Review: ‘The Great John L.’

In his first independent production, Bing Crosby comes out with both fists swinging through a dramatization of the life of boxer John L. Sullivan.

In his first independent production, Bing Crosby comes out with both fists swinging through a dramatization of the life of boxer John L. Sullivan.

The story that takes John L. from his early youth as the Boston strong boy, through his great victories, into the days of drunken disillusionment, and finally to the mature man who becomes the exponent of clean living.

The real star of the film is a man who has never done anything in pictures except as an extra, Greg McClure. He not only looks the part of the Great John L, he acts the part, and grows with it.

But if it’s McClure who carries the greatest burden, the rest of the cast is right there with him at all times. The two women in his life, played by Linda Darnell and Barbara Britton, are done effectively. J.M. Kerrigan does Sullivan’s parish priest sensitively and without lush sentimentality.

The Great John L.

Production

United Artists. Director Frank Tuttle; Producer Bing Crosby; Screenplay James Edward Grant; Camera James Van Treen; Editor Theodor Bellinger; Music Victor Young

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1945. Running time: 96 MIN.

With

Greg McClure Linda Darnell Barbara Britton J.M. Kerrigan Otto Kruger Wallace Ford
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