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Men Boxing (1891)

Two men wearing boxing gloves prepare to spar in the Edison Company studio.


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Two men wearing boxing gloves stand in a simulated boxing ring in the Thomas Edison Company studio. The man on the left takes up a boxing stance and moves his fists as if looking for an opportunity to land a blow. But the man on the right leans back, away from his opponent, keeping his arms back or to his side, and smiling at the other boxer's efforts. Written by Snow Leopard

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Not Rated






Release Date:

June 1891 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Férfiak bokszolnak See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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Did You Know?


Featured in Edison: The Invention of the Movies (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

Having fun while experimenting...
8 May 2007 | by jluis1984See all my reviews

During the years from 1890 to 1892, there was a period of constant experimenting in Thomas Alva Edison's headquarters, as the team led by Scottish inventor Williak K.L. Dickson was working constantly in an idea that would revolutionize entertainment. That idea was the Kinetoscope, a project that Dickson had been developing since Edison told him about the "motion pictures" that other pioneers had began to make (French inventor Louis Le Prince being the first in 1988). Dickson took Edison's ideas beyond and conceived a machine able to show motion pictures through a hole, the Kinetoscope. Many experiments were done in order to discover the best way to produce movies, and what started with the raw experiments codenamed "Monkeyshines", by 1891 it would be a reality: Dickson was now able to produce motion pictures. The tests continued, each time with better quality, and this short, "Men Boxing", is another of those early American films.

Directed by William K.L. Dickson and William Heise, "Men Boxing" shows a scene of a boxing match between two workers at Edison's laboratory. However, this is not a documentary movie like the ones Dickson would make for Edison in the future, the two fighters are only pretending to be boxing in a fake boxing ring (as usual, the movie was shot in Edison's laboratory), in order to test the camera. The scene allowed Dickson and Heise to test the amount of lighting necessary to achieve high quality images, as well as the recording speed the camera needed to capture the different movements of the boxers. While an entirely technical experiment (like most of the early films, this movie wasn't made to be shown to the public), it's interesting to see the two actors having fun in their roles of boxers, almost joking as the entire short seems to be done with a healthy dose of good humor.

When William K.L. Dickson showed his "Dickson Greeting" short to the world, Kinetoscope was born and the era of motion pictures as entertainment was inaugurated. Soon, the Kinetoscope (or "peepshow machine") became widely popular thanks to Dickson's short films that depicted vaudeville acts and folkloric dances from around the world, as well as the short documentaries done for the devise. Like "Monkeyshines" or "Newark Athlete", the short experiment titled "Men Boxing" was a key factor in the success of Dickson's Kinetoscope, as this movie almost has the quality that the inventors desired. Charming and fun, this little experiment, while still incomplete, already shows how fun and entertaining the new medium would be. 7/10

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