“The Corbetts are at it again!”
In 19th century San Francisco, Irish-American bank teller Jim Corbett (Errol Flynn) rises to fame and becomes renowned boxer “Gentleman Jim”.
Response to Peary’s Review:
Along with many other critics, Peary is clearly a fan of this “thoroughly enjoyable, if highly fictionalized bio of… the first modern (scientific) heavy-weight boxing champion”, Gentleman Jim Corbett. As boxing movies go, Gentleman Jim is remarkably tame: Corbett is never forced to throw a fight (like John Garfield in 1947’s Body and Soul), nor does he become an insufferable heel after finding fame (like Kirk Douglas in 1949’s Champion). The closest this light-hearted film ever comes to genuine pathos is during its final “wonderful scene”, in which “the suddenly humble Corbett confesses to the prideful Boston Strongboy, in front of all the people at his own victory party, that he’s thankful he didn’t fight [him] when [he] was in his unbeatable prime”. Corbett is indeed “an ideal role” for handsome Errol Flynn, and director Raoul Walsh keeps things moving at an engaging clip; but Gentleman Jim is really only must-see viewing for fans of boxing flicks and/or Errol Flynn.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Errol Flynn as “Gentleman Jim” Corbett
- Several enjoyable boxing sequences
No, but it’s certainly recommended.