A Day With Jack Dempsey (1921)

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The 1921 battle for the heavyweight championship between Jack Dempsey and Georges Carpentier was very well documented on film. Nearly every moment of Dempsey's training, in particular, seemed to be recorded. The footage was distilled into this one-reel documentary by producer Fred Quimby. The champ is shown running, sparring, and eating his meals with his manager, Jack Kearns. The latter scene really reflects the racial attitudes of the day -- an African-American cook, referred to as a "black mammy," prepares Dempsey's meal, while he hungrily waits. The thousand feet of this picture literally go through a whole day with Dempsey, even showing him stripped for a rubdown (trade paper Moving Picture World notes that he has "no superfluous poundage"), and playing "a friendly game of cards" when he has finished training for the day. The film even ends with a shot of Dempsey snoring away in bed with the windows wide open. Dempsey must have trained well -- he kept his title, knocking Carpentier out after only 11 minutes.