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FILM: Joe Stecher Jobs to Gus Sonnenberg in Boston

 
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Ken Viewer



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 299

PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:13 pm    Post subject: FILM: Joe Stecher Jobs to Gus Sonnenberg in Boston Reply with quote

Boston in 1930. That ring looks too small to be the standard indoor ring at the Boston Garden that promoter Paul Bowser used. Could this be an outdoors match at one of Boston's then-two major-league ballparks?

Stecher is the taller of the two and the guy who knows more than head-butting.

Stecher does the job for Ghastly Gus -- who would turn into a decent wrestler after his run as AWA world's champion ended and he had some seasoning and perhaps instruction.

Ken
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Steve Yohe



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 2414
Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1930
Jan. 30 Boston Arena, MA: Gus Sonnenberg defeated Joe Stecher two falls to one to defend the AWA World Title. Henri DeGlane defeated Joe DeVito, Ed George defeated Harry Mamos, Count George Zarynoff defeated Renato Gardini, and Jack Sherry defeated Carl Lemle. Attendance was 10,000, with a gate of $25,000, during a snow storm. Promoter was Paul Bowser.

Sonnenberg was the only worker that Stecher jobbed to in his comeback. Gus was the biggest draw & Joe was looking to make money. By then it was just a job for Stecher in the depression. He was far from his best & wasn't training that hard. This is the only film, outside of the MSG Caddock match, that I've seen of him. Good job Ken.

That scissors looked terrible. You don't squeeze a scissor....you straighten your legs to get pressure. I'm sure that Joe knew how to apply a scissor. Maybe he was worried about hurting Gus.

Sonnenberg is supposed to be such a good worker, and his tackles did change the sport, but it doesn't come across on film. I don't think he got better after the championship. He was a major draw & I don't always know why.

The other guys who Joe put over were Lewis, Ray Steele, Jim Browning, Joe Malcewicz, Jim Londos, and John Pesek. All major hookers. He only did respectable jobs to legit guys. I don't think promoters wanted their past dragged thru the mud. Today Vince JR would have him jobbing to every guy in the company. He did it to Hogan, why not Joe Stecher.---Yohe
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Ken Viewer



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 299

PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the kind words, Steve. There's more film of Stecher out there and I'm trying to find it on a budget of zero.

Since Kit, you and I are now all retired and, to my knowledge, not working at anything that generates monthly decent paychecks, I haven't even tried to put together a buying consortium to get the large sums needed to pay for the digitization of the films.

Such costs are beyond your and my budget combined. This film, which was originally distributed by American Pathe (via RKO Radio Pictures), could be part of out-takes of the entire match, and when I talked to Sherman Grinberg a few times before he died 35 years ago, I forgot to ask if he had full files of out-takes of every newsreel in his hoard.

Who knew he was going to die and his collection would go missing for decades?

Anyway, other silver nitrate films of Stecher wrestling do exist. They will find sponsors for digitization or they won't.

Ken
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khawk20



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 229

PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice footage.

I always have to do a brain correction watching older film like this since they are inherently faster running, as is/was the nature of films like this back then.

It would be interesting to see something like this speed corrected, just to get a better visual as to the actual speed of the match...more of a feel of what it would have been like to be viewing this on, say, a Pay per view back in the day.

Love this stuff though. I marvel at things like this because it's almost a century old. recently saw some film on youtube taken in the early-to-mid-mid 1900's of interviews with peole btween 75 and 95 years old, and their stories. So fascinating to hear about the things they experienced.
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Ken Viewer



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 299

PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KHawk,

Even in 1930, when the above film was shot, most newsreels companies were still using silent cameras and shooting at 18-frames-per-second, which gives us the speeded-up look. It can be smoothed out via telecining, but someone has to pay to have that done.

The only newsreels company to get priority on sound-recording-on-film was the division of Fox's newsreels operations called Fox Movietone News. William Fox, even though he was a career-criminal, founded Fox Films (now 21st Century Fox) in 1904, and had a talent for being the first to take action once he recognized huge technological breakthroughs such as synchronized sound-on-film and widescreen and 70 MM filming, though he seems to have missed the boat on two-strip Technicolor's final, supreme iteration -- before Technicolor went to three-strips, thanks in good part to funds invested in the financially ailing company via "King Kong" creator Merian C. Cooper.

And beginning in 1927, Fox gave priority to switching his then-profitable newsreels operations to sound. He was so far ahead of his newsreels competitors...and yet he recognized that the large cost of theaters retooling for sound would delay its widespread use for a few years.

So in 1930, he had two newsreels companies running, one shooting silent and the other shooting sound reels at upwards of 24 frames-per-second (not always).

The Stecher footage above was filmed by American Pathe (which was by then out of the U.S. feature-films business and distributing its newsreel via RKO Radio Pictures) in silent format. Thus we get the faster speed of the developed film through the projector).

I'm not posting wrestling footage anywhere at the moment, but for those who are fans of Doo Wop music, I will make one exception and, here is a rare record, as played and still-photographed, of the Doo Wop group "The Five Shits," singing the co-Phil Spector-written version of "Stormy Weather" -- not kidding -- as posted on Youtube ten years ago:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2duByfzPBE

"Dreaming of You:"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5kwRx0pKjs

Ken
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