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Based on Kubrick's pictorial for Look Magazine (January 18, 1949) entitled "Prizefighter," "Day Of The Fight" tells of a day in the life of a middleweight Irish boxer named Walter Cartier, particularly the day of his bout with black middleweight Bobby James. This 16-minute short opens with a short (about 4 minutes) study of boxing's history, narrated by veteran newscaster Douglas Edwards in a no-nonsense, noir tone of voice. After this, we follow Walter (and his twin brother Vincent) through his day as he prepares for his 10:00 P.M. bout. After eating breakfast, going to early mass and eating lunch, he starts arranging his things for the fight at 4:00 P.M. By 8:00, he is waiting in his dressing room, where he undergoes a mental transformation, turning into the fighting machine the crowd clamors for. At 10:00, he faces James, and soon, he comes out victorious in a short match which was filmed live on April 17th, 1950. Written by
Marc-David Jacobs <AgentMarcFBI@hotmail.com>
This is a fight fan. Fan -- short for fanatic. There's a legion just like him in the United States. Each year he shoves his share of ninety million dollars under the wicket for the privilege of attending places where matched pairs of men will get up on a canvas-covered platform and commit legal assault and lawful battery.
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This was Stanley Kubrick's first foray into film, a 13-minute short following the minor boxer Walter Cartier the day of a fight. This short was based on Kubrick's pictorial layout for Look magazine entitled "Prizefighter", where Kubrick had followed Cartier around before a previous fight.
The short is in black and white, which serves the subject beautifully. Not much happens throughout the short film. Cartier, and his twin brother Vincent, walk to church, eat breakfast, and eat lunch, among other things. However, there were a few moments that stood out, one being the short part where Walter is looking at himself in the mirror. He messes with his hair, and then plays with his face and moves his nose around. This reminded me of the scene at end of "Raging Bull" when Jake LaMotta is contemplating himself in the mirror.
The action starts to pick up right before the fight. The editing builds the tension as we and the fighter wait. Then before we know it the fight has begun and is over. All day's preparation for 90 seconds of action. Luckily our hero comes out on top, and film ends.
A promising start to a legendary career.
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