(Review originally written at 15 October 2007)

The main purpose of this movie was to test if the kinetograph could capture the fast boxing movements well. Probably at its time this was considered a successful experiment but it's also far from a perfect one. Because of the shooting speed the movie seems to occur in slow-motion and some of the fast movements are blurry. Thomas Alva Edison still obviously had a long way to go before reaching perfection. This movie is one of their earliest experiments, which is sort of notable.

The 'actors' seemed to have fun, since they're both obviously laughing. They wear their normal working clothes, though they took the bother to put on actual boxing gloves and they're Edison employees without doubt. They simply put a rope across the screen to imply that the events were taking place in a boxing ring. But of course the movie was just shot at the studio. The two are just posing and swinging without actually attempting to hit each other.

The first ever real filmed boxing match was the "Leonard-Cushing Fight", from 1884, also shot by William K.L. Dickson and William Heise, just like this short and. Boxing matches on film actually became quite popular at the late 19th century and there was a huge demand for it. Also because of the fact that at that time boxing matches were banned in some states and this would be the only way for people to see a boxing match. Edison's Kinetoscope Exhibiting Company cleverly jumped on to this and their boxing films would eventually turned out to become their most profitable films. So in a way this early movie is a sign of things to come for Edison and Co. and future boxing films and commercialism.


About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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