The Life Of Jimmy Dolan (1933)

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    Plot Summary

    Prizefighter Jimmy Dolan accidentally kills a man at a party and escapes.
    He hides out at a health farm for invalid children and begins to lose his cynicism under the influence of the children and of
    Peggy and Mrs. Moore, who run the farm. When a detective recognizes him,
    Jimmy must decide whether to escape or stay and face his responsibilities to the children.
    Summary written by Jim Beaver

    Full Cast
    Douglas Fairbanks Jr. .... Jimmy Dolan
    Loretta Young .... Peggy
    Aline MacMahon .... Auntie, aka Mrs. Moore
    Guy Kibbee .... Phlaxer
    Lyle Talbot .... Doc Wood
    Fifi D'Orsay .... Budgie
    Harold Huber .... Reggie Newman
    Shirley Grey .... Goldie
    George Meeker .... Magee
    John Wayne .... Smith
    Arthur Hohl .... Malvin
    Edward Arnold .... Inspector (uncredited)
    Joan Barclay .... Well-Wisher (uncredited)
    Robert Barrat .... Sheriff (uncredited)
    Don Brodie .... Bit on Stairway (uncredited)
    George Chandler .... Handler (uncredited)
    Arthur Dekuh .... Louie Primaro (uncredited)
    James Donlan .... Man With Flask (uncredited)
    David Durand .... George (uncredited)
    Adolph Faylauer .... Fight Extra (uncredited)
    Sam Godfrey .... Reporter (uncredited)
    Allen 'Farina' Hoskins .... Sam (uncredited)
    John Kerns .... Opponent (uncredited)
    Mike Lally .... Reporter in Ring (uncredited)
    John Marston .... Matt Lenihan (uncredited)
    Frank McGrath .... First Referee (uncredited)
    Clarence Muse .... Masseur (uncredited)
    Bradley Page .... One of Dolan's Backers (uncredited)
    Lee Phelps .... Ring Announcer (uncredited)
    Mickey Rooney .... Freckles (uncredited)
    John Sheehan .... Fight Manager (uncredited)
    Charles Sherlock .... Reporter in Ring (uncredited)
    Anne Shirley .... Mary Lou (uncredited)
    Sammy Stein .... King Cobra (uncredited)
    Arthur Vinton .... Matt Lenihan (uncredited)
    Huey White .... Handler (uncredited)

    Writing Credits
    Bertram Millhauser (play Sucker) and
    Beulah Marie Dix (play Sucker)
    David Boehm and
    Erwin S. Gelsey

    Arthur Edeson

    The film was shot over a period of 28 days.

    This film is based on the play "Sucker", which opened off-broadway in New York City, New York, USA on 4 April 1933.

    Aline MacMahon, who played Loretta Young's middle-aged mother in this film, that same year co-starred as a showgirl alongside Ruby Keeler and Joan Blondell in Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933).

    Edward Arnold (Inspector Ennis) and Mickey Rooney (Freckles) appear in this film uncredited, though essential characters to the story.

    This film's earliest documented telecasts took place in New York City Saturday 13 October 1956 on WABD (Channel 5), in Portland, Oregon Wednesday 14 November 1956 on KOIN (Channel 6), in Bloomingtonn, Illinois Tuesday 4 December 1956 on WTTV (Channel 4), and in San Francisco Wednesday 2 January 1957 on KPIX (Channel 5). For over 60 years, it's been a frequent flyer on local television, and, later, on cable, where it's now found a permanent home in the Turner Classic Movies library, and enjoys regular showings on TCM much to the delight of its devoted fans.

    The car Doc drives is a 1931 Lincoln Model K convertible sedan. MSRP was $6,800 ($107,000 in 2017). Only 3,311 1931 Lincolns of all types were made. At auction, in excellent condition, this car could easily fetch well over $100,000 in 2017.

    The police broadcast the license number of Dolan's car in which Woods and Goldie are fleeing (1U-42-91), but it's not the same as the actual license plate of their Lincoln which is visible in several shots (4B72-47); when the car is wrecked, it suddenly changes from a Lincoln to a Ford, and now bears the same license number as the one originally broadcast.

    In the chase scene with Woods and Goldie, one of the police motorcycles has three lights at the beginning, but only two during and after the pursuit.

    Plot holes

    When Phlaxer tells Inspector Ennis the body in the car isn't Jimmy Dolan, one reason he gives is that Dolan's wrist size was different and the watch band on the body was fastened in a different hole. The newspaper said the body was "reduced to ashes in the flames".
    A fire that hot would also destroy a leather watch band.

    Filming Locations

    Best Wishes
    London- England

    Edited 8 times, last by ethanedwards ().

  • The Life of Jimmy Dolan (released in the UK as The Kid's Last Fight) is a 1933 movie
    starring Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Loretta Young.
    John Wayne has a small supporting role as a frightened boxer.
    It was remade in 1939 as They Made Me a Criminal.

    This is a Douglas Fairbank,Jr. movie, co-starring Loretta Young,
    one of 6 pictures that cast them together.
    Duke was dating Loretta's older sister at the time,
    and as a favour Loretta, lobbied WB, to help Duke get the part.

    Duke was Douglas's fight trainer, and spoke only a few lines.

    Fairbanks said,when he first met Duke,


    He came in while my gloves were being tied on, slapped me on the back, and said,
    "You okay, boss?", I nodded, and he excited.

    An un-significant part, but in a very significant film.

    If anyone has this film, or has seen it, please let us know.

    User Review

    Here are some previous posts relating to this film:-


    January 19th 2004
    Popol Vuh

    I have been trying to work this out for a couple of days. I think I have seen a movie where John Wayne plays this very small role as a boxer where he says "I'm gonna (or maybe I'll) box his ears off" a couple of times. He is warming up or just waiting to enter the ring. I think he only was in the movie for about a minute. It is a long time ago and I probably saw it on TCM. It's the only scene I remember and I'm not even very clear on this one. Am I mistaken?

    Well if I'm not I would really like to know which movie this is from. I've tried looking through the titles of his very first movies but I can't remember for sure if I have seen any of them.


    Old January 20th, 2004

    hey i think the movie is called mother macame back in 1928 directed by john ford but i could be mistaken on that but if i rember right it is that one. the other movie where he plaed a boxer was the quiet man also directed by john ford back in 1952 he may have stayed that linbe in anothe way or another caracter could have stated it well see ya along the trail 00AD

    Best Wishes
    London- England

    Edited 4 times, last by ethanedwards ().

  • Well here is one I've never seen, but it appears it will be shown on TCM Monday August 27 at 10:30 a. m. Another one to add to my collection.:hyper:

    Stay thirsty my friends.

  • Gritty movies like The Life of Jimmy Dolan vanished until after the demise of the Production Code in the early 1960s.
    What movies Hollywood would have made if not for rigid censorship for over 25 years is an unanswerable question.
    Warner Bros. pre-code sound movies indicate that older movies made before censorship
    have dated a lot better than much of the drivel released during the Breen censorship period.

    What utter hogwash. Basically, this person from IMDB is stating that movies made during the Hayes Code period were garbage, when in fact this was the golden age of movie making. In fact, the year 1939 will never EVER be repeated again, for the sheer volume of fantastic films produced. Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, Stagecoach, Gone With The Wind, Destry Rides Again, etc and so forth. You have more quality films from that one year, than you can find in the last 15 years of films put together.

    Sound like this person is saying once violence and sex in films was toned down in 1934, that the industry went stink-o for the next 30 years. What complete nonsense.

  • I have never seen this one either but, I will be looking forward to watching it because I am also a fan of Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

    Es Ist Verboten Mit Gefangenen In Einzelhaft Zu Sprechen..

  • Well here is one I've never seen, but it appears it will be shown on TCM Monday August 27 at 10:30 a. m.

    So gt, did you get to see this film?

    And to echo Keith's question above, has ANYone seen this film?

    We haven't, and I see it's not available on DVD or VHS, at least not at Amazon or Deep Discount.

    falc04, I appreciate your comments about the films from 1939! A GREAT year - too many wonderful films from which to choose!

    Chester :newyear:

  • Hi

    I copied this film off of British cable television about two and a half years ago. in fact I had to do it twice because the first time I taped it I didn't have the sound on:glare:

    it came out from the John Wayne Society on DVD last year, and of course I updated it.

    The film is very good and I think John Wayne gives a surprisingly good performance bearing in mind his inexperience.



    Walk Tall - Talk Low

  • Hello and welcome to the board, Zitor. I want to thank you for sharing that clip with us. I've never seen this film and it is always a pleasure seeing Duke in something I havn't seen before. Many thanks!


    "I couldn't go to sleep at night if the director didn't call 'cut'. "

  • Hi, I've just seen the film. I liked it in spite of John Wayne doesn't play an important role.
    I think you woud like to see him, so I upload his most important appearance to YouTube. This is the url:


    Welcome to the site Zitor! Nice to have someone from Spain, jump in here and make yourself at home! Oh, I posted your uploaded clip to our YouTube forum.

  • This may be a record of some sort. I'll quote this two year old post and link to a thread that is five years old.

    Popol Vuh,

    I think you're right about this being a record of some sort. :biggrin:

    Thanks for a lo-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-ong awaited answer (and the link to it)!

    That was great, watching the clip again, and knowing what comes next.

    Chester :newyear:

  • Well, I finally seen some of this film this morning. It was on the TV when I came into the living room and I half paid attention to it untill I heard the name Jimmy Dolan. My attention shot up and I watched to see Duke's part in it. I was lucky that I walked in when I did, as I have never seen it. Now I'll have to see if TCM playes it again so I can record it. As some said earlier in this thread, Duke did a good job with the little air time he had. The fight sequences were rather lame, but this was an old film.


    "I couldn't go to sleep at night if the director didn't call 'cut'. "