This film is part of Free
Battling Bruisers Some Boxing Buffoonery
Effeminate fisticuffs from the French in this boxing-themed send-up of foreign stereotypes.
An opening section of heavy handed humour about boxing styles gives way to a genuine and extraordinary discovery in this silent curio. Cutie Cannaro is the nicest man in boxing: his swishy walk and camp gestures leave no doubt that we're looking at one of the earliest representations of gay men in British cinema. The effeminate seconds in his corner have the unmistakeable air of screaming chorus boys. The kisses they exchange as he enters the ring may be read as French but the cumulative effect of hints on screen reveal a boxing pair who seem more interested in each other than the fight.
The rest of the film is a fascinating pastiche of all things Russian, with Brighton Pavilion standing in for Moscow and some daring camera angles.