Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Based on Shirl Hendryx' stage play The Last of Jane Austen, the made-for-TV Ladies and the Champ stars Olympia Dukakis and Marion Ross as elderly retirees Sara Stevens and Margaret Smith. Seeking out a way to remain active and useful, the venerable heroines take a street punk named Darold Boyarsky (David DeLuise) under their wing, then train him to be a prizefighter. This is the sort of lighthearted film fare that in an earlier time would have starred Elizabeth Patterson and Jane Darwell as the old ladies, and indeed the script, by Jeff Berry, has the endearing ambience of a 1940s leftover. In many ways, the funniest aspect of the film is the wardrobe, with co-star Dukakis donning a different and more outrageous-looking hat in each successive scene. Ladies and the Champ originally aired as an entry in ABC's Wonderful World of Disney anthology on April 22, 2001.