Because boxing is a considered an illegal and disreputable enterprise in 1880's San Francisco, wealthy and influential members of the prestigious Olympic Club vow to make the sport a "gentlemanly" one. They sponsor a brash, extroverted young bank clerk named Jim Corbett, who quickly becomes an accomplished fighter under the new Marquis of Queensbury Rules. Despite his success, the young Irish-American's social pretensions and boastful manner soon estrange him from his benefactors, who plot to give their conceited former protégé a well-deserved comeuppance. Despite this, his dazzlingly innovative footwork helps him to beat a succession of bigger and stronger men, and he finally finds himself fighting for the world's championship against his childhood idol, John L. Sullivan. Written by
The grandest story of the Naughty "Nineties" becomes the gayest picture of the Fighting "Forties!"
Did You Know?
did all of his own boxing stunts in the film, and although production was shut down for a time after Flynn suffered a mild heart attack, he came back and finished the picture without ever using a double. See more
As the referee counts one of Sullivan's knockdowns, the soundtracks says, "One, two, three, four..." while his lips obviously count, "...four, five, six, seven." See more
We'll take in a few clean-cut boys from good families, and if we can't make you fighters into gentlemen, we'll try to make some gentlemen into fighters.
Referenced in Seven Days in May
Rosen aus dem Süden (Roses from the South), Op. 388
Music by Johann Strauss
Played in the dining room of the Olympic Club
Also played by the band at the ball See more