Gentleman Jim

Gentleman Jim

Director: Raoul Walsh, Errol Flynn, Alexis Smith, Jack Carson

Cast: Raoul Walsh, Errol Flynn, Alexis Smith, Jack Carson

     
 

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Maybe Errol Flynn was never the war hero that he often played, but he was a capable boxer, and Gentleman Jim makes full use of this skill. Flynn stars as Jim Corbett, the 19th-century American pugilist who introduced "scientific" methods to bare-knuckle boxing. Originally an office clerk, Corbett is introduced to the then-illegal sport of fighting when one of

Overview

Maybe Errol Flynn was never the war hero that he often played, but he was a capable boxer, and Gentleman Jim makes full use of this skill. Flynn stars as Jim Corbett, the 19th-century American pugilist who introduced "scientific" methods to bare-knuckle boxing. Originally an office clerk, Corbett is introduced to the then-illegal sport of fighting when one of the bank executives sponsors the young man's training at the Olympic Club. His arrogance wins Corbett a few enemies, including high-born lady Victoria Ware (Alexis Smith), whose dislike turns to casual affection when she realizes that Corbett is a sincere young fellow who can back up his boasts. What "Gentleman Jim" desires most in life is a match with reigning heavyweight champ John L. Sullivan (Ward Bond). Corbett and Sullivan finally meet in a bout governed by those new Marquis of Queensbury rules that Corbett has helped popularize. Twenty-one epoch-making rounds later, Corbett emerges victorious. At the victory celebration, Sullivan and Corbett graciously exchange mutual words of respect and affection. At this point, Corbett has totally won over the lovely Victoria -- but hasn't quite convinced his brawling brothers that "scientific" boxing is the wave of the future, and the film ends with a typical Raoul Walsh-directed battle royal. More faithful to the facts than most Errol Flynn biopics (but still with enough poetic license to drive historical purists up a wall), Gentleman Jim is broad, boisterous entertainment. Though it looks expensive, the film was made under Warner Bros.' standard pinchpenny restrictions; if you look closely at that moored ship where Corbett has one of his first professional fights, you'll notice that it's a leftover set from the 1940 Errol Flynn swashbuckler The Sea Hawk.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
As usual when making a biopic, Hollywood played fast and loose with the facts in Gentleman Jim -- but for once it hardly matters. Jim doesn't get the facts right, but it captures the spirit of the times and presents a title character who is totally captivating. Naturally, the actor playing that part -- the famous Errol Flynn -- deserves a great deal of credit for the success of the film. Rarely have actor and role been so well suited; Flynn fits the part like a glove, boxing or otherwise, and he dominates the film as Corbett dominated the boxing ring. Brash, cocky, and feisty, Flynn is not afraid to let his Corbett border on the boorish; yet he also has an innate classiness and nobility that are essential to the character. Equally important, Flynn has the necessary physical characteristics and the sheer charisma that the role demands. Graceful and agile, yet clearly capable of delivering a devastating left hook, Flynn's work in the fight scenes is glorious. The success of those scenes, and of the film as a whole, must also be shared with director Raoul Walsh, whose work is exemplary. He brings energy and verve to the proceedings, but also takes the time to show the man behind the fighter and the world to which he has allegiance. The screenplay is extremely well structured and packed with verbal sparring that rivals the physical matches. And the supporting cast, from Alexis Smith's marvelously disdainful love interest to Ward Bond's blustery yet sensitive Sullivan, are a delight. Gentleman Jim is a sports film that even non-sports fans should enjoy.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/27/2007
UPC:
0012569796232
Original Release:
1942
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:44:00

Special Features

Warner Night at the Movies 1942 short subjects gallery:; Vintage newsreel; Sports shorts Shoot Yourself Some Golf (with Ronald Reagan and Jane Wyman) and The Right Timing; Classic cartoon Foney Fables; Trailers of Gentleman Jim and 1942's The Male Animal; Audio-only bonus: radio show adaptation with Errol Flynn, Alexis Smith and Ward Bond; Subtitles: English & Español (feature film only)

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Errol Flynn James J. Corbett
Alexis Smith Victoria Ware
Jack Carson Walter Lowrie
Alan Hale Pat Corbett
John Loder Clinton DeWitt
Ward Bond John L. Sullivan
William Frawley Billy Delaney
Minor Watson Buck Ware
Madeleine Le Beau Anna Held
Rhys Williams Harry Watson
Arthur Shields Father Burke
Dorothy Vaughan Ma Corbett
James Flavin George Corbett
Pat Flaherty Harry Corbett
Wallis Clark Judge Geary
Marilyn Phillips Mary Corbett
Art Foster Jack Burke
Edwin Stanley President McInnes
Harry Crocker Charles Crocker
Frank Mayo Gov. Stanford
Fred Kelsey Sutro
Sammy Stein Joe Choynski
Hooper Atchley Man
Monte Blue Actor
Wade Boteler Policeman
Georgia Caine Mrs. Geary
Wade Crosby Manager
William B. Davidson Donovan
Wee Willie Davis Flannagan
Jean del Val Renaud
Lester Dorr Reporter
Mary Gordon Irish Woman
Frank S. Hagney Mug
Carl Harbaugh Smith
William Hopper Actor
Milt Kibbee Actor
Lon McCallister Page Boy
Pat O'Malley Detective
Lee Phelps Actor
Emmett Vogan Stage Manager
Clara Blandick Actor
Mike Mazurki Jake Kilrain
Charles Wilson Gurney

Technical Credits
Raoul Walsh Director
Milo Anderson Costumes/Costume Designer
Robert Buckner Producer
Sidney Hickox Cinematographer
Jack Killifer Editor
Vincent Lawrence Screenwriter
Horace McCoy Screenwriter
Heinz Roemheld Score Composer
Ted Smith Art Director
Perc Westmore Makeup

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Gentleman Jim
1. Credits [1:21]
2. Fight Organizers [6:06]
3. A Raise and an Escort [4:12]
4. The Olympic Club [5:49]
5. New Member [3:10]
6. Lesson in Manners [3:23]
7. Good Drubbing [3:35]
8. Winning Like a Gentleman [6:50]
9. Impertinent Roughneck [2:55]
10. Rule of the Club [3:38]
11. Meet Billy Delaney [4:26]
12. Hand That Shook the Hand [3:11]
13. If You Were My Girl [2:38]
14. Choynski Fight [4:49]
15. The Winner's All Wet [6:03]
16. Gentleman Jim [3:40]
17. What a Ham [3:34]
18. Challenging Sullivan [3:01]
19. Seeing the Joke [4:53]
20. Silent Investor [3:33]
21. Big Fight Preliminaries [3:37]
22. Corbett vs. Sullivan [10:54]
23. Passing of the Belt [5:22]
24. Corbetts at It Again [3:27]

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