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Jim Thorpe -- All-American (1951)

Approved | | Biography, Drama, Sport | 24 August 1951 (USA)
The triumph and tragedy of Native American Jim Thorpe, who, after winning both the pentathlon and decathlon in the same Olympics, is stripped of his medals on a technicality.

Director:

Michael Curtiz

Writers:

Douglas Morrow (screenplay), Everett Freeman (screenplay) | 5 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Burt Lancaster ... Jim Thorpe
Charles Bickford ... Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner
Steve Cochran ... Peter Allendine
Phyllis Thaxter ... Margaret Miller
Dick Wesson ... Ed Guyac
Jack Big Head Jack Big Head ... Little Boy Who Walk Like Bear (as Jack Bighead)
Sonny Chorre Sonny Chorre ... Wally Denny (as Suni Warcloud)
Al Mejia Al Mejia ... Louis Tewanema
Hubie Kerns Hubie Kerns ... Tom Ashenbrunner
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Storyline

True story of Native American Jim Thorpe, who rose from an Oklahoma reservation to become a collegiate, Olympic, and professional star. After his medals are stripped on a technicality and his dream of coaching is shattered, Thorpe's life begins to unravel. His marriage to his college sweetheart ends, and he is a forgotten figure, except by Glenn 'Pop' Warner, his coach at Carlisle College. Written by <jmilani@ix.netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Sport

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 August 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

O Homem de Bronze See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although some people may be confused at the sight of Burt Lancaster playing a native American, the fact is that Jim Thorpe himself was not a full-blooded Native American, being part Irish on his mother's side. See more »

Goofs

The Olympic opening ceremony footage is from the 1948 London games. When Thorpe receives his medal, the peristyle end of the Los Angeles Coliseum (1932 & 1984 games) is clearly in the background. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Man on Speaker's Platform: [applause] Ladies and gentlemen, the honorable Roy J. Turner, governor of the state of Oklahoma.
Governor Roy J. Turner: [audience applauds] Ladies and gentlemen, we are gathered here this evening to express our pride and pay tribute to a native son of Oklahoma. But I think it is only fitting that I forgo the honor of making this presentation myself, and call upon a great gentleman of whom we are also very proud, even though he is not a native son.
Governor Roy J. Turner: [the audience laughs] May I present to you one of the ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Sports on the Silver Screen (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Sweet Georgia Brown
(uncredited)
Music by Maceo Pinkard and Ben Bernie
Played on the phonograph
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Muscles, teeth, and an incredible athlete.
21 March 2008 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

Jim Thorpe was a Native American who after reluctantly leaving his Oklahoma reservation, went on to become one of the greatest athletes that America produced. Naturally things aren't all wine and roses, and this is a tale that hits both the light and dark of human achievement.

Being English and not over familiar with the later life of Jim Thorpe, i can't attest to the accuracy of this particular biopic, so {perhaps a bonus} i can only judge this piece solely as the roller-coaster picture it turned out to be. What we get is a great story of a man who was permanently pushing himself to be better, and yes to be accepted for his racial background that he felt was hindering him to his ultimate goals. From an unaware angry young man to an all encompassing sports star, Jim Thorpe pushed the boundaries of each discipline he took on. Be it Baseball, Football, and total domination in Track & Field, Jim Thorpe was an incredible man who's story probably deserves better than this picture was able to give us. That's not to say that this Michael Curtiz picture is found wanting, because it's a very solid and impacting piece, i just feel that it doesn't quite reach the glorious heights that Thorpe himself reached.

Burt Lancaster stars as Thorpe, and it's a great bit of casting, physically he's perfect {he trained hard to capture believability in the role}, and he enthuses a great deal of emotion with the character, particularly during the darker parts of the story. Also standing out is Charles Bickford as Glen "Pop" Warner , a crucial mentor and voice of reason to Thorpe, whilst i'll raise a glass to the bright as a button performance of Phyliss Thaxter as Thorpe's wife Margaret, she is asked solely to carry the female weight in the picture and layers it perfectly. Sometimes uplifting, and at times inspirational, Jim Thorpe-All American is still an ultimately sobering experience, and it's with the sobering side of the picture that i come out of it with a rating of 8/10.


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