Synopsis by Hal Erickson
84-year-old James Cagney delivered his final performance in the TV movie Terrible Joe Moran. Cagney plays a former boxing champ, now enfeebled and bound to a wheelchair (we see him in his prime via a clip from Cagney's 1932 vehicle Winner Take All). Long estranged from his family, the ex-boxer grudgingly allows his granddaughter (Ellen Barkin) to move in with him and his former trainer (beautifully played by Art Carney). The girl is unfortunately a compulsive thief, carrying on a romance with a petty crook with mob connections. The broken-hearted grandfather agrees to pay off the boy friend's debts so long as his granddaughter leaves and never returns. But Terrible Joe Moran and his chastened grandchild are tearfully reunited in the finale. Critics in 1984 went overboard praising the obviously ailing James Cagney for his bravura performance; only after his death did the truth come out that most of Cagney's dialogue had been dubbed in by an impressionist.
senior-citizen, boxing, champion, handicap, granddaughter, reunion, roommate, thief, debt, trainer