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FIGURE 4.12

The Camera-Ready Fight

The Corbett-Fitzsimmons Fight

Veriscope Co.; Enoch J. Rector, director; USA, 1897

An event conceived and executed for the camera, the Corbett-Fitzsimmons heavyweight championship fight suggested the ability of the cinema to hold the attention of an audience for an evening’s worth of entertainment: recording all 14 rounds, the Veriscope film ran for more than 90 minutes. Note the aspect ratio of the frame—that is, the ratio of the width to the height of the image. The standard format called for a width, or “gauge,” of 35mm. In 1897, Veriscope introduced a 63mm-gauge film for use in capturing such spectacles as championship boxing matches. This film (of which about one-fourth is extant) is the only one in which the Veriscope 63mm format survives.

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