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The Iron Major (1943)

Coach Frank Cavanaugh returns to college football after World War I, then gradually goes blind.

Director:

Ray Enright

Writers:

Florence E. Cavanaugh (story), Aben Kandel (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Pat O'Brien ... Francis William 'Frank' / 'Cav' Cavanaugh
Ruth Warrick ... Florence Ayres Cavanaugh
Robert Ryan ... Father Timothy 'Tim' Donovan
Leon Ames ... Robert 'Bob' Stewart
Russell Wade ... Private Manning
Bruce Edwards ... Lieutenant Jones
Richard Martin ... David 'Davie' Cavanaugh
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Storyline

Coach Frank Cavanaugh returns to college football after World War I, then gradually goes blind.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Approved
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 April 1944 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

Capitão Ferro See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A pre-production article in The Hollywood Reporter mentions Jane Wyatt tested for the role of Florence. See more »

Goofs

In the Fordham=NYU game the announcer reports that Fordham scores a touchdown, putting them ahead 13-0. Watching the visual image, however, clearly shows that the player is stopped 3 or 4 yards short of the touchdown, and the crowd does not respond to any touchdown. See more »

Crazy Credits

RKO Pictures wishes to gratefully acknowledge the gracious cooperation of ... and Major Frank Cavanaugh's legion of friends and admirers. See more »

Soundtracks

As the Backs Go Tearing By (Dartmouth Fight Song)
(uncredited)
Composer unknown
Sung a cappella by Dartmouth students
Played by Pat O'Brien on piano and sung by him, Leon Ames, Cyril Ring and Bert Moorhouse
Played by a band at a football game
See more »

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User Reviews

Fair Bio Drama
27 November 2009 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Iron Major, The (1943)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

By the numbers bio pic from RKO features Pat O'Brien in the role of William 'Frank' Cavanaugh, a top football coach who gave up his career to enter WWI where he became a hero. After the war he went back to coaching where he ended up having one of the best winning percentages in football history. There are some nice things about this bio pic but in the end there's just too many familiar items to make it a complete winner. You can also clearly see that RKO didn't have too much money to spend because there's way too much stock footage from either earlier silent movies or just newsreels. This is an extremely big problem when we're watching one of the footballs games and we're suppose to be caught up in what's going on but we're just seeing stock footage with cutaways to O'Brien sitting on the sideline. This certainly takes one out of the action and this also happens during the war scenes. Some of the war scenes contain actual footage and these moments are among the best in the film as O'Brien does a very good job at motivating his men before going into battle. These speeches are also very well handled by the actor in terms of the football talk as he easily films the coach role as he did earlier in COLLEGE COACH and of course KNUTE ROCKNE, ALL American. He's fine in the role as is Ruth Warrick and Robert Ryan in their supporting roles. The film moves along at a pretty good speed but one can't help but feel there's no real direction going on as the film is all over the place in what it's trying to do. At one point it wants to be a football film. The next minutes a complete bio of the man. The next minute it's hyping up the patriotic tone, which is understandable considering what was going on when the movie was originally released. None of the three things really come together and in the end we're left with a movie that offers nothing new to the genre.


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