Wow, anybody see this documentary on PBS about the parallel careers of Louis and Schmeling and their rivalry and friendship? Great stuff. Very well done. Lots of good stuff to see here, including footage of Jack Johnson (!) and a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff with both fighters and people who were fans from both U.S. and Germany. At one point they are talking with an old Harlem dancer. Woman must have been in her 80s but recalling how they lusted after ol' Joe back in the 30s got her fire up again; it was magical to see an old woman say "he was a beautiful, beautiful man" and look as hungry as a 20-year-old. Stuff like that makes the doco priceless. And of course the boxing footage!
Couple of questions:
-they summed up the careers of both after boxing and pointed out how Schmeling prospered and Louis floundered, but they didn't mention Louis' drug problems, I'm assuming out of respect. What drugs did Louis have a problem with and how did he get started?
-In Louis-Schmeling II, 1938, they showed the body blow that caused Schmeling to, as observers put it, scream in pain. Then they showed it again in slow-mo - gorsh, I almost couldn't watch, the look on Schmeling's face was so horrific. Did it really happen? What caused it? Some said a kidney blow but it really looked to hit him in the side below the ribs. Are your kidneys there?
-What was the deal with Louis' trainer, "Chappy?" He was a pro fighter then he went into the joint for murder? See the scar on that guy's face?! Wow...!