Short Film Showcase – Day of the Fight (1951)

Day of the Fight, 1951.

Directed by Stanley Kubrick.
Narrated by Douglas Edwards.

Working as a photographer for Look Magazine in 1949, Stanley Kubrick found inspiration for his debut film during a pictorial entitled Prizefigher. The resulting black-and-white documentary Day of the Fight provides a short history of the sport before following middleweight boxer Walter Cartier through a single day as he makes his preparations for a match with rival Bobby James, culminating with footage of the fight held on April 17th, 1950 in Newark, New Jersey.

The 23-year-old Kubrick financed the documentary himself to the tune of $3,900, making a $100 profit when he sold the completed film on to distributors RKO Radio Pictures. It features narration from veteran news anchor Douglas Edwards and music from Gerald Fried, who would later win an Emmy Award for composing the score of the 1977 miniseries Roots. Kubrick would make one further short documentary (The Flying Padre, 1949) before making his feature debut in 1953 with the action-adventure Fear and Desire. Meanwhile Cartier would go on to appear in a handful of television roles, most notably as Pvt. Claude Dillingham in The Phil Silvers Show (1955-1959).

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