Because boxing is a considered an illegal and disreputable enterprise in 1880's San Francisco, wealthy and influential members of the prestigious Olympic Club vow to make the sport a "gentlemanly" one. They sponsor a brash, extroverted young bank clerk named Jim Corbett, who quickly becomes an accomplished fighter under the new Marquis of Queensbury Rules. Despite his success, the young Irish-American's social pretensions and boastful manner soon estrange him from his benefactors, who plot to give their conceited former protégé a well-deserved comeuppance. Despite this, his dazzlingly innovative footwork helps him to beat a succession of bigger and stronger men, and he finally finds himself fighting for the world's championship against his childhood idol, John L. Sullivan.
The grandest story of the Naughty "Nineties" becomes the gayest picture of the Fighting "Forties!"
Did You Know?
In the bank the day after the first fight (and their arrest with the bank director for attending it), Corbett (Flynn) and Lowrie (Carson) decide they should resign preemptively, rather than wait to be fired. However, Corbett gets a raise instead and returns from his boss's office to tell his pal Lowrie about it. As he talks, he's counting a stack of "money" of which only the top and bottom sheets appear genuine. The other "notes" are all blank sheets of paper. See more
James J. Corbett aka Gentleman Jim
If I get lost, I'll send up a rocket.
It wouldn't surprise me.
Referenced in Seven Days in May
Dear Old Donegal
Traditional Irish folk song
Sung and Danced by Alan Hale
and others See more