IMDb > The Life of Jimmy Dolan (1933)
The Life of Jimmy Dolan
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The Life of Jimmy Dolan (1933) More at IMDbPro »

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Bertram Millhauser (based on a play by) &
Beulah Marie Dix (based on a play by) ...
View company contact information for The Life of Jimmy Dolan on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
3 June 1933 (USA) See more »
Prizefighter Jimmy Dolan accidentally kills a man at a party and escapes. He hides out at a health farm... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
A Fugitive from the Boxing Ring See more (14 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Douglas Fairbanks Jr. ... Jimmy

Loretta Young ... Peggy
Aline MacMahon ... Auntie

Guy Kibbee ... Phlaxer

Lyle Talbot ... Doc
Fifi D'Orsay ... Budgie (as Fifi Dorsay)
Harold Huber ... Reggie Newman
Shirley Grey ... Goldie West
George Meeker ... Charles Magee

John Wayne ... Smith
Arthur Hohl ... Herman Malvin
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Edward Arnold ... Inspector Ennis (uncredited)
Joan Barclay ... Well-Wisher (uncredited)
Robert Barrat ... Sheriff (uncredited)
Joseph Belmont ... Bit Role (uncredited)
Don Brodie ... Man on Stairway Giving Directions (uncredited)
George Chandler ... Boxing Handler (uncredited)
Billy Coe ... Fight Timekeeper (uncredited)
Arthur Dekuh ... Louie Primaro (uncredited)
James Donlan ... Man Offering Jimmy a Drink (uncredited)
David Durand ... George Lewis (uncredited)
Adolph Faylauer ... Fight Spectator (uncredited)
Sam Godfrey ... Reporter (uncredited)
Allen 'Farina' Hoskins ... Sam (uncredited)
John Kerns ... Fight Opponent (uncredited)
Mike Lally ... Reporter in Ring (uncredited)
Larry McGrath ... First Referee (uncredited)

Clarence Muse ... Masseur (uncredited)
Bradley Page ... One of Dolan's Backers (uncredited)
Lee Phelps ... Last Fight Ring Announcer (uncredited)

Mickey Rooney ... Freckles (uncredited)
John Sheehan ... Fight Manager (uncredited)
Charles Sherlock ... Reporter in Ring (uncredited)

Anne Shirley ... Mary Lou (uncredited)
Sammy Stein ... King Cobra (uncredited)
Arthur Vinton ... Matt Lenihan (uncredited)
Huey White ... Handler (uncredited)

Directed by
Archie Mayo 
Writing credits
Bertram Millhauser (based on a play by) (as Bertram Milhauser) &
Beulah Marie Dix (based on a play by)

David Boehm (screen play) and
Erwin S. Gelsey (screen play) (as Erwin Gelsey)

Cinematography by
Arthur Edeson (photography)
Film Editing by
Herbert I. Leeds (edited by) (as Bert Levy)
Art Direction by
Robert M. Haas 
Costume Design by
Orry-Kelly (gowns)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Music Department
Leo F. Forbstein .... conductor: Vitaphone Orchestra
Cliff Hess .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Bernhard Kaun .... composer: title music (uncredited)
Bernhard Kaun .... composer: trailer (uncredited)
Other crew
Hal B. Wallis .... supervisor (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
88 min (Turner library print)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Norway:16 (1933) | USA:Approved (PCA #2607-R, 3 September 1936 for re-release) | USA:TV-G (TV rating)

Did You Know?

Aline MacMahon, who played Loretta Young's middle-aged mother in this film, that same year co-starred as a showgirl alongside Ruby Keeler and Joan Blondell in Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933).See more »
Continuity: In the chase scene with Woods and Goldie, one of the police motorcycles has three lights at the beginning, but only two during and after the pursuit.See more »
King Cobra:Then why'd ya come here and fight me for?
Jimmy Dolan:I saw yer picture in the papers, I thought I might like ta be alone with ya.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Version of They Made Me a Criminal (1939)See more »
Beyond the Blue HorizonSee more »


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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
A Fugitive from the Boxing Ring, 26 June 2011
Author: lugonian from Kissimmee, Florida

THE LIFE OF JIMMY DOLAN (Warner Brothers, 1933), directed by Archie L. Mayo, is not so much a life story in a biographical sense as Warners' later production of THE LIFE OF EMILE ZOLA (1937), but one about a boxer, unable to clear himself of a murder charge, hiding from the law. Taken from the play by Bertram Milhauser and Beulah Marie Dix, and starring Douglas Fairbanks Jr. in a role tailor made for contract players as James Cagney or Richard Barthelmess, the movie assigns him opposite Loretta Young for the seventh and final time. Of their frequent pairing during their Warner years (1929-1933), this not only was their most televised on commercial television (notably on WPHL, Channel 17, in Philadelphia, where I first saw this film in 1973-74) but possibly their finest screen collaboration thus far.

With more Fairbanks than Young, the film, lifting the opening underscore from the classic prison drama, I AM A FUGITIVE FROM A CHAIN GANG (1932) for its first half of the opening credits, begins with Jimmy Dolan (Fairbanks Jr.) in the boxing ring winning his fight in the seventh round, earning his title as new world champion. Dolan, with a reputation of living the clean life ("no booze, no women") is next seen in his Riverside Drive New York City apartment drunk with his equally drunken baby-talking girlfriend, Goldie West (Shirley Grey) by his manager, "Doc" Wood (Lyle Talbot), and guests, Budgie (Fifi Dorsay) and Charlie Magee (George Meeker). When Magee turns out to be a reporter with enough information to write against Dolan, Dolan socks Magee as he passes out himself on the couch. With the reporter dead from head injury in the process, "Doc" and Goldie leave Budgie to assume the blame and drive the unconscious Jimmy to his upstate training camp where they leave him at his cottage. Taking both Jimmy's watch and Goldie with him, Doc drives away, leading the couple into a fatal car accident. The next morning, Jimmy awakens to find his name in a newspaper linked to his own death and a murder charge of a reporter. After Herman Malvin (Arthur Hohl), his lawyer friend, takes his savings for attorney's fee and leaving him with $250 to his name, Jimmy, now under the guise of Jack Dougherty, avoids recognition by traveling alone and "afraid." After being chased off a freight train in Salt Lake City's Pleasant Valley, "Jack" walks long distances until stumbling upon a home for crippled children where he's taken in by its founders, Peggy (Loretta Young) and her aunt, Mrs. Moore (Aline MacMahon). As Jimmy finds a newfound life, Detective John Phlazer (Guy Kibbee), known to all as "Screwy" for a long ago incident for unwittingly sending an innocent man to his execution, believes Jimmy Dolan is very much alive. To prove his theory, he takes a month off from the force to locate Jimmy's whereabouts and bring him to justice. Things prove complicated as Jack finds Phlazer closing in on him and not wanting to arouse suspicion on Peggy.

Well done in both boxing and "man on the run" departments, THE LIFE OF JIMMY DOLAN is as entertaining as it is underrated. In fact, it's remake, THEY MADE ME A CRIMINAL (Warners, 1939) starring John Garfield, Gloria Dickson and Claude Rains in the Fairbanks, Young and Kibbee roles, through its frequent TV revivals and availability to home video and DVD, is better known. While Garfield was ideally suited in the role originated by slightly miscast Fairbanks, THE LIFE OF JIMMY DOLAN succeeds through its interesting list of players, especially future film stars in smaller roles as Mickey Rooney, Anne Shirley, Edward Arnold and the legendary John Wayne. Wayne's two brief scenes as Smith, a married man wanting to earn extra money of $500 per round in the ring to "box the ears off" King Cobra (Sammy Stein), comes as a bigger surprise considering how Wayne has appeared in numerous leading roles, particularly westerns, since his initial starring role in THE BIG TRAIL (Fox, 1930). Not actually a special guest appearance, but does come off that way. Fairbanks' performance, on the other hand, ranks a forerunner to the future screen rebels as John Garfield, James Dean or Marlon Brando, one with little or no friends and trusting no one. Considering his association with a crooked manager (Talbot) and lawyer (Hohl) indicates his reasoning. He does, however, find friendship and loyalty amongst the women (Young and MacMahon) and the orphaned children (Rooney, Shirley, David Durand and Allan "Farina" Hoskins) who grow fond of him and goes against his philosophy ("Anyone who does anything for anybody else is a "sucker") by trying to raise $2,000 to keep the ranch from closing.

Aside from the fine chemistry between Fairbanks and the beautiful Loretta Young, Guy Kibbee as the cigar smoking detective wearing thick glasses, comes off second best. Aline MacMahon assumes another wide range of characteristic roles, this time a middle-aged woman speaking with a Scottish accent. Basically a straight dramatic story, there's one amusing moment involving Fairbanks' attempt in milking a cow, a routine right out of vaudeville later handled famously by comedians as The Three Stooges and/or Abbott and Costello. Quite typical for its time using "Beyond the Blue Horizon" underscoring for a the train station sequence.

And so goes the life of Jimmy Dolan. Never distributed to home video, this and other Warner Brothers productons can be seen whenever shown on Turner Classic Movies cable channel. (*** boxing gloves)

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