Cradle of Champions

Cradle of Champions

Bartle Bull (2017)

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Review

Our Score
There might be a class chasm, but Bartle Bull's documentary about New York's annual Golden Gloves amateur boxing tournament has much in common with Stevan Riley's Oxbridge Varsity profile, Blue Blood (2006). The debuting Bull (who is a respected foreign-affairs journalist) recognises the value of the sport as a social release and a means of escape for those on the lower rungs. The brainchild of novelist Paul Gallico (author of The Poseidon Adventure) when he was working for the New York Daily News, the competition has produced more professional world champions than the Olympics since its inception in 1927 and Bull does a good job of sketching in the pugilistic significance of a prize that even eluded a young Cassius Clay. He also makes kinetic use of the camera to capture the brutal action in the ring. But he is less successful at uncovering what makes cool operator Titus Williams, single mum Nisa Rodriguez and mummy's boy brawler James Wilkins tick, as they progress through the various rounds to finals night.

Cast & Crew

Nisa Rodriguez Nisa Rodriguez
James Wilkins James Wilkins
Titus Williams Titus Williams
Director Bartle Bull

Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Swipe FilmsReleased on: 22 Mar 2019