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, ...
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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>
The film premiered as part of RKO-Pathé's "This Is America" series and opened at the Paramount Theater in New York on 26 April 26 1951 as a short subject in a program featuring My Forbidden Past (1951). Headlining in a live stage show was Frank Sinatra, which also featured an appearance by blond bombshell Dagmar. See more »
Walter isn't concerned with the hands of the clock now, just his own hands. As he gets ready to walk out there in the arena in front of the people, Walter is slowly becoming another man. This is the man who cannot lose, who must not lose. The hard movements of his arms and fists are different from what they were an hour ago. They belong to a fierce new person. They're part of the arena man, the fighting machine that the crowd outside has paid to see in fifteen minutes.
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A surprisingly accomplished debut documentary showing one man skilfully and violently overcoming another...
"Look" magazine photographer and chess-player Stanley Kubrick teamed up with old school chum Alexander Singer to launch their filmmaking careers and that of their star with this short but sweet self-financed boxing documentary, based on the future legendary director's 1949 photo feature "Prizefighter", which after the original buyer went belly-up was sold to RKO for a cool $100 profit.
We follow the fan (short for fanatic as no-nonsense narrator Douglas Edwards informs us) to the places where matched pairs of men get up on a canvas covered platform and commit legal assault and lawful battery in an attempt to capture the primitive vicarious visceral thrill of seeing one animal overcome another with the science of hammering each other unconscious with upholstered fists.
Irish-American middleweight Walter Cartier is selected at random, with a little help from boxing historian Nat Fleischer, from the 6,000 professional prize fighters who more often than not fail to scrape a living in America to give us insight into the people the fan seldom sees and never considers behind the facts and figures and columns of cold statistics in the record books.
Walter Cartier makes an amiable enough presence at the centre of the action to be able to go on to a TV acting career as we see his daily routine transform him into arena man, with able support coming from his twin brother and manager Vincent Cartier and opponent Bobby James as well as a brief appearance from Nat Fleischer and the dulcet tones of news reader Douglas Edwards.
The filmmakers make a fine pairing as Kubrick ducks and dives with his hand-held camera getting up close and personal with Cartier both before and during the fight while Singer rises above it all with his camera on a tripod to catch an overview of the action which together with the debut score of another childhood friend Gerald Fried all comes together to make a strong first impression.
"No one ever told Walter to be a fighter..."
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