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A History of the Boxing Film, 1894-1915: Social Control and Social Reform in the Progressive Era

Dan Streible
Film History
Vol. 3, No. 3 (1989), pp. 235-257
Published by: Indiana University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3814980
Page Count: 23
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A History of the Boxing Film, 1894-1915: Social Control and Social Reform in the Progressive Era
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Abstract

From 1894 to 1915, a popular yet controversial cycle of some 100 boxing films occupied the screens of early cinema. Although these prize fight films constituted an important part of the inchoate movie industry's product, they remained under continual attack from Progressive Era reformers. A study of the reception and eventual suppression of boxing films in the United States reveals both the contradictions between social reform and social control inherent in American progressivism and the historical conjunction between humanitarian and racist motivations for motion picture censorship.

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