Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Errol Flynn, Alexis Smith, Ward Bond
Director: Raoul Walsh
Heavyweight champ John L. Sullivan boasts he "can lick any man in the world." That was before he fought 21 fateful rounds against challenger James C. Corbett. Errol Flynn portrays dapper Corbett, whose style in and out of ... more »
One of Flynn's Best Performances
James L. | 05/17/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Gentleman Jim features what I think may be the most relaxed performance I have seen Errol Flynn give in a movie. He's seems very comfortable and at home in this somewhat fictious account of the life of boxer James Corbett. Flynn is cocky and charming as usual in this story of how Corbett rose from being a bank teller to world champion. A beautiful and sassy Alexis Smith is along as the love interest, while Alan Hale is his very Irish father, William Frawley his manager, Jack Carson his best buddy, and Ward Bond his biggest rival. Everyone is very good and appears to be having a great time. The boxing sequences are well staged by director Raoul Walsh, and generous doses of humour are found throughout. It teeters on corny at times, but it is all played with such energy and obvious enjoyment, the corny moments can be overlooked. As usual for most Warner Bros biopics, I'm sure it takes many liberties with the truth, but it doesn't matter. The film is very entertaining in its presentation of his life and how boxing evolved."
Flynn At His Best
Dan A. Loschack | Burbank, CA | 05/04/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Errol Flynn is largely forgotten today by the average movie goer which is a shame since he was a genuine superstar of his time. His dazzling good looks and charm combined with a rakish off screen behavior catipulted him to quick success and gave fuel to detractors who claimed there was little talent behind the perfectly chisled facade.
In reality, Flynn was a largely underrated actor shackled to many less than stellar productions by the studio's type casting. His talent for light comedy shows through brilliantly in Gentleman Jim this early forties biopic of Heavyweight Champion James J. Corbett. The movie is factual fluff when it comes to Corbett's personal life, but largely true to history concering his pugilistic efforts. Corbett did fight on barges and in rich sporting clubs to circumvent the public ban on the sport at the end of the nineteenth century.
Flynn's considerable atheticism adds further creedence to his excellent portrayl of the turn of the century fighter. An accomplished amateur boxer in his youth, Fylnn was widely regarded as the best tennis player in Hollywood and his fluid ring movmenents are a welcome relief to the bumbling screen fight efforts of Gable, Tracy and Cagney.
The beautifully understated post fight meeting of the defeated Sullivan, well played by Ward Bond, complimented by a restrained Flynn as his conquerer, is quite touching and serves as further evidence of Flynn's acting skills.
Watching Gentleman Jim is great and entertaining fun and can only make one wish Flynn was given more oppurtunities to display a largely untapped talent."
Rousing boxing movie
F. J. Harvey | Birmingham England | 09/15/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Despite several departures from historical accuracy this biography of world heavyweight champion Gentleman Jim Corbett is enjoyable and colourful entertainment with a performance from Errol Flynn that ranks alongside the liveliest he ever gave.
He is ideally cast as Corbett ,a San Francisco bank clerk ,who defeated John L Sullivan in 1892 ,in New Orleans ,to become world heavyweight champion.Success ,we are told .brought a swollen head ,an over indulgence in liquour and a tendency to braggadocio.This is plain wrong-Corbett was a modest and self effacing man throughout his life ,and it was this which earned him the soubriquet "Gentleman Jim "Raoul Walsh -a splendid action director-directs with typical vigour and keeps thinks moving briskly with the fight scenes in particular being fine,although ,for my taste the scenes of comic relif are too broad and unsubtle.Neither does the love interst tacked on to the movie ,with Alexis Smith's society woman who becomes entangled with Corbett, work too well.The actual Corbett-Sullivan bout is well staged and Flynn accurately catches the man's revolutionary ,scientific pugilistic style.Ignore its departures from the facts and this is enjoyable big studio film making from the golden era of the studio system with a charismatic performance from the star and some solid period detail."
A PRIME FLYNN FLICK.
scotsladdie | 04/07/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The boxing scenes in this excursion from 1942 are well done and excitingly staged; Flynn was the perfect choice to play Corbett, and the actor apparently approached his subject seriously (which wasn't always the case with Flynn!). James J. Corbett was of Irish parentage, twice expelled from school for boyish pranks, married an actress at 19, (later divorced) he was a quick-thinking, bright, brash, confident man with a "gentlemen's demeanor"; Flynn sustained and made believable his characterisation. Ward Bond is first rate as John L. Sullivan and Bill Frawley is great in his role as Billy Delaney. Unfortunately, this film is annoyingly uneven. The writers invented a wholly fictitious and rather unbelievable love interest (how unusual for 1940's Hollywood!) But it doesn't stop there. There are incidents in the film which wander far from authenticity; Corbett's charactured Irish family is accompanied by painful attempts at humour - which, unfortunately, - tend to mar the film. However, despite it's negative aspects, this is a favourite film among Flynn devotees and it was one of Flynn's own personal favourites among his own films."