The Great White Hype (1996)

R  |   |  Comedy, Sport  |  3 May 1996 (USA)
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Reviews: 27 user | 23 critic

When the champ's promoter, Rev. Sultan, decides something new is needed to boost the marketability of the boxing matches, he searches and finds the only man to ever beat the champ. The ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Terry Conklin
Peter Prince
Julio Escobar
Johnny Windsor
Bambi (as Salli Richardson)
Hassan El Ruk'n
Artemus St. John Saint
Roper's Manager
Marvin Shabazz
Duane Davis ...
Palace Guard #1
Lamont Johnson ...
Palace Guard #2


When the champ's promoter, Rev. Sultan, decides something new is needed to boost the marketability of the boxing matches, he searches and finds the only man to ever beat the champ. The problem is that he isn't a boxer anymore and he's white. However, once Rev. Sultan convinces him to fight, he goes into heavy training while the confident champ takes it easy and falls out of shape. Written by P. Wong <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


If you can't find the perfect contender....make one.


Comedy | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and brief sexuality | See all certifications »




Release Date:

3 May 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Eine K.O.mödie  »

Box Office


$7,874,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The Sultan (Samuel L. Jackson) greets a man with shoulder length black hair and a black suit with "Hey Vincent, Vincent, where's Jules man," a reference to Jackson's character in Pulp Fiction (1994). See more »


The length of Roper's cigarette just before the fight. See more »


Sol: I can't make caviar out of fish eggs!
See more »

Crazy Credits

While walking back to dressing room after fight, Conklin is followed by two little people from his entourage. See more »


Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #20.4 (2011) See more »


I've Got You Under My Skin
Performed by Lou Rawls and Biz Markie
Written by Cole Porter
Arranged and Produced by Marcus Miller
See more »

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User Reviews

The most realistic boxing film ever made.
27 January 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"The Great White Hype" is a 1996 comedy directed by Reginald Hudlin and stars Samuel L. Jackson, Jamie Fox, Jeff Goldblum, Jon Lovitz, Damon Wayans, Peter Berg, Salli Richardson-Whitfield and John Rhys-Davies.

"Rocky", "Raging Bull", "Million Dollar Baby", "Cinderella Man" and "The Fighter" are some of the most popular boxing films of all time. "Punch-Out" is a classic video game. All these stories have one thing in common - They all feature a white person as the star, even though in real life the majority of famous boxers are African-American, yet there are no ultra- mainstream-loved movies or video games about black fighters or any other black athlete.

That is why "The Great White Hype" is the most realistic boxing film ever made.

After running into some money problems, sports organizer Fred Sultan believes people are tired of watching black boxers compete with other black boxers. Sultan thinks the ideal option to pick in order to restore society's attraction to professional boxing is to produce a white opponent for the African-American undisputed, undefeated heavyweight champion, James "The Grim Reaper" Roper.

Sultan bases his viewpoint on the fact that in 1982 a black boxer named Larry Holmes faced a white boxer named Gerry Cooney and the bout generated millions of dollars and that was because race played a key factor.

Since there are no current famous white sportsmen, Sultan thinks white people are desperate for a famous white athlete and that with the right press coverage, he can make a white hero.

A little later, Sultan and his staff review various matches on video tapes of different white boxers for consideration. At the conclusion of the inspection, Sultan determines that there are clearly no reliable white contenders with marketable value to compete with Roper.

A young woman in Sultan's camp named Bambi suggests that Roper fight whoever once beat him when he was a beginner.

Sultan loves the idea and creates a Great White Hope out of an amateur boxer turned eccentric Buddhist rock musician from Ohio named Terry Conklin who once defeated Roper in a novice match.

After being offered a big payday and a promise that he will be trained by Johnny Windsor - the best manager in the boxing business - Conklin agrees to return to the ring to take on Roper for the championship in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saint Patrick's Day.

The plan work likes a charm. Just like how so many boxing films and video games about fictitious white fighters are popular with white people, Terry Conklin becomes a role-model for white people everywhere. White people order the pay-per-view for the match, buy tickets to see it live and gamble on Conklin to win.

While Conklin dedicates his time to training with Windsor, Roper takes it easy, threatening Sultan's thoroughly orchestrated revival.

I love this film because I enjoy boxing, Las Vegas, Saint Patrick's Day, novelties, and the cast of this film. I also have nostalgia for mid-1990's entertainment and I find racism to be a fascinating study of human behavior. Finally, I like that this film is ninety minutes. Anything over that is typically too long.

The soundtrack has a lot of rap music, so if that's your genre, you're in for a treat.

The film is not available on blu-ray. It's only on DVD and there are no special features.

If you like films that use bigotry as comedy such as "Blazing Saddles", then you will enjoy "The Great White Hype".

0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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