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 »
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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>
It's a living. For some, not much of a living. There are six thousand men like these in America -- professional prizefighters. Only six hundred will make a living at all -- and of these only sixty will make a good living. One out of one hundred.
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The Day of the Fight is rarely seen, but essential viewing for anybody who takes cinema, or Kubrick, seriously. It encompasses one day in the life of a boxer in New York City in 1951, and is beautifully filmed (Kubrick at the camera) and structured, with the audience knowing throughout that the day will end in a fight, so there is built-in tension about that upcoming bout, and who will win. The voice-over is tightly written by Kubrick, and his writing is only one of many suggestions of the scope of the filmmaker's gifts. Two examples: A scene where the fighter is at home playing with his dog while the voice-over talks about the brutality the man employs in the ring-- terrific contrast in moods. And the audio is perfect: the only time Kubrick films with sound is when the boxer enters the ring-- then you hear crowd sounds, announcers, everything. Until then, it's a documentary with voice-over. It really is a minor work of an important genius.
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