Quick Take: Jim Thorpe– All American
Jim Thorpe may well have been the greatest athlete in modern history. An All-American football player, he would go on to be a co-founder and first commissioner of what would become the NFL and was a member of the Professional Football Hall of Fame’s inaugural class, he also played Major League Baseball, and professional basketball. At the 1912 Olympics Thorpe won both the Pentathlon and Decathlon, competing fifteen events over three days and dominating the field. As fantastic as he was on the field of play, he was met with a life of disappointment off the field. His life story is really custom-made for a Hollywood feature. Unfortunately, the one he got was 1951’s Jim Thorpe– All American. The film seems to be trying to give Thorpe his due, but it doesn’t succeed. The dialog is extremely clunky and director Michael Curtiz brings all the grace and nuance that one would expect from a middle school class play. I’d almost rate this film as “avoid seeing” but I have far too much respect for Thorpe to do that. Still, it’s not worth seeing.