Preset: Corbett-Fitzsimmons

Filmakr Preset Corbett-Fitzsimmons (watch the film sample above)

Our Corbett-Fitzsimmons preset is inspired by a film claiming the dual titles as both the world’s first feature film as well as world’s first widescreen film. This 1897 documentary film directed by Enoch J. Rector The Corbett-Fitzsimmons Fight captured the world heavyweight title boxing match between James J. Corbett and Bob Fitzsimmons in Carson City, Nevada on St. Patrick’s Day the same year.

THE FORMULA

Live Filter: Strangelove
Vignette: Small 50%
Film Grain: 16mm 50%
Light Leaks: Constant 50%
Aspect Ratio Mask: 2.39.1 Anamophic
Format: 720p/24p, 44.1 kHz, 18 Mbps

The world’s first feature film.

Originally running at over 100 minutes, it was the longest film that had ever been released to date; as such, it was the world’s first feature film. The technology that allowed this is known as the Latham Loop (which inspired another one of our Filmakr Presets), and Rector was a rival for claiming the invention of the device. He used three Latham Loop-equipped cameras placed side-by-side so as one camera ran out of film, the next could be used and reloaded with the 63mm nitrate film being used.

The world’s first widescreen film.

The film was also the first ever to be shot in widescreen, with an aspect ratio of about 1.65:1. According to Dan Streible, The Corbett-Fitzsimmons Fight is “one of the earliest individual productions to sustain public commentary on the cinema.”

BONUS FIRST: The Corbett-Fitzsimmons Fight is probably the earliest world title fight that exists on film.

Only fragments of the film survive today. The known fragments were transferred in the 1980s from a print owned by Jean A. LeRoy of New York City, the transfer done on a specially built optical printer to convert the film to 35mm film.

Place: The Race Track Arena, Carson City, Nevada.
Time: March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day), 1897.

Fitzsimmons won by his famous “solar plexus” punch to Corbett’s midriff in the 14th round. Knock-out shot here:

More history on the legendary Bob Fitzsimmons challenging the champion “Gentleman” Jim Corbett for the world heavyweight title.

California showman and fighter James J. Corbett was the world heavyweight champion after his defeat of John L. Sullivan, and Robert Fitzsimmons, the finest Kiwi big man, had been after the socially endowed pugilist for a serious scrap for years. Fitzsimmons took the world middleweight championship in 1891 from the amazing Jack Dempsey, “Nonpariel,” but the shot at Corbett was elusive. One contest, scheduled for Halloween of 1895 in Dallas, was cancelled by state legislation banning professional boxing, and subsequent attempts in Arkansas were also thwarted. Corbett briefly retired and left the title in the hands of Peter Maher, and Fitzsimmons flattened Maher in less than two minutes in a bout billed for the world crown in the strangely staged contest on a sandbar in the middle of the Rio Grande, between Langtry, Texas and Coahuila de Zaragoza, Mexico. Gentleman Jim and the New Zealander from Timaru finally met in Carson City, Nevada, Mar. 13, 1897, in a celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. The legislation by the state to authorize the sweet science caused controversy across the nation, in tone with the national trend against the punishing pastime. The event in Carson City itself was surrounded by almost movie western intrigue, with a well-armed former Tombstone marshal Wyatt Earp, then a paid reporter for the New York World, in Corbett’s corner and several other gunmen in the former Australian champion’s contingent. Bat Masterson was said to be there. The Nevada bout was brutal and definitive, though, as “The Battling Blacksmith” Fitzsimmons, rallying from a long stumble in the 4th, won the title by a “crippling” knock out blow to the champ’s chest in the 14th round. The fight was staged during daylight and filmed for the Kinetoscope market, its display becoming a further issue for moralizing politicians across the nation.

corbett fitzsimmons1897 boxing title fight world heavyweight match widescreen feature film gloves ring rope punch spectators corner documentary enoch j rector director carson city nevada st patrick day photo