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April 28, 2021 from 8-9pm

On April 28th, CFA teams up with The Hideout for a virtual program of 1950s wrestling matches from our Russ and Sylvia Davis Collection.

“Wrestling from Chicago” was a syndicated wrestling show shot at Chicago’s International Amphitheatre, featuring droll and entertaining narration from announcer Russ Davis. This hour-long program from the Russ and Sylvia Davis Collection will feature classic wrestling stars including The Mighty Atlas, June Byers, Dick the Bruiser, and Yulie Brynner.

SEE “the world’s ugliest woman” fight a Doris Day lookalike! HEAR “the man with a voice like a rock crusher”! WITNESS the shocked faces of the bewildered audience! Tassels and sequins abound.


Programmed by Olivia Babler (CFA), introduced by Andy Uhrich (Curator of Film and Media, Washington University)

1. June Byers vs. Penny Banner (1955, 16mm, B&W, 14 min)

June Byers (DeAlva Eyvonnie Sibly-Snyder) faces Penny Banner (Mary Ann Kostecki) in a 1 fall match. Chicago International Amphitheatre, August 26th, 1955.

2. The Mighty Atlas Strong Man Exhibition (ca. 1957, 16mm, B&W, 3 min)

The Mighty Atlas (Morris Shapiro) demonstrates his strength by keeping his arms locked as five men on each side try and pull them apart. Russ Davis, usually unseen and announcing from ringside, helps orchestrate the ten man tug-of-war from the ring.

3. Yulie Brynner vs. Rose Roman (1958, 16mm, B&W, 8.5 min)

Yulie Brynner faces Rose Roman (Rose Roman Hesseltine) in a 1 fall match. Friday, May 2nd, 1958 at the Chicago International Amphitheatre.

4. Wilbur Snyder & Verne Gagne vs. Dick the Bruiser and Karl Karlsson (1959, 16mm, B&W, 27.5 min)

Verne Gagne (LaVerne Clarence Gagne) and Wilbur Snyder take on Dick the Bruiser (Dick Afflis) and Karl Karlsson in a 3 fall tag team match. July 17, 1959 at the Chicago International Amphitheatre.

5. Purify Breath Mints “Wrestling” (1966, 16mm, B&W, 1 min)

Comedic advertisement for Purify Breath Mints that features two professional wrestlers battling within the ring. Produced by Mike Gray Associates, Inc.


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