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Basilio the Musical

Basilio the Musical

directed by:

Owen Shapiro

"Basilio the Musical is a hybrid experiment in musical and dramatic forms. The film treats the movements of boxing as dance while the actors intone, rather than sing, and speak their lines, staying true to their characters.

Carmen Basilio was the only boxer to hold both the welterweight and middleweight titles. He beat Sugar Ray Robinson in Yankee Stadium for the middleweight championship in 1957. Ring Magazine named him the Fighter of the Year in 1957, and as one of the greatest fighters of the last 80 years. In 1990 when the International Boxing Hall of Fame was created Basilio was among its first inductees. Basilio’s story is unique. In the 1940s and 50s he opposed the mob that ruled boxing. He was a life-long friend of Oren Lyons, Onondaga and Seneca Nation Faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan, and given the honor of an Indian name. Basilio fought for the rights of his black sparring partners. As an Italian American immigrant Basilio was a voice for human rights."

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Project Specs:



United States



Curated with love for films

official selection


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