Frames from 'The Corbett Fitzsimmons Fight'

Made:
1897-03-17 in Carson City
maker:
Enoch J Rector

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Five frames of the film The Corbett Fitzsimmons fight
Science Museum Group Collction
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

60mm Film strip, made up of five frames of the earliest feature film (and earliest widescreen feature) entitled 'The Corbett Fitzsimmons Fight', directed by Enoch J Rector. Filmed on 17 March 1897 in Carson City, Nevada, USA.

'The Corbett-Fitzsimmons Fight' is an 1897 documentary film directed by Enoch J. Rector depicting the 1897 boxing match between James J. Corbett and Bob Fitzsimmons in Carson City, Nevada on St. Patrick's Day. Originally running for more than 100 minutes, it was the longest film released to date; as such, it was the world's first feature film. The technology that allowed this is known as the Latham loop. Rector claimed to have invented the device, but its invention is disputed. He used three such equipped cameras placed adjacently and filming on 63mm nitrate film. Only fragments of the film survive.

The film was also the first to be shot in widescreen, with an aspect ratio of about 1.65:1. It was the first motion picture to ever depict the championship prizefight and the film of the fight produced more income in box office than in live gate receipts, it was immensely profitable and the picture served as a long-standing model for future amusement entrepreneurs. Prizefighting was illegal in 21 states and many cities and states tried to ban the film, but their efforts were mostly unsuccessful.[5]

In 2012, the film was added to the National Film Registry at the Library of Congress as a "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant film".

Details

Category:
Cinematography
Object Number:
2013-5163
type:
film strip

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