Cockfight, no. 2 (1894)

by popegrutch

Cockfight no2

Don’t ask me what happened to no. 1, apparently it was worn out, necessitating this remake to supply eager Kinetoscope exhibitors with a popular subject matter. It really does appear to be about 30 seconds worth of an actual cockfight, framed exactly as the stage for the “Boxing Cats” had been. There are two men behind the cage, but unlike Professor Welton, they do not need to assure that the birds keep fighting, the birds appear happy to comply without encouragement. Rather, the men are making bets, or possibly giving a performance of making bets, in order to supply the correct atmosphere for the viewer. Cockfighting, like boxing, was illegal in most states and regarded as a “blood sport” at the time. Of the two, boxing has become an accepted if somewhat dangerous sport, while cock fighting is even more heavily disapproved of, as a form of cruelty towards animals. Thus, audiences today may be just as fascinated by the forbidden subject as were the audiences of the nineteenth century.

Director: WKL Dickson

Camera: William Heise

Run Time: 35 secs

You can watch it for free: here.