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Jim Thorpe's Greatest Film Role

7/10
Author: macfilms (macfilms@att.net) from Chicago
27 June 2012

A struggling college football team gets a new star player and unexpectedly wins the Big Game. This doesn't sound like much, but don't be deceived. This two-reel theatrical short from 1932 is significant because it offers famed American Indian athlete Jim Thorpe (Sac and Fox) in his most flattering film role.

Thorpe plays himself as the team's kicking coach. He teaches and demonstrates the proper form for booting drop kicks straight through the goal posts. Thorpe, whom the King of Sweden in 1912 dubbed "the greatest athlete in the world," is free of stereotyping. In fact one of the film's characters lavishes great praise on Thorpe's own football accomplishments while playing for the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in the early teens.

Eugene Palette and James Gleason appear in the principle comedy parts playing characters similar to those that would mark their careers throughout the 1930s and 1940s.

The short is one in a trilogy of two-reel sports-oriented entertainment films from writer Charles Paddock and Educational Films Corporation. The others are "Off His Base"--which featured former major-league baseball player Mike Dolin, plus Jim Thorpe in a smaller role--as well as "A Hockey Hick."

To see "Always Kickin'" online, follow this link: http://jfredmacdonald.com/aifg/playaifg29_alwayskickin.htm

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