Sunday, December 16, 2012
Movie Ad of the Week: THE SUPER BLACK CHAMPIONS (1974)
Bill Cayton and Jim Jacobs are best remembered today as the managers/promoters behind Mike Tyson's ascension to the World Heavyweight Champion title, but the two were also dedicated film collectors and preservationists who amassed a staggering collection of boxing films (between 17,000 and 26,000 sources claim). Their company The Big Fights, Inc. produced and released boxing documentaries such as A.K.A. CASSIUS CLAY (1970) and MUHAMMAD ALI: SKILL, BRAINS, AND GUTS (1975) and the Academy Award nominated THE LEGENDARY CHAMPIONS (1968) and JACK JOHNSON (1970). Cayton was also instrumental in bringing several Russian animated fantasy and science-fiction films from the Soyuzmultfilm studio to the U.S. (including features that were re-edited to become THE SPACE EXPLORERS and THE FROG PRINCE), as well as the live-action Czech production CESTA DO PRAVEKU (1955), which he reworked into the kiddie matinee favorite JOURNEY TO THE BEGINNING OF TIME (1966). Their Big Fights documentary THE SUPER BLACK CHAMPIONS, probably put together to take advantage of the popular soul cinema movement of the early '70s, opened in one New York theater on January 25, 1974.