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The fight

Author: Courtney B VanceBarak GoodmanJohn MaggioWGBH Educational Foundation.SBS-TV.All authors
Publisher: [200-?]
Series: Hot docs (Television program)
Edition/Format:   DVD video : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
In 1938, America was in the throes of the Great Depression, and World War II was looming. On June 22 of that year, in New York?s Yankee Stadium, German Max Schmeling and American Joe Louis were squaring off for the heavyweight championship of the world. More than 90,000 people crowded into the stadium to watch the encounter, and countless millions more the largest radio audience in history listened around the world.
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Details

Named Person: Joe Louis; Max Schmeling; Joe Louis; Max Schmeling
Material Type: Videorecording
Document Type: Visual material
All Authors / Contributors: Courtney B Vance; Barak Goodman; John Maggio; WGBH Educational Foundation.; SBS-TV.; Social Media Productions.
OCLC Number: 224850527
Language Note: Some dialogue in German with English subtitles.
Notes: Off-air recording: broadcast by SBS TV on 23 August 2005.
Originally produced by WGBH Educational Foundation and Social Media Productions in 2004.
Performer(s): Narrator: Courtney B. Vance.
Target Audience: Rated: PG.
Description: 1 videodisc (DVD) (ca. 90 min.) : sd., b&w with col. sequences ; 4 3/4 in.
Details: DVD R, compatible in most generic DVD players.
Series Title: Hot docs (Television program)
Responsibility: written, produced and directed by Barak Goodman ; co-producer, John Maggio.

Abstract:

In 1938, America was in the throes of the Great Depression, and World War II was looming. On June 22 of that year, in New York?s Yankee Stadium, German Max Schmeling and American Joe Louis were squaring off for the heavyweight championship of the world. More than 90,000 people crowded into the stadium to watch the encounter, and countless millions more the largest radio audience in history listened around the world. The pressure on each fighter was enormous. Joe Louis was not only fighting for the honour of his country, he was literally holding the hopes of all of black America in his fists. For Max Schmeling, the fight would demonstrate Hitler?s racial theories of white superiority.

The two fighters met for the first time in Yankee Stadium in 1936. The fight was even through three rounds, but in the fourth Schmeling saw his opening and struck Louis with a devastating overhand right. Finally, in the twelfth round, the punishment became too much. "This brown god had crumbled before our eyes," trumpeted sportswriter Davis Walsh. "Louis, the flawless fighter, was a myth, a delusion." Louis?s loss was crushing to black Americans, who had come to regard him as the only black man who could meet and defeat whites on equal terms. The victory thrust Schmeling into the role of chief symbol of Nazi propaganda. Their rematch in June 1938 saw Louis elevated to the role of standard-bearer for American democracy and Schmeling the hated symbol for Nazi aggression. Densely packed with social and historical detail, this documentary shows how these two boxers became reluctant national symbols at a time of terrible upheaval.

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