What do Jerry Flynn, an enterprising newsboy, and Jimmy Seymour, a striving songwriter, have in common? Jerry is the leading man in King of the Newsboys, and Jimmy is the leading man in Broadway Serenade. King of the Newsboys was a low budget Republic Pictures film from 1938, and Broadway Serenade was an expensive MGM musical extravaganza from 1939. Jerry and Jimmy are both played by Lew Ayres, but not all his parts are as comparable as these two. We will see how Jerry Flynn from King of the Newsboys and Jimmy Seymour from Broadway Serenade are similar by comparing their personalities, experiences, and portrayals.
First, we will compare Jimmy and Jerry’s personalities to see how they are similar as well as how they are different. Both Jimmy and Jerry have trouble holding down a job because of their similar habit of getting into fights. Each is very jealous and finds it hard to forgive and forget his girl’s involvement with another man, although Jerry’s jealousy is founded on truth while Jimmy’s is not.
However, Jimmy is eternally faithful to Mary and never looks at another woman, while Jerry tries to forget Mary by courting other women.
Jerry is confident and always thinks well of himself, while Jimmy suffers from self-doubt and a feeling of inferiority.
Second, we will compare their experiences to see similarities in the story lines of the two films regarding the two characters. When the story begins, both characters frequently lose their jobs because of fighting, but Jimmy is usually defending Mary while Jerry is merely a wild, brawling youth.
After Mary has left each, Jerry proves her wrong by becoming a huge success, while Jimmy continues to be a failure and begins to drink. Jerry tries to prove his superiority over his rival by starting a racing sheet, but Jimmy tries to redeem himself by having his music published.
When Jimmy is a success, Mary tells him he is too late since she is marrying another man, but Jerry spurns Mary for a rich girl since he can’t forget what Mary has been and how she rejected him.
Both men are reunited with their girls, but Jimmy ends his movie as a success, while Jerry is bankrupt and has to rebuild his business with the money he gave his mother.
Finally, we will consider how Lew Ayres portrays both characters in terms of his acting styles. Their speech differs in the fact that Jerry speaks through his teeth in a stinted manner to create the impression of being a poor, uneducated New Yorker, while Jimmy speaks in a clear, cultured tone. Jerry’s nervous, insecure nature is displayed by his habits of fiddling with objects, while Jimmy has no such mannerisms. In certain scenes, such as the scene in the office of the New York Gazette’s editor, Jerry acts very brash, self-assured, and rather sarcastic, while Jimmy usually acts polite and reserved.
One of the most obvious differences is the contrast between these characters’ drunk scenes, since Jerry is sarcastic, belligerent, and slightly irrational with mumbling, slurred speech; Jimmy speaks clearly, coherently, and seriously, making nasty accusations against Mary’s character which he would never utter when sober. The main similarity between the acting displayed in these characters is seen in their romantic behavior toward their sweethearts; each grabs his girl’s upper arms to keep her attention but does it in the gentlest, kindest way imaginable.
Having compared the personalities, experiences, and portrayals of Jerry Flynn and Jimmy Seymour, we can see how they differ and how they are similar. Although they come from very different backgrounds, Jimmy and Jerry have similar personalities. Though the stories run along different lines, many similar scenarios and situations can be seen in these films. Despite these similarities, Lew Ayres make his roles brilliantly different. Jerry Flynn and Jimmy Seymour have similarities and differences which make them both original and interesting characters which you should witness yourself as soon as possible; don’t wait to see these Code masterpieces!
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