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Old 06-22-2019, 10:28 AM #31
Mastrangelo Mastrangelo is offline
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Lots of bull**** flying around in this post.
Please elaborate!
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Old 06-22-2019, 01:55 PM #32
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Lots of bull**** flying around in this post.
Clear it up, please.
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Old 06-26-2019, 07:35 AM #33
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Originally Posted by klompton View Post
Lots of bull**** flying around in this post.
This isn't East Side Boxing....you wrote the book, give us some info.
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Old 06-26-2019, 07:54 AM #34
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Maybe they will turn up in someone's attic someday. Or at some yard sale.
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There were some of his fights filmed. If not mistaken once I read that one of the Gene Tunney fights was filmed, because in an interview he said that the lights from the camera were bugging him because they were too hot, and even the Mickey Walker fight.

There was some other theory if not mistaken that the building where the films were storage was burned.

If there are still some films that exist of his fights, for sure they are not good anymore.
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Old 06-26-2019, 11:15 PM #35
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Lots of bull**** flying around in this post.
Please explain.
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Old 06-26-2019, 11:17 PM #36
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The OP asks a good question. Reportedly Greb was an extraordinary sight. "Never in one spot for more than half a second", said Tunney about the only fighter to defeat him. Yet there's no film, even though he fought a zillion times and faced many hall-of-famers to be.

I'm an optimist. Film will surface someday. Happens all the time.
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Old 06-27-2019, 03:21 PM #37
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Please explain.
"Did some collector buy it all up and hoard it away?"

Not likely. The amount of films lost that date prior to WW1 is staggering. Boxing fans, luckily, are spoiled. We have more footage of our sport and our greats from history than any other sport BY FAR. As a result people just expect that everyone has some film on them. That just isnt the case. Greb was filmed but whether those films survive is highly debatable. If you knew how many boxing films have been lost from this era you would cry.

"For example, Gillette Cavalcade of Sports, which showed plenty of boxing and many of the classic fights we can access today, started 20 years after Greb passed away. Previous to that, most matches were on 8mm films."

Not true. Most films of fights prior to the television era were shot on 35mm. Once television came into play 16mm was used because it cheaper and easier to deal with the equipment. 8mm was primarily home movie media and while there were some 8mm films shot of boxing matches by family members, fans, etc. These are exceedingly rare. In my experience, even most of the home movies of boxing matches were shot on 16mm hand held cameras.

"- -There was once a collector on ye aulde CBZ who had perhaps the only copy of a rare Quarry fight and wouldn't sell or copy for all the tea in China."

Karl Hegman, and he was lying. He described it to me one time and there is no way possible he had it in the form he described. Ive spoken with the people who originally curated the MSG collection and they confirmed this. Likewise both Quarry's family (who Hegman said he got it from via Mando Ramos) and Buster Mathis' family confirm they have never seen it. That tape was listed as having been in the MSG collection but destroyed in a storage fire decades ago according to their own records. It was a Quad tape which was a production medium. The equipment necessary to watch a quad tape was so expensive that nobody would have purchased it just to watch a boxing tape.

"One thing to keep in mind is the nature of film. It was expensive back in the day and was often recorded over if the footage wasn't deemed valuable."

Film cannot be recorded over. Once it is shot and developed its done.

"the majority of his fights (of which we know were definitely recorded) were recorded on a type of film which degrades rapidly over time"

Not necessarily. It depends on the conditions.

"(cannot think of the name off the top of my head, been awhile since this was brought up)"

Silver Nitrate

"his bout with Tiger Flowers was 100% recorded but it's not salvagable because it's too damaged."

And this information came from where? It was not 100% recorded. Some people have assumed it was filmed and used in the docudrama on Flowers' life which was released after Flowers won the title (I will detail that below) but thats problematic because that film was actually shot in 1924. It was a staged film of Flowers life with Flowers acting as himself. It was not a documentary but a docudrama. The film was shelved when Flowers was knocked out by Jack Delaney and his reputation took a hit with the black press. They resurrected it in 1926 after Flowers won the title. Its possible they tacked on something about the Greb fights but there is no direct evidence that this was actual footage of the Greb bouts. The fights themselves were never advertised or copyrighted which would lead one to believe that if anything was shown on Greb it was dramatized.

"Same with Tiger Flowers himself though, there was a documentary on Flowers' life and a number of his bouts which were all recorded but we'll never get to see any of it because of irrepairable damage, film back then wasn't as it is today, to put it lightly."

As stated above it wasnt a documentary but a dramatization of Flowers life with Flowers acting in his role. There is only one known Flowers fight to have been filmed and that was after this docudrama was released. Nobody knows what happened to the actual film. What was irreparably damaged were the frames stapled to the copyright form recording the film. The vast majority of early African American cinema has been lost unfortunately and this film is one of those.

"Another source said one filmed was supposedly sent threw mail to Jim Jacobs but got lost and never arrived."

Never heard this but Jacobs told so many bull**** and conflicting stories around a Greb film that you cant believe any of them. The only thing that is certain is that he never saw one but occasionally claimed to have one. He had an odd sense of humor and would often claim to have fights he didnt or leave a can of film on his desk with a fake label that said something like "Robinson-Gavilan" to make peoples mouths water or get a rise out of them.

"Grebs fights were from 1930s"

The known films of Greb range from 1918 to 1925. He died in 1926.

"Is there a story about Sam Langford films being discovered?
Like when it took place and how it surfaced?"

I discovered the most recent batch which was nearly 20 years ago. Myself and four other people paid to have them transferred and preserved and agreed to keep them to ourselves as the cost was extremely high and if one of us let it out the others might get angry as their investment was sunk. We also didnt want to get into legal hot water as we didnt own the actual films and only agreed to pay the cost to get personal copies. One of the members showed it to a friend who eventually acquired a low quality copy and claimed that he discovered it. Thats one of the reasons I dont deal with anyone anymore.

"- -You think Edison's 1 Minute attempt of the first full length aborted feature film in 1896 Langtry, Texas exists?"

No, it was too overcast that day to capture a good print using the technology of the day. You had to have a LOT of light to make a good picture.

"If not mistaken once I read that one of the Gene Tunney fights was filmed, because in an interview he said that the lights from the camera were bugging him because they were too hot"

It was Jim Jacobs that created the story that the Tunney fight was filmed but Im not convinced. As mentioned above he told a lot of whoppers. His main story in regards to this was that he found a copyright form in the copyright office with four frames from the film stapled to it. This isnt true. The copyright office doesnt and didnt EVER have such a form on Greb-Tunney. That shoots a big hole right in the origin of this story. There is an entry at the AFI of a Greb-Tunney film but the AFI is kind of like the boxrec of films. They catalogue films that existed at one time. However that data is only as good as the people entering it. Typically it is backed up by documentary evidence such as an advert or contemporary mention in a film trade publication. I contacted the AFI and had them look at this record and the head of the AFI himself was puzzled by it, suspicious of it, and skeptical of its legitimacy. It has zero evidence to back it up and there is no data as to why it was even entered. He said its likely a bad entry. He even looked through their resources and could find no mention of the film anywhere. Furthermore there are no advertisements for it in any of the New York papers I have seen. I have on rare occasions seen films pop up for which there is no corresponding advert but its rare and usually there is a reason for it i.e. a foreign fighter who was wildly popular in his home country so the fight was filmed and marketed there but not much if at all in the USA. This happened in this era but its rare. Finally, the production company listed as doing the film has zero production credits to its name other than this film. This is highly unusual as those MSG/Rickard fights were typically done by the same outfit which had a lot of experience in boxing films. So my personal belief is that if this fight was filmed it wasnt filmed under the circumstances that those who started those rumors allege which throws the whole thing in doubt. Its possible but not under their conditions.


So, to sum up, is it odd that Greb films havent survived? No. Not really. Most films of this era havent. Film in general is unstable when kept in poor conditions. Even film from the 1970s shot on safety film will deteriorate over time not kept correctly. Silver Nitrate film which was what Greb would have been filmed on was combustible and more prone to deterioration. Furthermore you have to put yourself in the mind of this era. These films were shot to be shown shortly after the fight to increase the revenue that couldnt be made at the live gate. There was no TV, DVD, VHS, Streaming etc. These promoters wanted a quick buck and then they had no expectation of these films ever being seen again. Film is big, bulky, and silver nitrate is dangerous. It goes up like gasoline and self combust under bad conditions. Its a pain in the ass to store this stuff so the fact that we have as much footage of the guys we have is really a miracle. Then you have the issue of the law. In that era interstate transportation of fight films was illegal. That means that these films were primarily shown in the state in which they were shot. There are some exceptions for the big fights like Dempsey etc but most were not reproduced and sent far and wide. More copies means more possibility of survival. Less copies, well you get the picture. So thats it in a nutshell. No conspiracy just bad luck unfortunately. The possibility exists that one survives and is out there and I hang on to this but the odds are actually against it. That being said the odds were against most of these films surviving and as fans of these old timers we are blessed.

Last edited by klompton; 06-27-2019 at 03:26 PM.
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Old 06-27-2019, 03:41 PM #38
Mastrangelo Mastrangelo is offline
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Amazing post, Klompton. Thanks for taking your time to write it.
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Old 06-27-2019, 05:34 PM #39
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- -Ace!!!!!
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Old 06-27-2019, 05:46 PM #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klompton View Post
"Did some collector buy it all up and hoard it away?"

Not likely. The amount of films lost that date prior to WW1 is staggering. Boxing fans, luckily, are spoiled. We have more footage of our sport and our greats from history than any other sport BY FAR. As a result people just expect that everyone has some film on them. That just isnt the case. Greb was filmed but whether those films survive is highly debatable. If you knew how many boxing films have been lost from this era you would cry.

"For example, Gillette Cavalcade of Sports, which showed plenty of boxing and many of the classic fights we can access today, started 20 years after Greb passed away. Previous to that, most matches were on 8mm films."

Not true. Most films of fights prior to the television era were shot on 35mm. Once television came into play 16mm was used because it cheaper and easier to deal with the equipment. 8mm was primarily home movie media and while there were some 8mm films shot of boxing matches by family members, fans, etc. These are exceedingly rare. In my experience, even most of the home movies of boxing matches were shot on 16mm hand held cameras.

"- -There was once a collector on ye aulde CBZ who had perhaps the only copy of a rare Quarry fight and wouldn't sell or copy for all the tea in China."

Karl Hegman, and he was lying. He described it to me one time and there is no way possible he had it in the form he described. Ive spoken with the people who originally curated the MSG collection and they confirmed this. Likewise both Quarry's family (who Hegman said he got it from via Mando Ramos) and Buster Mathis' family confirm they have never seen it. That tape was listed as having been in the MSG collection but destroyed in a storage fire decades ago according to their own records. It was a Quad tape which was a production medium. The equipment necessary to watch a quad tape was so expensive that nobody would have purchased it just to watch a boxing tape.

"One thing to keep in mind is the nature of film. It was expensive back in the day and was often recorded over if the footage wasn't deemed valuable."

Film cannot be recorded over. Once it is shot and developed its done.

"the majority of his fights (of which we know were definitely recorded) were recorded on a type of film which degrades rapidly over time"

Not necessarily. It depends on the conditions.

"(cannot think of the name off the top of my head, been awhile since this was brought up)"

Silver Nitrate

"his bout with Tiger Flowers was 100% recorded but it's not salvagable because it's too damaged."

And this information came from where? It was not 100% recorded. Some people have assumed it was filmed and used in the docudrama on Flowers' life which was released after Flowers won the title (I will detail that below) but thats problematic because that film was actually shot in 1924. It was a staged film of Flowers life with Flowers acting as himself. It was not a documentary but a docudrama. The film was shelved when Flowers was knocked out by Jack Delaney and his reputation took a hit with the black press. They resurrected it in 1926 after Flowers won the title. Its possible they tacked on something about the Greb fights but there is no direct evidence that this was actual footage of the Greb bouts. The fights themselves were never advertised or copyrighted which would lead one to believe that if anything was shown on Greb it was dramatized.

"Same with Tiger Flowers himself though, there was a documentary on Flowers' life and a number of his bouts which were all recorded but we'll never get to see any of it because of irrepairable damage, film back then wasn't as it is today, to put it lightly."

As stated above it wasnt a documentary but a dramatization of Flowers life with Flowers acting in his role. There is only one known Flowers fight to have been filmed and that was after this docudrama was released. Nobody knows what happened to the actual film. What was irreparably damaged were the frames stapled to the copyright form recording the film. The vast majority of early African American cinema has been lost unfortunately and this film is one of those.

"Another source said one filmed was supposedly sent threw mail to Jim Jacobs but got lost and never arrived."

Never heard this but Jacobs told so many bull**** and conflicting stories around a Greb film that you cant believe any of them. The only thing that is certain is that he never saw one but occasionally claimed to have one. He had an odd sense of humor and would often claim to have fights he didnt or leave a can of film on his desk with a fake label that said something like "Robinson-Gavilan" to make peoples mouths water or get a rise out of them.

"Grebs fights were from 1930s"

The known films of Greb range from 1918 to 1925. He died in 1926.

"Is there a story about Sam Langford films being discovered?
Like when it took place and how it surfaced?"

I discovered the most recent batch which was nearly 20 years ago. Myself and four other people paid to have them transferred and preserved and agreed to keep them to ourselves as the cost was extremely high and if one of us let it out the others might get angry as their investment was sunk. We also didnt want to get into legal hot water as we didnt own the actual films and only agreed to pay the cost to get personal copies. One of the members showed it to a friend who eventually acquired a low quality copy and claimed that he discovered it. Thats one of the reasons I dont deal with anyone anymore.

"- -You think Edison's 1 Minute attempt of the first full length aborted feature film in 1896 Langtry, Texas exists?"

No, it was too overcast that day to capture a good print using the technology of the day. You had to have a LOT of light to make a good picture.

"If not mistaken once I read that one of the Gene Tunney fights was filmed, because in an interview he said that the lights from the camera were bugging him because they were too hot"

It was Jim Jacobs that created the story that the Tunney fight was filmed but Im not convinced. As mentioned above he told a lot of whoppers. His main story in regards to this was that he found a copyright form in the copyright office with four frames from the film stapled to it. This isnt true. The copyright office doesnt and didnt EVER have such a form on Greb-Tunney. That shoots a big hole right in the origin of this story. There is an entry at the AFI of a Greb-Tunney film but the AFI is kind of like the boxrec of films. They catalogue films that existed at one time. However that data is only as good as the people entering it. Typically it is backed up by documentary evidence such as an advert or contemporary mention in a film trade publication. I contacted the AFI and had them look at this record and the head of the AFI himself was puzzled by it, suspicious of it, and skeptical of its legitimacy. It has zero evidence to back it up and there is no data as to why it was even entered. He said its likely a bad entry. He even looked through their resources and could find no mention of the film anywhere. Furthermore there are no advertisements for it in any of the New York papers I have seen. I have on rare occasions seen films pop up for which there is no corresponding advert but its rare and usually there is a reason for it i.e. a foreign fighter who was wildly popular in his home country so the fight was filmed and marketed there but not much if at all in the USA. This happened in this era but its rare. Finally, the production company listed as doing the film has zero production credits to its name other than this film. This is highly unusual as those MSG/Rickard fights were typically done by the same outfit which had a lot of experience in boxing films. So my personal belief is that if this fight was filmed it wasnt filmed under the circumstances that those who started those rumors allege which throws the whole thing in doubt. Its possible but not under their conditions.


So, to sum up, is it odd that Greb films havent survived? No. Not really. Most films of this era havent. Film in general is unstable when kept in poor conditions. Even film from the 1970s shot on safety film will deteriorate over time not kept correctly. Silver Nitrate film which was what Greb would have been filmed on was combustible and more prone to deterioration. Furthermore you have to put yourself in the mind of this era. These films were shot to be shown shortly after the fight to increase the revenue that couldnt be made at the live gate. There was no TV, DVD, VHS, Streaming etc. These promoters wanted a quick buck and then they had no expectation of these films ever being seen again. Film is big, bulky, and silver nitrate is dangerous. It goes up like gasoline and self combust under bad conditions. Its a pain in the ass to store this stuff so the fact that we have as much footage of the guys we have is really a miracle. Then you have the issue of the law. In that era interstate transportation of fight films was illegal. That means that these films were primarily shown in the state in which they were shot. There are some exceptions for the big fights like Dempsey etc but most were not reproduced and sent far and wide. More copies means more possibility of survival. Less copies, well you get the picture. So thats it in a nutshell. No conspiracy just bad luck unfortunately. The possibility exists that one survives and is out there and I hang on to this but the odds are actually against it. That being said the odds were against most of these films surviving and as fans of these old timers we are blessed.
Great post. Thanks for giving such a comprehensive and thorough response.
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