Gentleman Jim (1942)

Approved  |   |  Biography, Drama, Romance  |  14 November 1942 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 2,271 users  
Reviews: 47 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.



(screen play), (screen play), 1 more credit »
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Complete credited cast:
Minor Watson ...
Madeleine Lebeau ...
Anna Held (as Madeleine LeBeau)
Arthur Shields ...
Father Burke
Dorothy Vaughan ...
Ma Corbett


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 (

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

14 November 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der freche Kavalier  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Errol Flynn 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 »


Joe Choynski is shown as a big brute. The real Choynski was a middleweight who never weighed over 155 lb., and was much smaller than Corbett. See more »


James J. Corbett aka Gentleman Jim: [Watching his inebriated father's weaving walk home] Here comes Pop! Uh, he's walkin' the tightrope again.
See more »


Referenced in Seven Days in May (1964) See more »


Rosen aus dem Süden (Roses from the South), Op. 388
(1880) (uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss
Played in the dining room of the Olympic Club
Also played by the band at the ball
See more »

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User Reviews

Thoroughly enjoyable
19 April 2005 | by (Cupertino) – See all my reviews

This film enhanced my opinion of Errol Flynn. While Flynn is of course best known for his savoir-faire and sprezzatura (to throw in a couple of high-falutin' European terms!), this film gives him an opportunity to stretch (albeit only slightly) as an actor, as he plays an unabashed social climber with a big ego and a sense of nerve to match. The supporting cast is excellent; everyone seems well-chosen for their roles.

The story moves briskly and, while not particularly profound (it misses, perhaps intentionally, the opportunity to render social commentary on the massively uneven distribution of income during that time), it certainly entertains and satisfies. From what I know of Jim Corbett, the story is also reasonably faithful to history. I also really liked the great depictions of 1880s San Francisco. All in all, there's little not to like about this film...very well worth the time to watch it.

13 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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