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 reserved post fight meeting of the defeated Sullivan, well
played by Ward Bond, and a restrained Flynn as his conquerer is quite touching and serves a 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.