Oldfield vs. Jack Johnson


I never thought I would see any of this film as I assumed it was lost forever. Captured here in what is called a "Rare Jack Johnson Documentary" at the 26 minute mark is film from the infamous October 1910 unsanctioned match race between Barney Oldfield and Word Champion Heavyweight Boxer Jack Johnson. I think the film producers dramatized the contest making it appear closer than it was. It appears the same clip is used over and over to make the finish appear closer than it was. What is more the contest was in two heats, not one. The film will clearly leave the viewer with the impression that it was one heat and a close one at that. From what I have read Oldfield was invested in making newsreel footage look as entertaining as possible so he sandbagged to keep things interesting for a portion of the first heat. In the second heat he was more aggressive and stayed well ahead of the world champion boxer. Regardless of the license the documentary producers took with the facts surrounding this event it is delightful to see at least a portion of the footage I had no ideas still exists.



I also found the Oldfield - Johnson excerpt in a separate clip: