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The Joe Louis Story [1953] [DVD]

Coley Wallace , Hilda Simms , Robert Gordon    Universal, suitable for all   DVD
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 3.99
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Product details

  • Actors: Coley Wallace, Hilda Simms, Paul Stewart, James Edwards, John Marley
  • Directors: Robert Gordon
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Elstree Hill Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 15 Mar 2004
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B0001U0HIO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 50,662 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

A biopic of one of the first true greats of boxing in the 20th century, this film is interspersed with footage from the real Joe Louis in action. The fact that Louis is treated on equal par with the white characters in the story led to the film being banned in certain parts of southern American when originally released!

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars don't expect too much 18 Dec 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Very basic review of Joe Louis. Old fashioned and quite boring in parts. Thought it was a modern review account of the great fighters life.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Realistic depiction of the great boxer 11 Jun 2000
By Len Feder - Published on
The casting was excellent. A boxer named Corey Wallace played Joe Louis. He looked like him, except that he had a belly. Louis was trim. In some of the big fights, Schmeling, Baer, Carnera, they show actual fight footage, so you see the real Joe Louis. The actor who played Louis's trainer Jack Blackburn was a young guy in a ridiculous bald wig. The movie begins with Marciano beating Louis up, then goes to the happier, earlier days. It's a good movie about a fighter who has his supporters for greatest heavyweight boxer of all time. I shut it off rather than watch the sad parts at the end.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Heavyweight box-opic 2 Nov 2009
By Annie Van Auken - Published on
THE JOE LOUIS STORY is a highly episodic picture that stars credible lookalike Coley Wallace as the fighter from Detroit who held the heavyweight title for 12 years. Cameoing in an early scene is Joe's first trainer, Shorty Linton. Ossie Davis has an uncredited bit part. Archive footage includes bout clips with Primo Carnera, Max Schmeling, Jimmy Braddock, Max Baer and Rocky Marciano.

The film opens with newsman Tad McGeehan (Paul Stewart) writing Joe Louis Barrow's boxing epitaph after his final defeat against contender Marciano. McGeehan's narration throughout keeps the story moving briskly, from Louis as a teen quitting violin lessons for tutoring by Linton, to gym sessions with 'Chappie' Blackburn (James Edwards) and Joe's simultaneous introduction to future wife Marva (Hilda Simms), golf as a pastime and of course the professional ranks, with actual fight clips that favorably show Wallace's resemblance to the soon-to-be champ.

Joe's inexperience becomes evident when Schmeling ends his unbeaten streak. This loss plus the boxer's spendthrift ways cause tension in his marriage. After Louis knocks out Braddock to take the crown in 1937, a reticent Schmeling is forced into a rematch, which Joe wins handily.

Lengthy practice sessions and isolation from Marva precipitates her 1945 divorce action. No mention is made of the actual divorce and their '46 remarriage. During WWII, the enlisted Louis makes promotional appearances and boxes in exhibitions. During these years Chappie passes away.

After the war, Joe's tax problems and ruined finances force a return to the ring and Marva's break from him becomes final. After 18 months of exhibitions, Louis is beaten by Ezzard Charles (not shown) and then is knocked out of the ring by Marciano. The greatest boxer of his age has hung on too long and paid the price, both professionally and personally.

We end with McGeehen's thoughts over a highlight montage and his "good luck, Joe." It's a pity the newspaperman's well-meant wish didn't come true for Louis.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I CAN'T BELIEVE NO ONE HAS REVIEWED THIS! 9 Oct 2007
By x0r n3g4r10u2 - Published on
i'm reviewing the 1953 film, not the dvd.

ok, i don't actually have the words for it all at the moment. it's pretty late. i can absolutely say that this film deserves proper attention for such a prolific figure in our recent past.
the film, production-wise, could've used a more loving touch, but it was a film about black people, starring mostly blacks in serious roles. this wasn't exactly expected to be a blockbuster for this reason, i'm sure, which is certainly a shame. this film is very deep. i can't help but watch it whenever given the chance.

i guess [...] sums it up very well: "The life and career of Heavyweight Champion Joe Louis, who held the title for 12 years--longer than any other boxer in history--and who had to not only battle opponents inside the ring and racism outside it."
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