Prizefighter Jimmy Dolan accidentally kills a man at a party and escapes. He hides out at a health farm for invalid children and begins to lose his cynicism under the influence of the ...
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Roy Del Ruth
Prizefighter Jimmy Dolan accidentally kills a man at a party and escapes. He hides out at a health farm for invalid children and begins to lose his cynicism under the influence of the children and of Peggy and Mrs. Moore, who run the farm. When a detective recognizes him, Jimmy must decide whether to escape or stay and face his responsibilities to the children. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
Real Good Pre-Code Movie, Much Better Than Its 1939 Remake
1933's The Life of Jimmy Dolan, a fine movie, is a good example of how the Motion Picture Production code of July 1934 changed movies, since, for comparison, you have the 1939 remake, They Made Me a Criminal. The big difference is that the remake turns a tough story into sentimental claptrap, making sure that crime does not pay. Douglas Fairbanks Jr. doesn't get the credit he deserves as a star in the Warner Bros. repertory company, but he looks too skinny and upper class for a champion boxer. John Garfield is better cast for the part, especially with his nervous energy. But the 1933 picture is way more realistic and cynical. In the 1933 version of a boxer's life, everyone has hard times, including John Wayne, who gets carried out after trying to go the distance in a boxing contest between amateurs and a pro fighter. Production Code Administrator Breen wouldn't allow crime to pay at all, liked a white bread world and would have stopped Warner Bros. from re-releasing The Life of Jimmy Dolan. That was not a problem, because of the remake. The better movie about the boxer on the lam is the one made in 1933. Gritty movies like The Life of Jimmy Dolan vanished until after the demise of the Production Code in the early 1960s. What movies Hollywood would have made if not for rigid censorship for over 25 years is an unanswerable question. Warner Bros. pre-code sound movies indicate that older movies made before censorship have dated a lot better than much of the drivel released during the Breen censorship period.
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