Flick Review < Day of the fight | Stanley Kubrick, 1951

Stanley Kubrick’s excellent first short documentary film Day of the Fight. 
  Kubrick financed the film himself, and it is based on an earlier photo feature he had done as a photographer for Look magazine in 1949.
(See the photos and watch the short film that started it all)
   Day Of The Fight shows Irish-American middleweight boxer Walter Cartier during the height of his career, on the day of a fight with black middleweight Bobby James, which took place on April 17, 1950.

   The film opens with a short section on boxing’s history, and then follows Cartier through his day, as he prepares for the 10 P.M. bout that night. He eats breakfast in his West 12th Street apartment in Greenwich Village, then goes to early mass and eats lunch at his favorite restaurant. At 4 P.M., he starts preparations for the fight. By 8 P.M., he is waiting in his dressing room at Laurel Gardens in Newark, New Jersey for the fight to begin. We then see the fight itself, where he comes out victorious in a short match.

Narrator: It’s a living. For some, not much of a living. There are six thousand men like these in America — professional prizefighters. Only six hundred will make a living at all — and of these only sixty will make a good living. One out of one hundred.
Narrator: Before a fight there’s always that last look in the mirror. 
Time to wonder what it will reflect tomorrow.
Narrator: In these hours he can feel his body tightening, but it’s a tightness that does not come from lack of confidence, it’s the pressure of the last waiting. Here in a place where the walls are so close a man can barely move his body around. If only the fight would come, then everything else would not be so bad — not really bad at all.
Narrator: One man has skillfully, violently overcome another — that’s for the fan. But K.O., name of opponent, time, date, and place — that’s for the record book. But it’s more than that in the life of a man who literally has to fight for his very existence. For him, it’s the end of a working day.

Alexander Singer was a high school friend of Stanley Kubrick’s (they went to William Howard Taft High School in the Bronx), who acted as assistant director and a camerman for this film. He also worked on Kubrick’s Killer’s Kiss and The Killing.

It cost Stanley Kubrick $3,900 to make and he sold it (to RKO) for $4,000.

If you look closely, at times you can see Kubrick operating a film camera.

Day of the Fight (1951) 
Director: Stanley Kubrick 
Writer: Robert Rein (narration script)
Stars: Douglas Edwards, Vincent Cartier, Walter Cartier

3 thoughts on “Flick Review < Day of the fight | Stanley Kubrick, 1951

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *