American Experience: Season 17, Episode 2

The Fight (24 Jan. 2005)

TV Episode  |   |  Documentary, History
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 94 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 1 critic

Documentary on the boxing match between American Joe Louis and German Max Schmeling, which captured the world's attention on June 22, 1938.



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Episode credited cast:
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Steve Acunto ...
Himself - Boxing Trainer
Gus Adams ...
Himself - Louis' Friend
Himself (archive footage)
Alverta Barksdale ...
Herself - Dancer
David Bathrick ...
Himself - Professor of German Studies, Cornell University
Jimmy Braddock ...
Himself (archive footage)
Jim Clark ...
Himself - Boxing Fan
Additional voice (voice)
Himself (archive footage)
Herself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Truman Gibson ...
Himself - Joe Louis' Attorney
Joseph Goebbels ...
Himself (archive footage) (as Josef Goebbels)
Herb Goldman ...
Himself - Boxing Historian


Documentary on the boxing match between American Joe Louis and German Max Schmeling, which captured the world's attention on June 22, 1938.

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Release Date:

24 January 2005 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

21 March 2012 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This episode of "The American Experience" is narrated by Courtney Vance (of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" fame). It's a very lengthy documentary about both Schmelling and Lewis boxing matches. In addition, background for the times and for both fighters is given in depth.

The story made for a compelling sporting event. Lewis was the new hope for Black America to have another boxing champ. Schmelling was used by the Nazi propaganda machine as their Aryan wonder. So, no matter who won the fights, it would be HUGE--huge nationally and internationally. I won't tell you who won the fights...find out for yourself if you don't already know.

Like all other wonderful episodes of this terrific PBS series, the film is made up of great narration, interviews, vintage photos and footage. Together, they are expertly intertwined to create a portrait of freedom versus repression. This is the third different film I've seen about this fight during the last year, and it might just be the best. Well worth seeing.

By the way, it's interesting in how in this show they emphasized how Schmelling cried out in a high and loud voice when hit by Lewis--yet this wasn't in the drama I saw about this or the other documentary.

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