This is not a documentary
Nay | 11/21/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Ok, I was looking for the much sought after documentary to see Joe Louis in the flesh, hear him speak, watch live footage of the fights. THIS AINT IT! You are better off going to pbs.org and getting American Experience: THE FIGHT DVD PBS Joe Louis.
The actor certainly looks like a cross between Muhammed Ali and Joe Louis, the fight signs are just drama. To get a piece of history, this is not where to start your collection. But if you want to watch a 1950's movie which for me is way above my time, get it. Hope this helps"
Nice Collection of Three Boxing (or Boxing-Related) Films
Tsuyoshi | Kyoto, Japan | 01/14/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Three films are in one DVD. "The Joe Louis Story" (1953), "The Fighter" (1952) and "Fight for the Title" (1957).
"The Joe Louis Story" follows the life and career of Heavyweight Champion Joe Louis. Coley Wallace himself a professional boxer plays him and the actual fight footages of Louis are used for the bout scenes. The film opens with his final fight on the ring with future champion Rocky Marciano and then a fictional sportswriter played by Paul Stewart starts to recount the real story of Joe Louis with voiceovers.
I don't know to what extent the film's story could be called real. The slick narrative tells most of the major events in his amazing career, but not much about himself or his personality. This is not to say the film lacks dramatic moments - James Edwards gives authentic and touching portrayal of Joe's trainer and mentor Jack 'Chappie' Blackburn, but the film is a bit disappointing if you're looking for the reasons for the great impact that Joe Louis gave American sports and culture.
(DVD jacket has the name of Ossie Davis on its cover, but his role is small and uncredited.)
"The Fighter" is based on Jack London's short story "The Mexican." A boxer named Felipe Rivera (Richard Conte) fights in the ring to win the money and buy the guns for revolution in Mexico. The story itself is basically the same as London's short, but the original's lonely hero, who is liked and understood by no one else, is significantly changed; he talks and, it seems, one lady is romantically attracted to him. The film is just an average drama with good boxing sequences at the end.
"Fight for the Title" (that runs about 27 minutes) is actually an episode from TV series "Star for Today." It stars George Brenlin as disillusioned Lightweight Champion Benny Leonard who really wants to enlist in the army. A young boxer Kid Lombard is desperate to defeat the champion, but obviously Kid has no chance and Benny knows it. The story takes a surprising turn when Benny meets Kid again in the gym. It is a good story (and most probably fictional one despite the name of Benny Leonard), but too sentimental you might say. Don't miss young Michael Landon ("Little House on the Prairie" as Kid.
This is a nice collection, but don't expect the crisp images and sound."