These two lively actors, the bonefish and the tarpon, already have played featured parts in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (Feb. 2 & May 11, 1959). Now, in the first of a series of motion picture short subjects also called Sports Illustrated, they are playing starring roles in theaters across the country. The Sports Illustrated series, distributed by Paramount Pictures and produced by Winik Films, is long on quality and action, short only in the cinematic sense in which that word attaches to "subject." In the opening release, Kings of the Keys, the game and sneaky bonefish and the spectacular tarpon join with Jimmy Albright, the famed fishing guide, to record in full color for the wide screen the kind of fishing action seldom, if ever, seen before. Using a budget nearly five times greater than normally allotted to a short subject, Kings of the Keys was six weeks in the making in the waters around Islamorada, Florida, will reach at least 25 million people in this country and that many more abroad.
Inviting our participation in the project, Leslie Winik, president of Winik Films, said: "The incredible advance of public interest in active and participant sports in recent years has long needed more recognition by the film industry. Coming with a similar advance in movie-going taste, this series of sports films will be a natural accompaniment to the more selective features now showing."
The name Winik has a three-generation association with sports films. Leslie's son Richard took much of the footage for Kings of the Keys. In 1924 Leslie took the first complete sequence of a football game—of NYU, when it was a power in the sport. Coach Chick Meehan saw it and wanted more. And that, it seems, is how football films for coaches got their start. In 1910 Leslie Winik's father took pictures of the Johnson-Jeffries fight. "I've tried for years to find a copy," says Leslie. "I'm afraid they're gone for good. It's a long way back."
The Johnson-Jeffries fight may indeed be a long way back, but I think you'll agree that the Winiks have come a long way forward with Sports Illustrated.