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The Hornbacker-Murphy Fight (1894)

A referee and five fans (including a waiter in his apron) look on as two young men box. The dark-haired, slightly taller boxer throws a right and the light-haired smaller one goes down; but... See full summary »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Eugene Hornbacker ... Himself (boxer)
... Himself (boxer)
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Storyline

A referee and five fans (including a waiter in his apron) look on as two young men box. The dark-haired, slightly taller boxer throws a right and the light-haired smaller one goes down; but he's up before the referee starts counting. After the knockdown, the boxers mostly hit each other's gloves. The fans, at least one of whom is sitting inside the ring, show no animation. They're all men, dressed in a range of late 19th-century garb. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Short | Sport

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Release Date:

2 October 1894 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Бой Хорнбакер-Мерфи  »

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Featured in An Edison Album (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

Packs A Lot Of Action Into A Brief Running Time
29 November 2005 | by See all my reviews

This short boxing feature by the Edison Company catches a lot of action in a very brief running time, although the level of skill demonstrated by the two boxers is not particularly impressive. It's certainly true that much of this is probably attributable to the styles of the time, but it is also the case that these were two nondescript athletes who would long ago have been forgotten if the Edison Company had not made this movie of them.

Boxing films were one of the first genres of movies to attain widespread popularity, and this one followed the format used for a number of features of the era, with the two boxers fighting an exhibition match of five rounds of 20 seconds each. It looks as if only one round has survived.

Eugene Hornbacker was little known, and of Murphy not even his first name has been recorded. Neither boxer seems to know how to do much except to flail away as hard as possible, but it does make for a lot of whirlwind activity. The background is also interesting, with several spectators looking on in what was likely a staged arrangement. The referee also takes an active role in directing the match.

This feature was included in one of Kino's excellent collections of early movies, but it was unfortunately shown under an incorrect title, and was erroneously labeled as a Glenroy Brothers movie. With the apparent help of film historian Charles Musser, they repaired the mistake in their more recent DVD collection of Edison Company features, in which this is included as an extra, under its proper title. (This later Edison collection also includes a genuine Glenroy Brothers feature.)


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