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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5.4/10   9,937 votes »
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Down 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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:
Good boxing, weak characters See more (57 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

John 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:
Lorenzo Aranda ... Ringeside Fan (uncredited)
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
Jorina King .... extras casting: las vegas
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?

The ring announcer in Cesar Dominguez's (Antonio Banderas) Garden flashback fight sequence is Bruce Buffer, brother of Michael Buffer, who is the ring announcer in the climax fight between Dominguez and Vince Boudreau (Woody Harrelson).See more »
Continuity: Vince's eye is seen wide open despite being cut and swollen earlier in the fightSee 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:
References Rocky (1976)See more »
I Must Tell JesusSee more »


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15 out of 19 people found the following review useful.
Good boxing, weak characters, 20 June 2000
Author: FlickJunkie-2 from Atlanta, GA

‘Play It To The Bone' is really two movies. One is a movie about boxing and the other is a comedic character study of the boxers. As a boxing film it succeeds nicely. As a comedy it has its moments. As a character study it hits the canvas hard.

The storyline was sort of ‘Rocky' times two. Two washed up middleweight boxers Vince and Cesar (Woody Harrelson and Antonio Banderas), who are also best friends, get a last minute chance to fight in Las Vegas on the undercard of a Mike Tyson heavyweight bout when the two scheduled fighters are unable to fight. They are promised that the winner will get a chance to fight for the championship, but they have to be in Las Vegas tonight. The trouble is, they have to fight each other.

So they climb into a car with Cesar's girlfriend (and Vince's ex-girlfriend) Grace (Lolita Davidovich) and drive from L.A. to Las Vegas. Most of the rest of the movie is about the drive followed by the fight.

Director Ron Shelton has had quite a few sports oriented success stories to his credit (Bull Durham, White Men Can't Jump and Tin Cup). The best part of the film was the boxing. The boxing was well choreographed and both actors were athletic and fought like real boxers. Shelton was also excellent at creating the feel of a boxing match. Anyone who has ever watched an HBO bout will recognize ring announcers Jim Lampley, Larry Merchant and George Foreman. Mike Tyson made a cameo as well as numerous celebrity boxing fans (Kevin Costner, Rod Stewart, Wesley Snipes and a host of others). The makeup for the cuts and puffiness was also very realistic.

Unfortunately, the rest of the film was not as good as the fight. Shelton spends a good deal of time developing the characters, but it is all for naught because they have no substance. They are two hapless jocks, obvious mental lightweights, who spend most of the trip to Las Vegas fighting over Grace, cutting up and strutting around like peacocks. Shelton takes great pains to try to make us love these characters equally by making them equally pathetic. But that doesn't work because it leaves the audience without anyone to pull for in the fight. The ending is utterly predictable and the film whimpers off into the sunset with no more than a stagger.

Banderas and Harrelson both gave journeyman performances. They had good chemistry and some decent comedy between them, but there was nothing special here. The best performance by far was by Davidovich who transcended her normal sex kitten role and took command of the entire film with a character that was a flaming bitch on wheels. She was smart, tough sexy and manipulative and dominated every scene. Once again she shows that she is talented as well as attractive, which makes me wonder why she has never gotten more substantial roles.

This is a tough one to rate because it does some things very well and other things poorly. I gave it a 6/10. It had some good comedic moments, but not enough of them. It had some excellent boxing scenes, but a disappointing outcome. And the character study simply failed due to vacant characters. If you like boxing, Harrelson, Banderas or especially Davidovich, you will enjoy this film. Otherwise, enter at your own risk.

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