Day of the Fight (1951)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.4/10 from 2,529 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 11 critic

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, ... See full summary »



(narration script)
0Check in
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Seafarers (1953)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Stanley Kubrick's first film made in color, lost for over forty years. The documentary extols the benefits of membership to the Seafarers International Union.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Don Hollenbeck, Paul Hall
Drama | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Four soldiers trapped behind enemy lines must confront their fears and desires.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Frank Silvera, Kenneth Harp, Paul Mazursky
Killer's Kiss (1955)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

As a man waits at a train station for his girl, he tells us about the recent past and we segue into a long flash-back.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Frank Silvera, Irene Kane, Jamie Smith
The Killing (1956)
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Crooks plan and execute a daring race-track robbery.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Vince Edwards
Lolita (1962)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A middle-aged college professor becomes infatuated with a fourteen-year-old nymphet.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: James Mason, Shelley Winters, Sue Lyon
Spartacus (1960)
Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The slave Spartacus leads a violent revolt against the decadent Roman Republic.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Based on the 1935 novel of the same name, it tells the story of an ill-fated assault on German forces by French soldiers, and the grippling consequences those soldiers face when they refuse to follow through with it.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Ralph Meeker, Adolphe Menjou
Barry Lyndon (1975)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

An Irish rogue wins the heart of a rich widow and assumes her dead husband's aristocratic position in 18th-century England.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Ryan O'Neal, Marisa Berenson, Patrick Magee
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A New York City doctor, who is married to an art curator, pushes himself on a harrowing and dangerous night-long odyssey of sexual and moral discovery after his wife admits that she once almost cheated on him.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Todd Field
Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

An insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust that a war room full of politicians and generals frantically try to stop.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden
The Big Shave (1968)
Short | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In the process of shaving, a young man cuts himself. A lot.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Peter Bernuth
Flying Padre (1951)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Two days in the life of priest Father Fred Stadtmuller whose New Mexico parish is so large he can only spread goodness and light among his flock with the aid of a mono-plane. The priestly ... See full summary »

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Fred Stadmueller, Bob Hite, Pedro


Complete credited cast:
Douglas Edwards ...
Narrator (voice)
Nat Fleischer ...
Himself, boxing historian (in longer version only)
Walter Cartier ...
Vincent Cartier ...
Himself, Walter's twin brother and manager
Bobby James ...
Himself, Walter's opponent
Dan Stampler ...
Himself, owner of The Steak Joint restaurant


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis





Release Date:

26 April 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

This Is America: Day of the Fight  »

Box Office


$3,900 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


If you look closely, at times you can see Kubrick operating a film camera. See more »


Narrator: In these hours he can feel his body tightening, but it's a tightness that does not come from lack of confidence, it's the pressure of the last waiting. Here in a place where the walls are so close a man can barely move his body around. If only the fight would come, then everything else would not be so bad -- not really bad at all.
See more »


Referenced in Raging Bull (1980) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Interesting little short that works thanks to its pacing and shot variety.
29 July 2008 | by (Hampshire, England) – See all my reviews

It's always interesting to go back to the beginning of a director's career, in this case Stanley Kubrick's, and take a look at his earlier work. Day of the Fight just happens to be the first film by now legendary director Kubrick who is widely regarded as one of the best contemporary directors ever. This film is around about 15-20 minutes long and revolves around the build up to a boxing match the study of the build up will revolve around.

Interestingly enough and perhaps the most interesting thing about it is that it was inspired by a photograph Kubrick himself took for a 1949 edition of a magazine. This could be seen as an early example of suspense, with constant reference to the boxing match and its importance made through narrator Douglas Edwards, a good casting for the serious and deep voice the film required. As a short, it works and the suspense and build up maintains some sort of interest as the montage plays out. Kubrick includes all sorts of shots and angles creating the nice range for the eye, my favourite being the low angle on the statue of Mary in the church about half way through.

But the focus could well be the fight itself. There is some good camera work to be had out of the actual match and a low angle between a boxer's legs would later be used by Kubrick in Killer's Kiss, another early Kubrick film. I actually would have liked the boxing match's result to have been the other way around as I feel it would've added a new dimension to the short, a sort of anti-climatic spin that might've worked well. But that said, it's worth seeing if for the match itself and the chance to see where it all started off for the great man.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
This film could've been considerably better jackhardy123
on TCM Sept. 15, 2006 JingleDell
Excellent Short Makenshi
Complete short available on Youtube septimoarte-1
Why did they change Cartier's age? mjlangenbru
Discuss Day of the Fight (1951) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: