Idols Of The Ring

1954. IDOLS OF THE RING (1900s-40s-USA). Narrated by BILL STERN (and others). All of the famous names of boxing in the first half of ihe 20th Century come alive in this exciting compilation film: JACK DEMPSEY, JOE LOUIS, GENE TUNNEY, JACK JOHNSON, BENNY LEONARD, BARNEY ROSS, LUIS FIRPO, JESS WiLLARD, GEORGES CARPENTIER, JACK SHARKEY, MAX BAER, MAX SCHMELING, BILLY CONN, JERSEY JOE WALCOTT, ABE SIMON, PRIMO CARNERA, TONY GALENTO…The footage is collectively tremendous; seen here, in many instances, are the only existing moving images of the various bouts. Some are ancient by cinematic standards: JOE GANS versus BATTLING NELSON in 1906; BILL SQUIRES versus TOMMY BURNS in 1907; and, most intriguingly, JACK JOHNSON versus STANLEY KETCHEL in 1909. Others are obscure but still interesting, notably a 1930 contest between the colorfully named BATTLING BATTALINO and KID CHOCOLATE. Still more are classics, most notably the two battles between Dempsey and Tunney; featured in the latter is the infamous “long count” against Tunney, enabling him to best the “Manassa Mauler.” Then there is Joe Louis, the Brown Bomber, taking on the likes of Baer, Schmeling, Conn, Simon and Galento (nicknamed ‘Two Ton,” who looks as much like a pugilist as Edward G, Robinson). The film offers a close-up look at all of these men, with a spotlight on their boxing styles. There also is expert, knowing commentary to guide you along, as well as a section on great 19th Century pugilists. Here, you will learn about JOHN L. SULLIVAN, the Boston strongboy who gained the world heavyweight championship in 1882; JAMES J. “GENTLEMAN JIM” CORBETT, who beat Sullivan in a 22-round match a decade later; and the likes of BOB FlTZSIMMONS, JAMES JEFFRIES and MARVIN HART. 76 minutes. Documentary