The story of James Braddock, a supposedly washed up boxer who came back to become a champion and an inspiration in the 1930s.
Release Year: 2005
Rating: 8.0/10 (83,251 voted)
Critic's Score: 69/100
Stars: Russell Crowe, Renée Zellweger, Craig Bierko
During the Great Depression, a common-man hero, James J. Braddock–a.k.a. the Cinderella Man–was to become one of the most surprising sports legends in history. By the early 1930s, the impoverished ex-prizefighter was seemingly as broken-down, beaten-up and out-of-luck as much of the rest of the American populace who had hit rock bottom. His career appeared to be finished, he was unable to pay the bills, the only thing that mattered to him–his family–was in danger, and he was even forced to go on Public Relief. But deep inside, Jim Braddock never relinquished his determination. Driven by love, honor and an incredible dose of grit, he willed an impossible dream to come true. In a last-chance bid to help his family, Braddock returned to the ring. No one thought he had a shot. However Braddock, fueled by something beyond mere competition, kept winning. Suddenly, the ordinary working man became the mythic athlete…
Writers: Cliff Hollingsworth, Akiva Goldsman
When America was on its knees, he brought us to our feet.
Universal [United States] |
Release Date: 3 June 2005
Filming Locations: Distillery District, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $18,320,205
(5 June 2005)
Did You Know?
The streetcars used in the movie are owned by the Halton County Radial Railway Museum, which has a huge collection of streetcars near Milton, Ontario, Canada.
When Jimmy Braddock receives the $19 in assistance, the teller gives him two 2-dollar bills of a design first used in 1976.
Attaboy! Keep him busy!
Russell Crowe K.O.
The dilemma: I hate boxing movies; I love Russell Crowe movies. I've
already seen "Million Dollar Baby" and "Raging Bull" this year, and
accidentally watched part of one of the "son of Rocky" serial movies on
a Saturday afternoon. I feel like I am being punched, as Renee'
Zellwegger's character Mae Braddock says, and I'm not as tough as these
But this one has Russell Crowe in it. And that makes all the
It is not that Renee Zellwegger and Paul Giamatti, Paddy Considine,
Bruce McGill and Craig Bierko, among others, give less than stellar
performances: they all live up to their justifiably great reputations.
You have to believe they are at the top of their game. But for all of
Russell Crowe's reputation for being "difficult", it is hard to think
of actors who can equal his personal force on the screen. He is
Ron Howard has made of the real life of Depression-era prize-fighter
James J. Braddock a work of art. The camera work is phenomenal. Without
using violins or cliché' pull-back shots showing the numbers of people
homeless and in soup lines, Howard makes the Depression a visceral
reality with scenes of near-hopeless men at the docks, pleading for a
day's work; a stolen salami; Crowe's giving his daughter his breakfast
piece of bologna, telling her he dreamed he was full. The bleakness of
the times is the graininess and the sepia/greyness of the camera shots;
the images are stark but completely descriptive. Crowe as Braddock with
hat in hand and tears in his eyes, begging for twenty dollars so he can
get his children back into his home, is the personification of pride
sacrificed to desperation. But when Braddock is later asked at a press
conference why he is fighting at his age and after so many poor
showings, all he has to say is "milk" to be supremely eloquent.
Doubtless many people know the history of James Braddock, and know the
outcome of his fights, including the championship bout with Max Baer,
who had already killed two men in the ring. If you don't know, DON'T
look it up before you see the movie, and if you DO KNOW, DON'T TELL,
but go. Analogous to watching Howard's film "Apollo 13", you may know
the outcome, but there's wonderful suspense in the details. These were
among the most exciting last twenty minutes I've seen on film. I didn't
expect to be able to watch, but like Braddock's terrified wife Mae, I
was unable to tear myself away.
The audience was like a prize fight audience, cheering, booing,
gasping, groaning during the fights. We applauded Braddock's wins,
suffered his defeats. It is a great movie, with authentic heart. Solid