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W.S. Van Dyke
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Rollo and Lane just happen to be tossed off the train at White Beach where Robert Story -Air ace and writer- is supposed to stop. It is a case of mistaken identity as no one knows what ... See full summary »
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Steve is just a heavy duty bartender when Edwin J. Bennett, known as the Professor, starts training him for the ring. While doing road work, he is almost killed by a speeding car which crashes into a ditch. In the car is Belle Mercer and her driver. Steve takes Belle to a farmhouse and is smitten by her, but she is Willie Ryan's Girl. The fight is a breeze and later, Steve again meets Belle with Willie. That night, Steve and Belle disappear and return married, much to the disappointment of Ryan. Then Steve starts training in ernest and is 19 for 19 in the ring. However, he has an eye for the women and an expanding ego to match. Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
In an interview, Myrna Loy stated that Max Baer carefully watched Primo Carnera's boxing style during the filming and used this information to beat him in their real-life match for the title in March, 1934. See more »
Steve buttons up his sweater, straightens the bottom and puts his hands in his pockets in one shot with the Professor. In the next shot, when he's facing Belle, he buttons the bottom buttons again (before putting his hands in his pockets again). See more »
[Sitting at a nightclub table, Steve Morgan notices gangster Willie Ryan's elderly, sour-faced bodyguard]
I didn't meet you, did I?
That's my "adopted son."
Rather big for his age, isn't he?
Yeah, he follows me around, keeps the flies off me. He's got a good aim with a..."flyswatter."
See more »
I don't think anyone in Hollywood history did so well at playing himself as Max Baer did in this film until Audie Murphy played himself in To Hell and Back. Though his character name was Steve Morgan, believe me this is the genuine Max.
And this is a lot closer than the portrayal of Baer in that otherwise excellent film Cinderella Man that came out this year. Baer had all the tools necessary to have been the greatest heavyweight champion of all. His power punching killed two people in the ring as was graphically demonstrated in Cinderella Man.
But Max was no killer and no bully as Cinderella Man showed. Those deaths deeply affected him and he pulled his punches in many subsequent matches. In addition he was a colorful playboy who just loved the fast nightclub life as he does in The Prizefighter and the Lady.
Myrna Loy and her chauffeur are saved from an auto wreck by Max and his fight manager Walter Huston. They find out later she's the main squeeze of hoodlum Otto Krueger. I won't say more, but there are some of the same plot elements that are found in Broadway Through a Keyhole and Stars Over Broadway in which this same story has the protagonist a singer.
Today's audience might find it a little silly that fighter Max Baer appears in a Broadway review. But that was definitely Max as he sings with a bunch of chorus girls, Lucky Fellow, Lucky Guy.
Myrna Loy, Walter Huston and Otto Krueger all turn in fine performances in their parts. And Max Baer was a natural born performer. After his ring career he had a nightclub act with fellow pugilist and former Light Heavyweight Champion Maxie Rosenbloom. Baer was no longer the physical specimen he was in 1933, but he had great comic timing and also did several movie roles by himself and with Rosenbloom.
He also did a great dramatic part in The Harder They Fall as a stone cold killer of a heavyweight champion, the image that Cinderella Man tried to convey of him.
Also the Twentieth Century Fox film, Footlight Serenade, uses Max Baer as a model for Victor Mature's character.
And as a special treat for you boxing fans, a whole slew of former ring greats are introduced at the climax of the film before Baer fights for the heavyweight champion.
I found the film thoroughly enjoyable and hope TCM shows it more often so the real Max Baer is seen by today's audiences.
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