Jim Thorpe - All-American

Synopsis: True story of Native American Jim Thorpe, who rose from an Oklahoma reservation to become a collegiate, Olympic, and professional star. After his medals are stripped on a technicality and his dream of coaching is shattered, Thorpe's life begins to unravel. His marriage to his college sweetheart ends, and he is a forgotten figure, except by Glenn 'Pop' Warner, his coach at Carlisle College.
Director(s): Michael Curtiz
Production: Warner Home Video
107 min

Ladies and gentlemen,

the honorable Roy J. Turner,

Governor of the State of Oklahoma.

Ladies and gentlemen,

we are gathered here this evening

to express our pride and pay tribute

to a native son of Oklahoma.

But I think it is only fitting

that I forgo the honor

of making this presentation myself

and call upon a great gentleman

of whom we are also very proud,

even though he is not a native son.

May I present to you one of the immortals

of the world of sports,

the greatly beloved Pop Warner.

Thank you Governor Turner, Mrs. Turner,

ladies and gentlemen.

I am of course highly honored

to make this presentation.

But this event

has special significance for me.

I feel a deep sense

of personal pride and pleasure.

Fifty years is a long time.

Many exciting people and events have

had their moment on the American scene.

Tonight we pay recognition to a man

who had more than a brief moment,

a man who, during the past half-century,

has carved a permanent place for himself

in all our hearts

and on this memorable occasion

I can't help but think back

to a young Indian lad

who grew up on a reservation.

As a boy, he roamed the woods

with his father, hunting and fishing.

Then one day he was faced

with the prospect of school,

that frightening institution

of the white man's world.

But being cooped up indoors

was more than young Thorpe could stand.

His father had deposited him

at the front door

and Jim left immediately by the back door.

And then, running with the wild grace

of a young deer,

the boy headed home.

Oh, Grandmother.


Well, the boy's in school, Charlotte.

I think he'll stay there this time.

I took him far enough away so...

- Jim, how'd you get here?

- He ran.

You ran 15 miles?

Only 12, Pa. I came through the hills.

Did you hear that, Charlotte?

Twelve miles through the hills.

I hope he enjoyed it,

because he goes back to school tomorrow.

I'll run away.

You're his father.

You taught him

all the things he likes to do.

Now, teach him what he has to do.



You're going back to school.

- No!

- Come here!

I ain't never took a whip to you, Jim.

I ain't gonna start.

Come here.

Look out there.

What do you see?

A coyote run where I've got my traps set.

What else?

The hollow cottonwood

where the owl lives.

Three buzzards circling a dead lamb.

Do you see yellow fields of grain?

Do you see fat herds

grazing on young prairie grass?

- No.

- That's right.

You don't see nothing but a boy's world.

That's all you'll ever see

here on the reservation.

They'll give you a piece of land and you

can sit around wrapped in a blanket.

Or else you can try to

make something of yourself.

Be something.

Be what, Pa?

Whatever you want to be, boy.

It's all in the books,

and the books are in the schools.

But I don't like school.

You must change, Jim, for your own good.

You must let the white man

teach you his ways.

Before you know it,

you'll be out in the world

with your head full of learning

and you'll make your people proud of you.

Do you want me to go away?

No, boy. I'd rather have you here with me.

But I know it's the right thing to do

and I know something else.

What, Pa?

If anybody wants something from you

he ain't gonna get it by whipping you.

Twelve miles.

That was a mighty fine run, lad!

The boy obeyed his father

and returned to school,

but he could never overcome

his resentment

against this new way of life.

The Cumberland Valley of Pennsylvania

was the site of the government's

famous Carlisle Indian School.

Here came Indian youths and maidens

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Douglas Morrow

Douglas Morrow (September 13, 1913 – September 9, 1994) was a Hollywood screenwriter and film producer. He earned an Academy Award for his script for 1949's The Stratton Story, a biography of baseball player Monty Stratton, who was disabled in a hunting accident. Morrow died of an aneurysm in 1994. Morrow's other films included Jim Thorpe - All-American (1951) and Beyond a Reasonable Doubt. He also wrote for a number of television series. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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