Hockey Movies: Idol Of The Crowds (1937)

DC Sports Nexus ---- Sunday, November 13, 2011

Caps Basketball Movie Night

I will watch a hockey movie, and talk about it...

Movie: Idol Of The Crowds
Year: 1937
Length: 1 Hour
Color: Black & White
Starring: John Wayne

Watch It: YouTube

Quick Recap: Hockey team signs a former player and current chicken farmer named Hanson. Hanson quickly becomes a star in NY city and the best player in the league. Gangsters have big money on the championship game and use a girl, violence, and bribes to get him to throw the game. Will he throw the game? Will he win the Cup? Will he get the Girl?

Overall Movie: The story is a typical sports/throw the game story. It is black & white and really old, but its not that terrible. Everything is predictable, and lots of stuff is not very realistic.

Hockey Realism:

I know this movie was from 1937, but it was pretty poorly done. All the hockey footage is stock footage, and during the closeups the actors are terrible at hockey. The movie uses the same footage over and over again, the same goal is scored like 3 times, the same faceoff is won like 5 times, etc. Check out this sweet wrap around shot, and the inappropriate man/boy relationship...


The league is not called the NHL, but the teams are playing for the Stanley Cup. Teams include Panthers, Mustangs, Dragons, Hawks, and of course the best team, the Wizards.

Movie vs Reality:

What Happens: A professional hockey owner decides to cut his entire team so that he can sign a bunch of retired non-pro hockey players. He offers them contracts without ever seeing them play.

Reaction: Can you imagine Ted Leonsis replacing his pro players with retired players from an old rec league team?

What Happens: John Wayne is Johnny Hanson, a former semi-pro hockey player and current chicken farmer. He is offered $100 a week to play hockey, but turns it down. Later when he sees his chickens are dead, he accepts the offer

Reaction: As a farmer, Hanson says he would make $500 in one year. As a hockey player he would make $500 in 5 weeks. He turned this down? Also he loves his chickens yet when he sees they are all dead he doesn't care.

What Happens: At his 1st practice Hanson's teammates tackle him and knock him over. Hanson gets up, scores a goal, then takes out his teammates with punches, cheap shots, trips, and by smashing them with his stick. That earns their respect and he is beloved.

Reaction: This sounds like hockey to me. However instead of normal hockey fighting, Hanson uses his stick as a weapon and gives out a bunch of cheap shots. He would probably be arrested and not beloved by a guy who he hit in the head with a stick.

What Happens: Hanson becomes the best player in the league. He then goes to the roller skating rink. He can't roller skate and falls down.

Reaction: WTF. If you can ice skate, you can roller skate...right?

What Happens: Hanson constantly hangs out with a young boy. The boy calls him Johnny. It is an orphan kid who moves from Maine to NY with Hanson.

Reaction: This would not fly in movies today. (See Penn State)

What Happens: Gangsters get an opposing player to board and injure Hanson. Hanson is knocked out cold. His teammates go over to him and 6 of them pick him up and carry him off the ice.

Reaction: The dude just broke his damn neck! Where is the precaution? The neck support?

What Happens: A movie star famous girl that Hanson is dating tells him that all she wants to do is raise chickens. Hanson is like "wow what a coincidence so do I"

Reaction: How did the guy not see that the dame was setting him up! That's not a coincidence, that's an impossibility.

Well, there are only like 10 hockey movies left...

2 comments:

buddydudeguy said...

I can't wait for your recap of Youngblood. If you've never seen it, be prepared for glory. Swayze, Lowe, a very young Keanu Reeves (who actually can play hockey) and lots of great moments.

LizzieD said...

Gotta do a review of Slap Shot! Paul Newman, minor league hockey, great flick!!!

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