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‘Gentleman Jim’ a ‘Knockout’: Stars Errol Flynn, Alexis Smith
“GENTLEMAN JIM;” directed by Raoul Walsh; screen play by Vincent Lawrence and Horace McCoy; based upon the life of James J. Corbett ; presented by Warner Bros. at the Strand Theatre with the following cast:
James J. Corbett...0.....Errol Flynn Witctoria t Wares sce ee Alexis Smith Walter Lowrie .. ...Jack Carson Pat Corbett... ...Alan Hale
Clinton DeWitt.2) 2) John Loder
Delaney : illiam Frawley Buck Ware......... Minor Watson John L. Sullivan... Ward Bond Anna Held................ .Madeleine LeBeau
Harry Watson. Father Burke... Ma Corbett....... George Corbet Harry Corbett.. Judge Geary...... Mary Corbett... Jack Burke.................... President McInnes Colis Huntington... yent Charles Crocker ....................... Harry Crocker Governor Stanford.........................
Pao Rhys Williams Arthur Shields .Dorothy Vaughan
wf s Flavin
Art Foster Edwin Stanley
Translated into ring jargon, “Gentleman Jim” is a knockout.
Packing all the excitement of the 1880’s and the color of the Gay Nineties, the current Warner Bros. picture at the Strand Theatre is an action account of the life of James J. Corbett who somehow typifies the period in which he became heavyweight champion of the world. Especially worthy of mention is the thrilling climax of the picture in which Corbett wins. the crown from John L. Sullivan in the New Orleans bout which has become a classic in the annals of sports history.
Raoul Walsh, ace director of
action pictures, has handled “Gentleman Jim” with the same skill that he gave “High Sierra,” “They Died With Their Boots On” and “Desperate Journey.” Errol Flynn, as Corbett, and Alexis Smith, as a belle of the times, turn in experformances. Similar vein the support@ cast, headed by Jack Carsee 58 ~“S0rbett’s best friend; Aian who plays Pat Corbett, 's colorful dad; John Loder, a suitor for the hand of Alexis Smith; Ward Bond as the redoubtable John L. Sullivan; William Frawley, who plays Billy Delaney, Corbett’s first trainer and manager, follow the example set by the stars, showing the kind of work that can only enhance their screen careers.
The story of “Gentleman Jim” opens in the San Francisco of the 1880’s where box
a ah Ne hl
Still G] 84; Mat 211—30c
Alexis Smith and Errol Flynn are co-starred in the Strand Theatre's next attraction, “Gentleman Jim,” Warner Bros.’ picture about the life of James J. Corbett. It opens its engagement on Friday.
ing matches were banned by law but heartily approved—and attended—by the people. James J. Corbett, ambitious San Francisco bank clerk, and Walter Lowrie (Jack Carson), his friend, were two of the ring’s staunchest supporters. Through Vickie Ware (Alexis Smith), Corbett crashes the exclusive Olympic Club and here engages in his first boxing match, an exhibition bout put on by the club, in which he knocks out a former English champion. In the dance following the fight, the boastful Corbett and slightly intoxicated Lowrie are ejected from the club. The next morning finds them in Salt Lake City with Corbett under contract as a
A series of spectacular victories over leading fighters of the time allows Corbett to challenge John L. Sullivan and in the famed September 7, 1892, bout he wins the heavyweight crown. Corbett’s sportsmanlike treatment of Sullivan in a heart-stirring scene in the picture wins Vickie’s heart.
In the telling the story loses all the color and movement that makes it so powerful on the screen. Director Walsh, take a bow!
In the reading, this sounds like a rave review, written by a Hollywood press agent, but it really isn’t. It’s just that “Gentleman Jim” is that good a motion picture.
Stop Us If—
Alexis Smith, currently starring in the Warner Bros. picture “Gentleman Jim” at the Strand Theatre, swears she saw it happen. A woman in a grocery store was paying for her purchases, which included a two-pound sack of sugar, duly pre
senting her ration book. “I
wish,” she said, “I didn’t have to buy this sugar. None of us use it—and the house is overflowing with sugar. But I suppose this is one of the sacrifices we must make for the war!” The astonished clerk told her purchase wasn’t compulsory.
Clock-watcher And Paid for It!
Billy Coe is a little wisp of a man who became famous by watching clocks. Contrary to what all the maxims and copybooks say, Billy has watched clocks for years and been paid for it.
Coe is the official timekeeper for the fights at the Olympic stadium in Los Angeles and the Hollywood Legion stadium. He’s been clocking the bouts for years and estimates that he has held the watch on pretty close to 30,000 ring engagements.
If all those fights averaged just five rounds each, you'll see that Billy has been watching his trusty clock some 450,000 minutes. That figures up to 7500 hours or almost a solid year.
Billy and his watch are now in pictures. They are seen in Warner Bros.’ “Gentleman Jim,” now at the Strand Theatre. Errol Flynn plays the life of James J. Corbett, the San Francisco bank clerk who became heavyweight champion of the world.
Five different boxing matches —including those with John L. Sullivan, Jake Kilrain, Joe Choynski, Jack Burke and Eddie Miller—are shown in the film and Billy is clocking them all.
Coe started holding the watch on fights back in 1909. Before that he was something of a boxer himself, holding the Southern California and Pacific Coast amateur featherweight titles. When Corbett came to Hollywood some years ago to make a motion picture, Billy sparred with him.
Corbett a Hit On Stage, Too
For one reason or another a lot of fighters have tried to imitate actors. Old timers like John L. Sullivan, “Gentleman Jim”
Still GJ 508; Mat 104—ISc JACK CARSON
Corbett and James J. Jeffries shook resin dust off their shoes, spread grease paint on their faces and alarmed the citizens of various communities throughout the land by bulging their muscles in the glare of a spotlight.
More recently such undeniable behemoths as Jack Dempsey, Gene Tunney, Georges Carpentier, Max Baer, Primo Carnera and even Joe Louis have taken up histrionics in a minor way by making motion pictures.
One of the be-mitted gents, however, managed to make a real success of himself behind the footlights. That would be James J. Corbett, who, after relinquishing the crown, appeared in many, many vaudeville acts, legitimate productions and the like, and even put ’em in the aisles over in far-off Australia.
As redoubtable an expert as Lionel Barrymore has_ been quoted as saying that Corbett was one fighter who could, and did, get by in the theatre on something more than the glamour of the heavyweight crown. “Gentleman Jim” had _ ability and a great personality.
The Warner Bros. filmization of Corbett’s life story, “Gentleman Jim,” opens Friday at the Strand Theatre. Errol Flynn is cast as Corbett while Alexis Smith is co-starred opposite him. Jack Carson and Alan Hale head the supporting cast.
Wants ‘Boxing Hall of Fame’
Creation of a “Boxing Hall of Fame” similar to the ‘Baseball Hall of Fame” at Cooperstown, N. Y., has been suggested
Still AH 37; Mat 105—lSc ALAN HALE
by Alan. Hale, the Warner Bros. star who is currently appearing in the Strand Theatre’s attraction, “Gentleman Jim,” the story of James J. Corbett, heavyweight champion of the world. Errol Flynn plays the role of Corbett.
“Baseball has its shrine for its immortal heroes,” said Hale, “and there seems to be no reason why the sport of boxing should not honor its outstanding champions in a similar way.”
Hale suggested that the site of such an establishment might be either New Orleans or San Francisco. It was in New Orleans that Corbett wrested the crown from John L. Sullivan on September 7, 1892 — just 50 years ago — in a bout that marked the first heavy title to be decided under the Marquis of Queensberry rules. Corbett was from San Francisco.
“Someone like James Farley, former Postmaster General, or Jimmy Walker, ex-New York mayor, both of whom long have been identified with boxing, or some similar authority, might head a committee to create and establish a shrine for boxing.
“Tt could contain such objects as gloves worn in championship fights, complete and elaborate records of champions at various weights, photographs of such memorable battles as the Dempsey-Firpo fight, and other data important to the boxing fan.”
4 Days Equals 63 Minutes— In Hollywood!
It took James J. Corbett something less than 638 minutes to knock out John L. Sullivan and win the heavyweight boxing championship of the! world.
And it took four days for Errol Flynn, cast as Corbett and Ward Bond (Sullivan) to do Warner Bros.’ reenactment of that title fight for “Gentleman Jim,” the story of Jim’s rise from a San Francisco bank clerk to world champion. The picture is now playing at the Strand Theatre.
Corbett, the fancy dancer and left-hooker, knocked out the “unbeatable” Sullivan in the 21st round of their scheduled finish fight in New Orleans on September 7, 1892.
No Easy Job
But making motion pictures is a lot more difficult task than boxing 21 rounds. Even the kind of rounds that Corbett and Sullivan boxed. Director Raoul Walsh had to get all the highlights of the title fight. He had to show the early rounds, where Corbett outboxed Sullivan and learned his rival’s offense and defense. He had to show the fifth round, where Sullivan’s nose was broken. He had to show Corbett’s scientific boxing and Sullivan’s slow, plodding but determined offense. And finally, he had to show the slow wearing down of Sullivan until the 21st round.
On top of that he had to film crowd reaction. Wild enthusiasm for the Boston strong boy, and jeers and only mild applause for Corbett. Baffled looks from the crowd and gamblers as it became apparent that Corbett was outpointing Sullivan; that John L. simply couldn’t keep up with the bank clerk from ’Frisco.
Besides that Walsh had close shots of his featured players to make. Alexis Smith, the girl from San _ Francisco’s elite; Jack Carson, his best friend; William Frawley, who plays Billy Delaney, Corbett’s first trainer, manager and chief second; Alan Hale, who plays Jim’s father, Pat.
All of this takes time, while lights are adjusted, camera set and focused, sound equipment set up. That’s why it took four days — although Jim Corbett needed only 63 minutes, or less. But Walsh wants three things. Action — excitement — and authenticity. And he got it.
Mat 108—1l5c ALEXIS SMITH
Still EF 13; Mat 106—Il5c ERROL FLYNN