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Crazylegs

Crazylegs(1954)

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NOTES

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The film opens with the following written foreword: "This is the story of an American boy-one of the greatest athletes of our time. All football sequences are taken from games in which he played." Voice-over narration by Lloyd Nolan as "Win Brockmeyer" is heard intermittently throughout the film. Written acknowledgments at the end of the film read as follows: "Hall Bartlett Productions, Inc. wishes to express its gratitude to Mr. Bert Bell, Commissioner of the National Football League, and to the following members of the League, for their cooperation in making this picture possible: Chicago Cardinals, Baltimore Colts, Cleveland Browns, Chicago Bears, New York Giants, Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles, Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Los Angeles Rams, Washington Redskins, San Francisco 49'ers. We also gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Mr. Arch Ward, Sports Editor of The Chicago Tribune, and to The Chicago Tribune itself, the originators and sponsors of the Annual All-Star Game in Chicago. And our deep appreciation to Mr. William Nicholas and the staff of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Our sincere thanks to Roberto and Bill." According to a July 1953 Hollywood Reporter news item, portions of the film were shot on location at the Coliseum.
       Elroy "Crazylegs" Hirsch (1923-2004) is credited twice onscreen, first in the top billing and later as one of "The Men of the Los Angeles Rams." As depicted in the film, Wisconsin-native Hirsch, who was known for his long touchdown pass called the "bomb," was twice nominated to the College All-Stars, then played for the Chicago Rockets and the Los Angeles Rams. After his film debut in Crazylegs, Hirsch starred in two other Hall Bartlett films, the 1955 Warner Bros. Unchained and the 1957 Paramount production of Zero Hour! (see below for both). In 1957, Hirsch retired from professional football and became Director of Athletics at one of his alma maters, the University of Wisconsin. In 1975, he was the subject of a television tribute, Greatest Sports Legend. As shown in the film, he married his high school sweetheart, Ruth, in 1946.
       Although his appearance in the film has not been confirmed, a July 1953 Hollywood Reporter news item adds Charles Victor to the cast. According to an October 1953 Variety news item, Hall Bartlett produced the film for $145,000. The film was reviewed in September 1953 under the title Crazylegs, All-American. In a September 1953 Los Angeles Daily News article, columnist Howard McClay reported that a major studio, presumably Universal, was complaining that Hall Bartlett's use of the words "All-American" in the title of his film was potentially damaging to his own soon-to-be-released production The All American and feared public confusion over the two films. By the time of this film's premiere in November 1953, however, Republic had shortened the title. Crazylegs marked Francis D. Lyon's directorial debut. For his work on the film, editor Cotton Warburton received an Academy Award nomination.