Stanley Kubrick’s Short Film: Day Of The Fight

Day of the Fight shows Irish-American middleweight boxer Walter Cartier during the height of his career, on April 17, 1950, the day of a fight with middleweight Bobby James and was directed by Stanely Kubrick. Kubrick and Alexander Singer used daylight-loading Eyemo cameras that take 100-foot spools of 35mm black-and-white film to shoot the fight, with Kubrick shooting hand-held (often from below) and Singer’s camera on a tripod. The 100-foot reels required constant reloading, and Kubrick did not catch the knock-out punch which ended the bout because he was reloading. Singer did, however.

Day of the Fight is the first credit on composer Gerald Fried’s resume. Kubrick did not pay him for his work on the film. “He thought the very fact that my doing the music” for the film “got me into the profession was enough payment”, Fried told The Guardian in 2018 conceding that Kubrick’s point was accurate. Fried, a childhood friend of Kubrick, later wrote the score for the director’s Paths of Glory (1957) and three other films.

Although the originally planned buyer of the picture went out of business, Kubrick was able to sell Day of the Fight to RKO Pictures for $4,000, making a small benefit of $100 above the $3,900 cost of making the film.

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. Cartier eats breakfast in his West 12th Street apartment in Greenwich Village, 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, which he wins in a short match Wikipedia

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