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Gentleman Jim (1942)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 1,915 users  
Reviews: 41 user | 21 critic

As bareknuckled boxing enters the modern era, brash extrovert Jim Corbett uses new rules and dazzlingly innovative footwork to rise to the top of the top of the boxing world.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
...
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John Loder ...
...
Minor Watson ...
...
Madeleine Lebeau ...
Anna Held (as Madeleine LeBeau)
...
Harry Watson
Arthur Shields ...
Father Burke
Dorothy Vaughan ...
Ma Corbett
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Storyline

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 protege 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 Gabe Taverney (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The grandest story of the Naughty "Nineties" becomes the gayest picture of the Fighting "Forties!"


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 November 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der freche Kavalier  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In reality, Sullivan had fought Corbett prior to their world championship bout at San Francisco's Olympic Club some years before. See more »

Goofs

In the fight scene at the beginning of the movie, when the police swarm in and begin beating the two fighters with their night sticks, you can clearly see several of them flexing as they are being swung. This is particularly evident with the officer on the left as he repeatedly hits "The Mauler". It's obvious they are made of rubber. See more »

Quotes

James J. Corbett aka Gentleman Jim: I've seen you around San Francisco a few times but from a long distance, of course.
John L. Sullivan: Well, seein' me from a long distance is a smart idea, young fella.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Men Who Made the Movies: Raoul Walsh (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Dear Old Donegal
(uncredited)
Traditional Irish folk song
Sung and Danced by Alan Hale and others
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the best boxing movies ever made
11 November 2007 | by (Wisconsin) – See all my reviews

I consider myself a bit of a connoisseur of boxing movies and as such there is only one thing that prevents me from calling "Gentleman Jim" the best boxing movie ever made. That is the Robert Wise/Paul Newman flick "Somebody Up There Likes Me." That movie might be number 1, but "Gentleman Jim" is a close number 2.

The movie doesn't just chronicle the rise of James J. Corbett, it also shows the sport of boxing at a crucial time of transition. In the late 1800s boxing was moving away from the brutal days of bare-knuckle rules to the more "gentlemanly" days of the gloved, Marquis of Queensbury rules. And the sport was moving away from the days when it was an illegal spectacle and towards a time of acceptance and respectability.

"Gentleman Jim" is not a realistic look at those days. It is romanticized and, yes, even a bit hokey at times. But always delightfully so. Errol Flynn is perfect as the "Gentleman" Jim who really isn't a "gentleman" at all but merely a fast talker from a working class family. Alexis Smith is quite ravishing as the upper class woman with whom he has a love/hate relationship (and we all know it is, of course, love that will win that match in the end).

At the end of "Gentleman Jim" the great John L Sullivan (whose famous line was NOT "I can lick any man in the world" of course...romanticism again) hands over his belt to Corbett. This is truly one of the best scenes in any sports move ever made. Realistic? No. But wonderful. Hey, if you want realism watch "Raging Bull" instead. That is a much more realistic boxing movie. But "Gentleman Jim" is a lot more fun.


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