The Prizefighter and the Lady

Primo Carnera, Walter Huston, Max Baer and Vince Barnett in a scene from The Prizefighter and the Lady (1933).  The film is not very good, and is included here because Howard Hawks filmed the first few scenes, and then was fired or he quit, it’s not certain.

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The Prizefighter and the Lady

Max Baer and Myrna Loy in a screencap from The Prizefighter and the Lady (1933)

The Prizefighter and the Lady

Walter Huston and Max Baer in a scene from The Prizefighter and the Lady (1933).  Howard Hawks envisioned Max’s part for Clark Gable.

The Prizefighter and the Lady

Max Baer as Steve in a publicity still for The Prizefighter and the Lady (1933).  Max had 22 acting credits in his career, from this, his debut, to 1958.  He is best known as the father of Max Baer Jr., who was Jethro on the long running The Beverly Hillbillies.

Prizefighter and the Lady

Myrna Loy, Max Baer, Walter Huston and Vince Barnett in a publicity photo for Prizefighter and the Lady (1933), another Hawks film for which he only directed the first few scenes.  It was one of three films he made at MGM in 1933, the first and last time he worked for the studio.

Prizefighter and the Lady

The back of this publicity still reads

MAX BAER….the screen’s newest romantic lover, and his leading lady, Myrna Loy, as they appear in Max’s film debut, “The Prizefighter and the Lady,” now in production at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Howard Hawks developed the story for Clark Gable and Jean Harlow but MGM executives had other plans.

The Prizefighter and the Lady

 

While at MGM Howard Hawks planned on making The Prizefighter and the Lady (1933) as a vehicle for their hottest team Clark Gable and Jean Harlow, but MGM executives cast Myrna Loy and real life prizefighter and acting novice Max Baer instead.

The Prizefighter and the Lady

 

Max Baer in a publicity still for The Prizefighter and The Lady

Fight manager Walter Huston takes stock of his boxer Max Baer in The Prizefighter and the Lady (1933).

The Prizefighter and the Lady


Vince Barnett in The Prizefighter and The Lady

Vince Barnett is in Max Baer’s corner for the big title match in The Prizefighter and the Lady (1933).  Vince was also in Howard Hawks’ Scarface as the dim witted secretary, and Tiger Shark as one of the shark fishermen.

The Prizefighter and the Lady

 

Max Baer in an autographed publicity still for The Prizefighter and the Lady (1933).  Max was a real heavyweight champion, but is best remembered as the father of Max Baer Jr., the dim witted Jethro Bodine on The Beverly Hillbillies.

The Prizefighter and the Lady


 

 

Three boxing champions, Max Baer, Jack Dempsey, and Primo Carnera on the set of The Prizefighter and the Lady

Boxing champion Jack Dempsey was cast as the referee in the big match between Max Baer and Primo Carnero in The Prizefighter and the Lady (1933).

The Prizefighter and the Lady

Max Baer in a publicity still for The Prizefighter and the Lady (1933), his film debut.  He had another 21 acting credits through 1958, all unremarkable.  More importantly, he was world heavyweight champ for exactly one year, from Jun 14, 1934 to Jun 13, 1935.  He was also father to Max Baer Jr, best known for 272 episodes of The Beverly Hillbillies as dimwit son Jethro Bodine, and in a few episodes Jethro’s twin sister Jethrine Bodine.

The Prizefighter and the Lady


Max Baer and Myrna Loy in a publicity still for The Prizefighter and the Lady (1933).  While at MGM, Howard Hawks developed the project for MGM stars Clark Gable and Jean Harlow, but without any real power at the studio, Max and Myrna were cast instead.  Howard filmed the first few scenes and then quit/was replaced.  While he went from studio to studio for the remainder of his career, he never went back to MGM.  Furthermore, Myrna’s character in the film is a sophisticated showgirl, but dressed in an apron in the publicity still, the studio is promoting a much different image for her.

The Prizefighter and the Lady

When Howard Hawks left The Prizefighter and the Lady (1933) after filming the first few scenes, he was replaced by WS (one take) Van Dyke.

The Prizefighter and the Lady

Max Baer and Myrna Loy in a publicity still for The Prizefighter and the Lady (1933).  The following year, Myrna made The Thin Man, a beloved series with William Powell, including six features through 1947.  Myrna previously had a small part in Howard Hawks’ most widely seen silent film, A Girl in Every Port (1928) as the girl from Singapore.