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.
The grandest story of the Naughty "Nineties" becomes the gayest picture of the Fighting "Forties!"
Did You Know?
(Father Burke) and John Loder
(Carlton De Witt) fought on opposite sides of the Easter Rising of 1916: Shields fought with the Irish republicans while Loder was a second lieutenant in the British Army. Furthermore, Loder was the son of General William Lowe, the British officer to whom Pádraig Pearse surrendered on April 29, 1916. Shields had previously played Pearse in The Plough and the Stars
(1936). See more
The night the Corbetts are moving out of their old home to go to the one that Jim had bought for them, the shadow of the boom mic is clearly seen moving along the left wall as they come down the outside steps. See more
[after being kissed by Corbett
Fine way for a gentleman to behave.
James J. Corbett aka Gentleman Jim
Oh, darling, that gentleman stuff never fooled you, did it? I'm no gentleman.
In that case, I'm no lady.
[they kiss again
Auld Lang Syne
Traditional Scottish 17th century music
In the score during the opening credits and in scenes after the Sullivan fight See more