You still thinking about Ben, Charlie?

Everybody dies.

Ben, Shorty...even you.

- What's the point?

- No point, that's life.

You go in and just box that boy for 15 rounds, Charlie, like we agreed.

Nobody get hurt, nobody get knocked out. You'll lose by a clean decision.

You'll get your money and we're squared away.

You know the way the betting is, Charlie. The numbers are in.

Everything is addition or subtraction. The rest is conversation.

I still think I can knock that Marlowe on his ear in two rounds.

Maybe you could, Charlie. But the smart money is against it.

And you're smart.

It's a deal...It's a deal!

You gotta be business-like, Charlie...And businessmen have to keep their agreements.

15 rounds is a long time, Mr. Roberts.

Make it short then.

Get out of here.

I'm going down the drain...

everything down the drain.

All these years...everything down the drain...All these years...

And now The Iroquois Democratic Club of the 14th AD

has a big surprise for a very lucky young man.

The boy who won his first amateur bout in 1 minute and 12 seconds,

our own neighborhood champ, Charlie Davis!

Quiet, boys! Quiet!

Who's got the privilege of dancing a solo

with Miss Iroquois Democratic Club, 14 AD!

Come on, Charlie...Come on!

Take her around, Charlie, she won't bite you!

You can dance, can't you? Can you walk?

Come on, she's willing, like I am. Go ahead!

He's a ringer, a wrestler!

Now why ain't I young and lucky?

Okay friends, before we get lost in fun,

don't forget to vote for the people's choice, Jack Shelton,

the man who never said no to a friend.

Ever hear of the law of gravity?

- No...what's gravity?

- Sit up straight.

- Well, good night.

- Night.

I win.

Well, you're in better shape.

Depends on the point of view...

Well, good night.

- Aw, it's early yet.

- Why don't you go to a movie?

- Excuse me.

- Certainly.

Is your friend going to wait for you?


My friend...

It don't look good!

- All right, but as soon as your friend leaves, you leave. Promise?

- Promise.

Say...What's your name?


- Still the undefeated champ!

- Amateur!

- Irma?

- Yeah?

Don't you live alone?

- Are you decent?

- Not particularly. Bring him in.

Are you decent?

This is Irma.

She sculpts.

- I make statues.

- Oh.

And this is Charlie Davis, amateur boxing champion of the universe...

as of tonight!

- Really?

Pleased to meet you.

- Well...sit down, champ.

- Thanks.

- Take your coat and shirt off.

- What?

Like to pose for me?

No...sit down.

I've got a longshoreman posing for me now.

A longshoreman?

He's very graceful, too.

Anytime you'd like to be preserved for posterity, champ...

drop in to see me...Good night, champ.

- Peg.

- Irma.

Is she kidding?

- What do you do here?

- I paint.


I go to art school because I want to be a painter.

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Abraham Polonsky

Abraham Lincoln Polonsky (December 5, 1910 – October 26, 1999) was an American film director, screenwriter, essayist and novelist. He won an Academy Award for a screenplay, but in the late 1950s was blacklisted by the Hollywood movie studios, after refusing to testify at congressional hearings of the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 1950s, in the midst of the McCarthy era. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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