KGB Radio: Boxing in Film

Boxing movies have been around for more than 100 years, yet so many of the themes and stories are familiar. As boxing fans, we recognize the struggles and triumphs and insane tragedies. On this episode of the Knuckles and Gloves podcast, Patrick and Brin recall several boxing films and their themes.

Title card for the 1914 film "The Knockout," starring Charlie Chaplin and Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle (Credit: Keystone Studios/Mutual Film)

Pop quiz, hotshot: name your favorite boxing movie. WRONG. It’s “Fat City.”

Not really, though. The John Huston-directed classic released in 1972, which still probably makes it several decades younger than the average boxing judge, but nevertheless nearly 50-years-old. And absent serious pop culture pull, that’s just too elderly for most fight fans these days. But it’s a fine film, trust us.

There’s no shortage of excellent boxing films, actually. It’s just that the obsession with “Raging Bull” can overwhelm any chance other films have of creeping into the boxing fan’s consciousness.

Don’t get us wrong, “Raging Bull” is a great film. It’s just not the only boxing film around. And no wife questions, please. (Credit: United Artists)

Boxing was one of the first human endeavors ever filmed, one of the first events broadcast live on radio and definitely something 4 out of 5 dentists blame for the downfall of civilization. (The one who didn’t blame boxing was this guy, so.) It makes perfect sense that boxing would be easy to adapt into a cinematic story.

That’s also precisely why Knuckles and Gloves co-host Brin-Jonathan Butler started a podcast focusing solely on boxing films, No Happy Endings.

Oh, look. It’s your favorite boxing movie “Fat City” again. (Credit: Columbia Pictures)

This is a slightly different episode of the Knuckles and Gloves podcast, with Brin and Patrick Connor focusing on themes from boxing films, for the most part. But if you’re into third-leveling films to oblivion, reaching so hard you pull a muscle, then this is for you.

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