Fight Pictures: A History of Boxing and Early Cinema

By Dan Streible | Go to book overview

2 The Corbett-Fitzsimmons Fight
Women at the Veriscope, 1897

Almost everybody of the male sex has at some time experienced a
mild desire to see an actual prizefight, and this desire will with many
be strengthened by the chance of seeing a prizefight without the
more revolting incidents of the actual contest. Of course, the
connoisseur misses the sight of blood and the sound of profane
language, but many a Quaker must acknowledge a temptation to see
a fight that has already been fought and which his patronage will
therefore not encourage.

                                                 “The ‘Veriscope,’” New York Times, May 26, 1897

On St. Patrick’s Day 1897, after three years’ anticipation, delay, and hype, James John Corbett and Robert Prometheus Fitzsimmons fought their heavyweight championship contest in Carson City, Nevada. The underdog Fitzsimmons dethroned the popular champion with a much-discussed “solar plexus punch” in the fourteenth round. Under the direction of Enoch J. Rector and the promotion of Texas gambler Dan A. Stuart, motion pictures of the entire event were successfully filmed and prominently exhibited across the United States and abroad. As the first feature-length film, the Corbett-Fitzsimmons Fight was a cinematic landmark. Yet (its temptation of Quakers aside) its more important, and surprising, consequence was its unprecedented ability to bring women into the audience for prizefighting.

The eleven thousand feet of film taken by Rector’s cameras became a one-hundred-minute presentation when projected by his “veriscope.” With prominent screenings worldwide, the Corbett-Fitzsimmons Fight was one of the earliest individual productions to generate and sustain public commentary on the cinema. From the time of its proposed creation in 1894 until its release two months after the fight, the recording was widely discussed by the public and press. Its lengthy run and rerun—a new exhibition experience—invited commentary on the quality of cinematic reproduction, the results of the contest, the social effects of the fight picture, and the nature of its audience. Yet in histories of cinema the Corbett-Fitzsimmons Fight has been but a footnote, characterized as an atypically long actuality that anticipated feature-length motion pictures. Paul Rotha’s passing

-52-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Fight Pictures: A History of Boxing and Early Cinema
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 397

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.