IMDb > Play It to the Bone (1999)
Play It to the Bone
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Play It to the Bone (1999) More at IMDbPro »

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Writer (WGA):
Ron Shelton (written by)
View company contact information for Play It to the Bone on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
21 January 2000 (USA) See more »
Two best friends take a shot at hitting it big. See more »
Two best friends and former middleweight contenders travel to Las Vegas to fight each other for the first time. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
even a weak Ron Shelton film is worth watching See more (55 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Antonio Banderas ... Cesar Dominguez

Woody Harrelson ... Vince Boudreau

Lolita Davidovich ... Grace Pasic

Tom Sizemore ... Joe Domino

Lucy Liu ... Lia

Robert Wagner ... Hank Goody

Richard Masur ... Artie

Willie Garson ... Cappie Caplan
Cylk Cozart ... Rudy

Jack Carter ... Dante Solomon

Aida Turturro ... Mad Greek Waitress

Louie Leonardo ... Freddy Green
Slade Barnett ... Vegas Cop
Cameron Milzer ... Vegas Paramedic
Julio García ... Chiquito Rosario

Johnny Ortiz ... Gym Owner
Jordy Oakland ... Julie
William Utay ... Sal (as Will Utay)

Joseph Arsenault ... Bobby
Fred Lewis ... Vegas Lawyer
Maurice Singer ... Vegas Lawyer
Robert Sale ... Robert Velario

Joe Cortez ... Garden Referee

Bruce Buffer ... Garden Ring Announcer
Teddy Atlas ... Cesar's Garden Trainer

Dana Lee ... Man with Ferrari
Rob Ingersoll ... Jesus
Robby Robinson ... Skeeter Lewis
Mitch Halpern ... Vince's Big Fight Referee
Chuck Hull ... Vince's Big Fight Ring Announcer
Jim Lampley ... Himself - HBO Commentator
Al Bernstein ... Sportswriter
Reynaldo Rey ... Sportswriter

Eloy Casados ... Vince's Trainer

Henry G. Sanders ... Cesar's Trainer
Vasil Chuck Bodak ... Cesar's Cutman
Jacob 'Stitch' Duran ... Vince's Cutman
Al Benner ... Jesse, Cesar's Cornerman
Pat Barry ... Lupe, Vince's Cornerman

Steve Lawrence ... Himself

George Foreman ... HBO Commentator
Larry Merchant ... HBO Commentator

Mike Tyson ... Mike Tyson

Darrell Foster ... Referee

Michael Buffer ... Himself - Ring Announcer

Rod Stewart ... Himself
Bill Caplan ... Dr. Velvil Ginsberg
Marc Ratner ... Boxing Commissioner
Jane Broadfoot ... Timekeeper
Carlos Padilla ... Timekeeper
Debbie Caplan ... Press Assistant
Elizabeth Caplan ... Press Assistant
Denise Pernula ... Ring Card Girl
Verónica Becerra ... Ring Card Girl (as Veronica Becerra)
Tamara Gilber ... Fantasy Girl
Fulvia Santoni ... Fantasy Girl (as Fulvia Sanchez)
Faye Mangabang ... Fantasy Girl
Alison Walsh ... Bartender
Snezana Divac ... Grace's Party Friend (as Ana Divac)

Tom Todoroff ... Croupier

Kevin Costner ... Ringside Fan

Wesley Snipes ... Ringside Fan

James Woods ... Ringside Fan

Natasha Gregson Wagner ... Ringside Fan

Drew Carey ... Ringside Fan

Jennifer Tilly ... Ringside Fan

Tony Curtis ... Ringside Fan
Bob Arum ... Ringside Fan
Lovey Arum ... Ringside Fan
Angel Manfredy ... Ringside Fan
Yvette Manfredy ... Ringeside Fan

Buddy Greco ... Party Guest
Lezlie Anders ... Party Guest
Dick Williams ... Party Guest
Patricia Ford ... Party Guest
Gennifer Flowers ... Party Guest

Steve Schirripa ... Party Guest
Tony Tucker ... Party Guest
Bo Belinsky ... Party Guest (as Bo Bolinski)
Joey Maxim ... Party Guest
John Momot ... Party Guest
Bill Dwyre ... Ringside Sportswriter
Steve Springer ... Ringside Sportswriter
Bruce Trampler ... Ringside Sportswriter
Rick Reilly ... Ringside Sportswriter
Bert Randolph Sugar ... Ringside Sportswriter (as Bert Sugar)
Jason Levin ... Ringside Sportswriter
Royce Feour ... Ringside Sportswriter
Ron Borges ... Ringside Sportswriter
Michael Katz ... Ringside Sportswriter
Doug Krikorian ... Ringside Sportswriter
Randy Harvey ... Ringside Sportswriter
Timothy Smith ... Ringside Sportswriter (as Tim Smith)
Michael Rosenthal ... Ringside Sportswriter
George Kimball ... Ringside Sportswriter
Bernard Fernández ... Ringside Sportswriter (as Bernard Fernandez)
Timothy Dahlberg ... Ringside Sportswriter
Tim Graham ... Ringside Sportswriter (as Tim Graeham)
Joe Hawk ... Ringside Sportswriter
Chris Thorne ... Ringside Sportswriter
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Vincent Cipolla ... Fight Promoter (uncredited)
Harv Lawrence ... Ringside Judge (uncredited)
Marco López ... Ringeside Fan (uncredited)

Linnea Quigley ... Overdosed Hooker (uncredited)

Maeve Quinlan ... Tiffany (uncredited)
Michael A. Rizza ... Ringside Photographer (uncredited)
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Directed by
Ron Shelton 
Writing credits
Ron Shelton (written by)

Produced by
Stephen Chin .... producer
Kellie Davis .... associate producer
David V. Lester .... executive producer (as David Lester)
Original Music by
Alex Wurman 
Cinematography by
Mark Vargo (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Patrick Flannery 
Paul Seydor 
Casting by
Victoria Thomas 
Production Design by
Claire Jenora Bowin 
Art Direction by
Mary Saisselin 
Set Decoration by
Danielle Berman 
Costume Design by
Kathryn Morrison 
Makeup Department
Ken Chase .... makeup artist
Cheryl Eckert .... key hair stylist
Steve LaPorte .... makeup designer
Production Management
Brad Arensman .... post-production supervisor
David Siegel .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
H. Gordon Boos .... first assistant director
Eric Fox Hays .... second assistant director
David V. Lester .... second unit director
Emily McGovern .... second second assistant director
Art Department
Patrick Bolton .... set dresser
Gary Clark .... lead paint foreman
Bill Iiams .... construction coordinator
Mark David Kersey .... head greensman
David Mocsary .... lead man
Kevin Shaw .... assistant property master
Sound Department
Cesar Aguirre .... utility sound technician
David Bach .... dialogue editor
Dean Beville .... sound effects editor
Jason Brennan .... mix assistant (as Jason Brennor)
Peter Brown .... sound effects editor
David V. Butler .... sound editor
Stephen Hunter Flick .... supervising sound editor
Alexandra Gonzales .... dialogue editor
William Jacobs .... supervising sound editor
Ryan Juggler .... assistant sound editor
Jeffrey Kaplan .... dialogue editor
Samuel Lehmer .... sound re-recording mixer
Patricio A. Libenson .... sound recordist
Martin Lopez .... sound effects editor
Charles Maynes .... sound effects designer
Charles Maynes .... sound effects editor
Jon Michaels .... assistant sound editor
Linda Murphy .... boom operator
Ryan Murphy .... sound recordist
Jeffrey Perkins .... sound re-recording mixer
Tim Rakoczy .... assistant sound editor
Art Rochester .... production sound mixer
Greg Steele .... adr mixer
Addison Teague .... sound intern
Paul Berolzheimer .... special sound effects design (uncredited)
Paula Fairfield .... sound effects editor (uncredited)
Flavio Leocata .... assistant sound recordist (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Philip Bartko .... special effects technician
Gary D'Amico .... special effects supervisor
Cleveland Corder .... boxing double: Antonio Banderas
Sean Culver .... boxing double: Woody Harrelson
Chandra De Alessandro .... stunt double: Lolita Davidovitch (as Chandra Jones)
Anita Hart .... stunt double: Lolita Davidovitch
Michiko Nishiwaki .... stunt double: Lucy Liu
Camera and Electrical Department
Michael Alexonis .... best boy grip
Richard Brooks Burton .... aerial first assistant camera
Eric M. Davis .... lighting technician
Harry K. Garvin .... Steadicam operator
Harry K. Garvin .... camera operator: "a" camera
Cory Geryak .... gaffer
Scott C. Keys .... rigging electrician
Jim McComas .... electrician
Jason Newton .... key grip
David B. Nowell .... camera operator: second unit
David B. Nowell .... director of photography: second unit
Frank Parrish .... second assistant camera
Arnaud Peiny .... rigging key grip
Andres L. Porras .... camera operator
Tony Rivetti .... first assistant camera: "a" camera
Tony Rivetti .... steadicam
Larry Sushinski .... assistant chief lighting technician
Joseph T. Terranova .... assistant chief lighting technician
Casting Department
Kim Coleman .... casting associate
Josh Gallegos .... casting production assistant
Jennifer Madeloff .... local casting associate
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Leslie Herman .... wardrobe supervisor
Editorial Department
Elisa Cohen .... assistant editor
Andrew Drazek .... post-production intern
Mick Erausquin .... apprentice editor
Clay Rawlins .... assistant editor
Matvey Shatz .... color timer
Music Department
Tom Calderaro .... orchestrator
Andy Georges .... musician: guitar
Gordon Goodwin .... conductor
Jim Harrison .... supervising music editor
Teddy Kumpel .... musician: slide guitar (as Edward Kumpel)
John Lehmkuhl .... music programmer: drums
Sterling Meredith .... music supervisor
Steven L. Smith .... music preparation
Dawn Soler .... music supervisor (as Dawn Solér)
James Thatcher .... musician: french horn
Alex Wurman .... music arranger: choral
Alex Wurman .... musician: Hammond organ
Transportation Department
Gil Amaral .... driver: picture cars
Hedy Phil Balani .... driver
Alberto Coto .... driver
J. Armin Garza II .... driver: camera car
Jim Petti .... transportation co-captain
Marty Radcliff .... driver
Jonathan A. Rosenfeld .... transportation coordinator
Brian Steagall .... transportation captain
Jeff Verdick .... picture car coordinator
Other crew
Bill Caplan .... technical advisor: boxing
Carlos P. Cunha .... production assistant
Katherine Dorrer .... location scout: Washington D.C.
Darrell Foster .... boxing choreographer
Darrell Foster .... boxing trainer
Wilma Garscadden-Gahret .... script supervisor
Orlando R. Gonzales .... production secretary
Lisa Hackler .... assistant coordinator
Nancy Haecker .... assistant location manager
Daren Hicks .... production coordinator
Malle Jensen .... assistant: Mr. Banderas
Ryan Keating .... photo double: Michael Buffer
Ryan Keating .... stand-in: Michael Buffer
Michael Klastorin .... unit publicist
Linda Larmon .... set medic
Jimmy Marquez .... production assistant
Jimmy Marquez .... stand-in: Eloy Casados
Michael Neal .... payroll accountant
David Paris .... pilot
Alan D. Purwin .... pilot (as Alan Purwin)
Lauren Ross .... location manager
Hal Sadoff .... production financing
Rick Shuster .... pilot (as Rich Shuster)
Jim Wheelan .... location consultant (as James H. Wheelan)
Matt Woodard .... production assistant
David Yang .... assistant to producer
Jeff J. Davis .... craft service lead (uncredited)
Tom Todoroff .... acting consultant (uncredited)

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Play It" - USA (promotional title)
"My Sweet Guys" - Japan (English title)
See more »
Rated R for brutal ring violence, strong sexuality including dialogue, nudity, pervasive language and some drug content
124 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

As well as Mike Tyson, a number of famous faces from the world of boxing make cameo appearances in this movie - former champion George Foreman, commentators Jim Lamply and Larry Merchant, and trainer Teddy Atlas.See more »
Continuity: In the Greek restaurant, as Grace leaves for the restrooms outside, an extra (girl reading a paper) passes the boxers as they stay seated. In the next shot the same girl, reading the paper, comes on walking from where she must have been before we saw her following in the direction Grace left.See more »
Cesar Dominguez:Grace, who do you think won the fight? Vince, or me?
Grace Pasic:I think it was a fair decision.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Memory GospelSee more »


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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
even a weak Ron Shelton film is worth watching, 11 July 2000
Author: mercury-26 from michigan

When you think of sports films, one name comes to mind: Ron Shelton. Five of his last six directorial efforts, not to mention writing efforts like "Blue Chips," have been about sports. "Bull Durham," of course, is his touchstone film, but "White Men Can't Jump" and "Tin Cup" are both excellent. Baseball, basketball, golf, and now with "Play It to the Bone," boxing. But are they really sports films or are they simply character-driven comedies that use the sports world as a backdrop?

Only Shelton knows if it's intentional, but almost all of these stories follow a similar formula: he takes three characters, two men, one woman, who are all different things to each other. Sometimes it's a love triangle, sometimes it's not-but the woman always has a lot to teach one of the men in particular (Susan Sarandon's character in "Bull Durham" to Tim Robbins', Rosie Perez's character in "WMCJ" to Woody Harrelson's, etc.).

One of the men is a washed up has-been or never-was and the other is the egomaniacal flavor-of-the-month (Kevin Costner and Don Johnson in "Tin Cup"; Costner and Robbins in "Bull Durham"). The lone woman always uses psychology to enlighten the men on how to play the Game better, both of sports and of love (Rene Russo's character in "Tin Cup" is a psychiatrist). The entire story is about the contrast between the men's and the woman's view of life. Somehow, the woman always ends up the wisest of the three, while the men are allowed to behave irrationally because that's what men do. In the end, she finds that one of them is hopeless, and chooses him because of it. A woman never met a man she couldn't fix, at least not in a Ron Shelton film (the exception being "WMCJ": Rosie Perez' character does actually leave Harrelson's).

"Play It to the Bone" is more of the same. This time, however, both men are washed-up has-beens--boxers--Vince and Cesar (Harrelson and Antonio Banderas). They both have a lot of kinks to work out in their lives. The only issue either of them acknowledges at first is money--they have none and are offered fifty grand apiece to fight as replacements on a Mike Tyson undercard. The two are best friends, both have been ranked as middleweight or super middleweight boxers, but they've never met in the ring. Instead of flying to Las Vegas, they drive from Los Angeles in Cesar's girlfriend's (Lolita Davidovich) car.

Davidovich plays Grace, the aforementioned all-knowing woman, a Ron Shelton staple. She's dated both Vince and Cesar and knows exactly what buttons to push. She knows what makes each man fight better and, over the course of the road trip that eats up the film's first two acts, brings each to the proper mental state.

"Play It" is like a rubber band: you keep pulling it back farther and farther, building up the tension until it's ready to break, then release. When the opening bell of Vince and Cesar's bout rings, Shelton's rubber band snaps. Grace's intention was for the two to fight each other and for both to do well, allowing each to unleash some of the frustrations they have in their lives. Her mistake was thinking that either man would hold back. By the fifth round, when they've beaten each other's faces bloody, we see the two aren't fighting each other any more: they're fighting themselves. Every woman knows that men don't talk about what's really on their minds. I admit it: We men generally deny what is true about ourselves until we're ready to explode. Shelton has a way of hitting the bullseye when it comes to human interaction, and does so again here.

The film's centerpiece, the final fight, is exciting and entertaining. It's more visual than anything Shelton has tried. As the men fight, they have visions that represent their respective life struggles. I found myself missing the Shelton of old, the one that just told it straight. Everything just felt more free and fun; loose. The story was always a free-for-all, a game with no rules, where absolutely anything can happen. With "Play It," he seems too intent on making a point and becomes (gasp) a filmmaker. The story actually has (gulp) structure, whereas his others were directionless, but in a good way. For once, Shelton wrote the characters rather than letting the characters write themselves.

Mr. Shelton, leave structure to the hacks and keep making great films.

Grade: C

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