Film Footage of Jim Thorpe

Recently, a friend and I bemoaned the lack of film footage of Jim Thorpe. We conjectured that footage of the 1912 Stockholm Olympics must exist somewhere. Then I stumbled across an article about an auction of articles related to the great Thorpe. In an article titled “Jim Thorpe Mementoes in Demand at Sports Immortals Sale,” Rosemary McKittrick wrote about an auction conducted jointly by Guernsey and Hunt. Apparently, the auction was held last October in Atlantic, NJ. The source of the memorabilia wasn’t clear from the article. However, she used “Sports Immortals” in the article’s title, so these items may have come from their collection. The item that caught my eye was “Film and footage; Thorpe playing for the Canton Bulldogs; rare, early glimpse of Thorpe in action on football field; $1,155.” I don’t know if these items sold for the amounts listed or if they were just the auctioneer’s projections. As pleased as I was to discover that footage of Jim Thorpe still exists, it wasn’t of the Olympics. Oh well.

IMDB.com list a 1996 made-for-TV documentary, “100 Years of Olympic Glory,” directed by Bud Greenspan. The film includes archive footage of Jim Thorpe with King Gustav at the 1912 Olympics. Now to find a copy of that video.

A further look at IMDB.com uncovered a listing titled “The Giants-White Sox Tour.” The 1913 World Series was filmed. Perhaps that action prompted Jim Thorpe to sell the movie rights to his marriage to Iva Miller in Carlisle. Immediately after their wedding, the Thorpes joined the New York Giants for their around-the-world-tour with the Chicago White Sox. This film documented that tour. Perhaps it includes footage of the wedding. I can hope. Now to find a copy of it this, the first full-length documentary.

IMDB.com also lists archival footage of Jim Thorpe appearing in “Idols of the Game,” a 1995 video hosted by Dabney Coleman. That gives me three films to look for.

Jim Thorpe

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