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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Play It to the Bone -- Two worn-out, over-the-hill prizefighters jump at one last chance at the big time.  Their friendship is challenged by fierce competition when they step into the ring in a dramatic fight to the finish -- where the winner will earn a shot at the title.


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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:
Disappointing effort from master of sports movies See more (56 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)

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 department head
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
Walsh Carvalho .... 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
John Patrick Doyle .... set costumer
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)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

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 (DeLuxe)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Woody Harrelson reportedly based his character on boxer Angel Manfredy.See more »
Continuity: Blood on Vince's face during the final fight scene.See more »
Grace Pasic:I love church music...
Vince Boudreau:Church music? It's too good for the church. JESUS was too good for the church, ya' ask me. You know, he shook things up. He was, uh, he was an ANARCHIST, ya' know? He, uh, he threw the money lenders outta' the temple. First thing he's gonna' do when he comes back is torch the Vatican!
Grace Pasic:Vince, come on!
See more »
Movie Connections:
References Rocky (1976)See more »
Island WaysSee more »


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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
Disappointing effort from master of sports movies, 27 January 2000
Author: Sean Gallagher ( from Brooklyn, NY

The story goes that Ron Shelton wanted to make a biopic of Bob Marley, but the financing fell through, and in a few weeks time, he wrote this boxing film. "That's okay," you think. "This is Ron Shelton. Sure, he co-wrote THE GREAT WHITE HYPE, which was disappointing, but he didn't direct that one. He did write and direct BULL DURHAM, WHITE MEN CAN'T JUMP, COBB, and TIN CUP(well, he co-wrote the last one, but let's not split hairs), all great sports movies, so he could probably do a boxing movie in his sleep." Well, unfortunately, that's what he seems to have done in this disappointing movie.

Shelton was reportedly inspired by a true-life fight where the preliminary match also turned out to be much more compelling than the featured attraction, which would seem tailor-made for him. And like the other Shelton heroes, the characters of Vince(Harrelson) and Cesar(Banderas) aren't among the great ones, though they've flirted with greatness. Finally, certainly the idea is right in place, that the point is not who of these best friends wins the fight(without revealing the ending, I will say it's not only logical, but feels right), but the fact they each got this last shot and put on a good show. The problem, until the fight scenes, is the execution.

Shelton usually has a gift for dialogue and character, especially when romantic comedy is concerned, but he seems to have mislaid it here. Vince and Cesar are pretty much ciphers from the beginning, despite the obvious chemistry Harrelson and Banderas have between them. There are traits which are mildly funny(like the fact that a boxer would watch soaps), but nothing that adds up. Even the fact that Vince is a "Jesus" freak seems incoherent rather than part of the character. And the dialogue between them, except in the scenes when they're talking at the same time, seems lame, relying on easy homophobia and vulgarity rather than being funny(compare that to the clever trash talk in WHITE MEN CAN'T JUMP). And even when Davidovich enters the picture, though she gamely tries, she's got nothing to work with, and seems oddly mismatched with Banderas. Harrelson at least she seems comfortable with, but they don't have enough scenes together.

The fight scenes are where Shelton finally comes alive. The behind-the-scenes details of how the fight gets into place and such are familiar, but well-handled. And the fight is compelling to us, so it's believable that the rest of the arena would find it so as well. We see the fighters being given advice, but since they think they know each other, they sometimes ignore it to do their own thing. And you really believe at the end they're both fighting on pure adrenaline. Even Davidovich becomes believable here as she realizes she loves both of them, and while she understands they need this, can't bear to watch them hurt each other. Yet even here, Shelton messes up. There are too many T&A shots, which are supposed to reflect how the fighters' minds are fogged up, but are more likely there to get people to hoot. Ultimately, I hope this is a blip on Shelton's career, rather than a sign he's losing it.

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