Dannon Green The Executioners Film
Promoting a film in Hollywood is a real hard hustle, but Dannon Green did just that. No only that he brought some heavy weights for big support. Dannon Green, is a true story of two men who opened a boxing gym in early 1970’s Philadelphia to give neighborhood kids an alternative to joining street gangs. The gym produced several dominant amateur fighters and saved countless lives by keeping these young boys off the street. The Executioners We All Had A Chanceis currently available free and on-demand on Tubi TV. (Please be sure to scroll down to watch the trailer for the documentary)
The two men that started the executioner gym, Marvin “Toochie” Gordon and Frank Taylor lived to serve the community. They understood that young Black men living in the inner-city did not have many options.
Utilizing sport, and more specifically boxing, became a way of life for this self-proclaimed family. Starting the gym in 1974, they went 639-84 over the next ten years.
The film highlighted the importance of boxing in the inner-cities as well. Giving young Black men an outlet as opposed to what could come when exposed to hard street life.
The Executioners We All Had A Chance shows the tough reality of inner-city life with the story of Carmen Woods, a boxer with The Executioner gym who ended up with the wrong crowd. He has now been in prison for 37 years for a murder that he says he did not commit.
The film also shows the parallel to the unfortunate. Mike Wells, a young boxer for the gym, was spotted by Taylor while stealing. The mentor convinced Wells to come back to the gym on Saturday and train. Wells is a minister now and credits that day to the change in his life.
Dannon Green did a great job paying homage to the legendary gym, but the story-telling was hard to follow. Throughout the hour and a half film, Green, the narrator, mentioned 20-50 fighters. Yet, he only completed six of their stories.
I understand the point of The Executioners We All Had A Chance. Green wanted to pay respect to the boxing gym that trained him, but the delivery was borderline chaotic. He would mention something off-handedly, then five minutes would go by before he explained his point with a different interviewer.
There were times he would change the topic from Philadelphia and talk about the decline in amateur boxing, then switch back. Mention a fighter and how great he was, then change topics. Introduce a new speaker and only tell the audience his name with a picture from the 80s.
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