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The Corbett-Fitzsimmons Fight (1897)

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The first known feature film! A very unusual filmed record of the Corbett-Fitzsimmons fight originally ran over 90 minutes in length.


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Credited cast:
Bob Fitzsimmons ...
Billy Madden ...
Himself - Sullivan's Manager
George Siler ...
Himself - Referee
John L. Sullivan ...
Himself - Master of Ceremonies


This legendary fight was filmed on March 17, 1897, using 63mm film that produced an aspect ratio of about 1.75:1. Using three adjacent cameras, Enoch Rector recorded the entire fight, simultaneously creating the world's first known feature film, as the resulting footage lasted over 90 minutes in length. About a quarter of the film survives today. Written by Mark Toscano <fiddybop@yahoo.com>

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bare chested male | boxing | See All (2) »




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Aspect Ratio:

1.65 : 1
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Did You Know?


The 62mm film stock was first specially designed to record the fight. See more »

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User Reviews

A Part of History
1 August 2010 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Corbett-Fitzsimmons Fight, The (1897)

Filmed March 17, 1897, this thing runs just eleven-seconds and features the heavyweight match between "Gentleman" Jim Corbett and Bob Fitzsimmons. Considering this thing runs so short there's really not too much that we see except for a few punches being thrown but this thing is a part of history so it's certainly worth watching if you're a fan of boxing or just early cinema. Corbett is best known as being played by Errol Flynn in GENTLEMAN JIM but the events in this film took place after that 1942 movie. From what I've read the entire fight was recorded, although not all of it has survived. This eleven-seconds must have been some sort of tease for the entire thing so it's important to keep that in mind and realize that this length is pretty typical for the times. The film was also shot in a way that would have given it an aspect ratio of 1.75:1 which would probably make this the first widescreen film.

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