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April 5, 2018

The Earliest Female Boxing Movie: ‘The Gordon Sisters Boxing’ by Thomas A. Edison, 1906

Two women on a stage approach from either side of the painted backdrop of a garden and engage in a boxing match. Both the boxing gloves and the hits exchanged between the women seem genuine. One woman wears a modest white dress with long sleeves and a skirt to mid-calf, dark stockings, and laced boots. The other woman--taller, thinner, and perhaps younger--sports a shorter, dark, sleeveless dress and the same dark stockings and boots.

The Gordon Sisters Boxing is an American short black-and-white silent film directed by Thomas A. Edison. It is one of the earliest female boxing movies. Edison’s film catalogue describes the film as follows: “Champion lady boxers of the world. Here we depict two female pugilists that are really clever. They are engaged in a hot and heavy one-round sparring exhibition, which is photographed against a very pleasing background, consisting of a park, with marble entrance and walk, and beautiful trees and shrubbery. The exhibition is very lively from start to finish; the blows fall thick and fast, and some very clever pugilistic generalship is exhibited.”


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