Search This Blog

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Gentleman Jim (1942)

In 1887 San Francisco, a brash young bank teller (Errol Flynn) has higher career and social ambitions and inveigles his way to an invitation to join the prestigious Olympic club. His uncouth and arrogant behavior have the social set resenting him but his athletic prowess sets him on a career as a professional boxer. A highly romanticized version of the life of the world heavyweight boxing champion James L. Corbett, this is nevertheless a grandly entertaining movie. Raoul Walsh's vigorous direction keeps the film lively going from one highlight to the other with very little down time. No one would ever argue that Errol Flynn was a great actor but at his best, he had a likable impudence that was nigh irresistible. His cheeky charm goes along way in making his Corbett attractive. He's well match with the haughtiness of Alexis Smith as a society debutante that provides a nice contrast to Flynn's affability. I could have done without Corbett's Irish brawling family right out of a John Ford movie and just as irritating. With Jack Carson, Alan Hale (hammy as ever), Madeleine LeBeau, Rhys Williams and Ward Bond as John L. Sullivan, whose final scene is quite poignant.

No comments:

Post a Comment