cover of book

The Boxing Film: A Cultural and Transmedia History
by Travis Vogan
Rutgers University Press, 2021
Paper: 978-1-9788-0135-6 | eISBN: 978-1-9788-0139-4 | Cloth: 978-1-9788-0136-3
Library of Congress Classification PN1995.9.B69V64 2020
Dewey Decimal Classification 791.436579

As one of popular culture’s most popular arenas, sports are often the subject of cinematic storytelling. But boxing films are special. There are more movies about boxing, by a healthy margin, than any other sport, and boxing accompanied and aided the medium’s late nineteenth-century emergence as a popular mass entertainment. Many of cinema’s most celebrated directors—from Oscar Micheaux to Martin Scorsese—made boxing films. And while the production of other types of sports movies generally corresponds with the current popularity of their subject, boxing films continue to be made regularly even after the sport has wilted from its once-prominent position in the sports hierarchy of the United States. From Edison’s Leonard-Cushing Fight to The Joe Louis Story, Rocky, and beyond, this book explores why boxing has so consistently fascinated cinema and popular media culture by tracing how boxing movies inform the sport’s meanings and uses from the late nineteenth century to the early twenty-first century.

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