The Milky Way

Leo McCarey | 1936 | ★★★½
Harold Lloyd stars in this charming, unpredictable, and oft hilarious pugilistic comedy as a barely competent milkman who is conned in to becoming a boxer by an unscrupulous manager (Adolphe Menjou) – aided by his hired muscle (the scene-stealing Lionel Stander) – after he publicly humiliates the world middleweight champion Speed McFarland (William Gargan) with his remarkable ducking skills (honed over a lifetime of being bullied). The delightful Helen Mack plays his sister, who falls for said fallen champine, and in so doing complicates all of their relationships considerably. Complicating matters further is love interest Dorothy Wilson, whose attentions begin to wane as the unlikely fighter becomes ever cockier with his unexpected and, indeed, unearned success, which comes about after he wins a series of fights thrown in order to set up a big-money showdown with McFarland. Recommended.