Synopsis by Mark Deming
Greg McClure stars as legendary boxer John L. Sullivan in this screen biography of the famous fighter. Known as "The Boston Strong Boy," Sullivan was a bare-knuckle brawler who rose from humble circumstances to become the world's heavyweight champion from 1882 to 1892. While Sullivan was a skilled hand in the ring, fame and wealth took a toll on his ego, and as drinking and high-living replaced disciplined training, Sullivan's fighting edge disappeared. In 1892, Sullivan lost his title to James J. Corbett (Rory Calhoun), and after that came a slow descent into alcoholism and poverty, with Sullivan losing most of his friends and the love of his life along with his self-respect. However, Sullivan eventually cleaned himself up and rose to his feet for one final stab at the title. The Great John L. also features Linda Darnell, Barbara Britton, Otto Kruger, and Wallace Ford. The life of James J. Corbett had been made into a movie three years prior to this, as Gentleman Jim, with Errol Flynn as Corbett and Ward Bond as Sullivan.
sports, bar [pub], boxing, career, champion, conflict, discipline, fame, girl, heavyweight, Ireland, love, prizefighter, problems, respect, self-respect, training, victory, winner