ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Film Review: Kid Galahad

Updated on March 11, 2016
Film Frenzy profile image

Written by: Jason Wheeler, Film Frenzy Senior Writer & Editor.


In 1962, Phil Karlson released Kid Galahad, a remake of the 1937 film of the same name, which itself was based on a 1936 Saturday Evening Post story. Starring Elvis Presley, Gig Young, Lola Albright, Joan Blackman, Charles Bronson, Edward Asner, Roy Roberts, Judson Pratt, Robert Emhardt, Liam Redmond, Ned Glass, Red West, Del West, and Joe Esposito, the film had an unknown box office gross. The film opened at #9 at the box office during its release and was ranked by Variety at #37 on its list of top grossing films of 1962.


Willy Grogan, small-time boxing promoter based in Cream Valley, New York, owns Grogan’s Gaelic Gardens Inn and is also contemptible, in debt and pays little attention to Dolly Fletcher. But when Walter Gulick, who was recently discharged from the army, comes into town with the goal of going into business as a mechanic, Willy’s little sister, Rose, hits it off with Walter, of which Willy disapproves. However, when Walter is in need of work, Willy is persuaded to let him take a shot in the ring under the tutelage of his top trainer, Lew.


Though not one of the better Presley films, Kid Galahad is still pretty interesting. For one, there’s the whole plot which doesn’t have Presley as its protagonist. Rather, the audience is given Willy as a protagonist while Presley’s character is made to be one of the supporting cast. Unfortunately, Willy and his story has the makings of a good film, with his personal conflicts and debt to some pretty shady characters, but his unlikeable demeanor and the way he carries himself pretty much kills the film when it goes back to focus on him. At the same time, Walter doesn’t have much in the way of conflict and is basically moving through the film, from arriving to town to starting a garage to meeting Willy’s sister to getting in the ring with Willy’s fighter, and the only thing that defines him as a character is his good-natured personality and desire to settle down with Rose. The film really failed to deliver when there could have been some really good foils and comparisons to be had. Even the climax, where Walter has to decide whether to take a dive or fight the good fight is neutered, considering the outcome, where Willy approves of Walter and Rose’s relationship, is the only character development the man has in the film. Honestly, the film would have been much better had there been more focus on Walter and his rise as a respectable boxer with Willy in the background.

That being said though, it’s been noted that this film is one of Presley’s better performances. That’s a fair assessment and it’s possible that Presley does give a good performance here because he’s not in the forefront and is more of a supporting character than a main character, making him more at ease and comfortable in his acting. The level of comfort that Presley displays is evident early on, when he arrives in Cream Valley and immediately fixes a man’s vehicle. Though he only really says a couple lines during that scene, it’s really all the audience needs to know to see how at ease he feels with himself. Even Presley’s demeanor and body language during his arrival in town speaks to how he’s feeling in front of the cameras. However, while Presley is able to pull off a notable performance here, Young as Willy is pretty stiff throughout the film. It feels like he can’t seem to get into the vibe of his character which winds up causing the film to just start hobbling along whenever he’s in the center of the action. As for the other supporting cast, Bronson gives a good performance as a trainer who’s taken his fair share of beatings but is ultimately a stand-up guy who takes care of those he’s training.

As for the songs present in the film, they’re pretty good and their presentation here is quite a bit better than the presentation they were given in the previous film. Here, it actually feels like Presley is singing them and not doing a bad job at lip syncing.

As a whole, this is another one of Presley’s films where he’s giving the best performance. However, he can’t carry an entire film alone and it shows.

2 stars for Kid Galahad

the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent WNI's positions, strategies or opinion


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)