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The Cock Fight (1894)

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Two gamecocks fight in the Edison Company film studio. This feature was remade later in the same year, with additional detail added.

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Two gamecocks fight in the Edison Company film studio. This feature was remade later in the same year, with additional detail added.

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Documentary | Short




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Cockfight  »

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Did You Know?


Among the first group of motion pictures to be exhibited commercially in the world, when the Holland Bros.' Kinetoscope Parlor opened on Broadway in New York City on 14 April 1894. See more »


Followed by Cock Fight, No. 2 (1894) See more »

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The Movie Sometimes Shown Under This Title Is Actually "Cock Fight No. 2"
8 December 2005 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

This title is one of a number of examples of how easily some of the earliest movies can become confused with one another. "The Cock Fight" was one of the earliest of the Edison Company's Kinetoscope features, and when the original negatives quickly wore out, they shot a remake later in the same year in order to accommodate the demand for it. It is the remake, "Cock Fight No. 2", that is included in a number of currently available DVD or video collections, but it is sometimes shown under the title of the original.

The original "The Cock Fight" supposedly showed only two birds fighting, without the spectators in the background who appear in "Cock Fight No. 2". According to film historian Charles Musser (in his comments to "Cock Fight No. 2" in Kino's DVD collection of Edison movies) the remake added the spectators and also switched to a white background, instead of the black background that was apparently used for the original.

The movie that actually represents this title, then, probably no longer exists, and an Edison movie shown as "The Cock Fight" (or as "Cock Fight") is probably "Cock Fight No. 2". The other two reviews here (at least as of the time of this writing) are both commenting on the remake, rather than on the original (and they are worth reading in regards to the remake).

The controversial subject matter of both movies would understandably put off many present-day viewers from watching them anyway, but if nothing else they can serve as a historical example that illustrates some of the characteristics of the early film-making industry.

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