The Production Code Administration director, Joseph Breen, told the production company that the movie was "questionable" because it showed a black boxer beating white boxers, and that distribution in the South may be difficult. See more »
I liked this movie -- which is saying a lot, as i do not generally enjoy boxing or movies about boxing. I bought it because it starred Joe Louis, and i bought "The Joe Louis Story," about his life, at the same time because i wanted to learn who Louis really was. Of the two, "Spirit of Youth" was the one that captured my fancy -- and the one that revealed the most about Joe Louis, the human being. Louis is a very shy and unassuming man, hardly an actor at all, but his grace and charm shine through as he plays the role of a young boxer on the way up. Mantan Moreland, as his sidekick-trainer, is a true professional, carrying Louis the amateur actor over the rough spots in his performance and deftly giving way for Louis the boxer to do his stuff AS a boxer when the plot calls for action. Make it an evening and watch "Spirit of Youth" as a double bill with the much slicker but less charming "Joe Louis Story." Then come back here and tell us which one *you* liked best. I'm betting it will be "Spirit of Youth," by a knockout, in the fifth round.
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