Nelson Mandela, in his first term as the South African President, initiates a unique venture to unite the apartheid-torn land: enlist the national rugby team on a mission to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup.
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. Carrying the hopes and dreams of the disenfranchised on his shoulders, ... Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Braddock's African-American corner man in the film as well as in real life was Joe Jeanette (played by Ron Canada). Jeanette himself was a top flight heavyweight contender during the 1900s to the 1910s, but never received a title shot, due to the racial climate of the time. He owned the New Jersey gym in which Braddock often trained. See more »
Before the Title appears the following: "In all the history of the boxing game, you'll find no human interest story to compare with the life narrative of James J. Braddock." - Damon Runyon (1936) See more »
My heart was firmly lodged in my throat for the last hour and a half of The Cinderella Man. Nobody does true-story heroism like Ron Howard, and few can do heroes like Russell Crowe. Though Howard fictionalizes his subjects, and does not pretend to make documentaries, he does accurately depict the feeling and the major points of his subjects.
Jim Braddock was a depression-era boxer who everybody thought was down for the count. Though there is a lot of boxing in this film, this is not a boxing movie, but rather his story and the story of the family that inspired him to fight back against prejudice and hopelessness, to rise to heights that would inspire a nation. Braddock is portrayed in a moving and powerful manner, with remarkable performances all around, one of the best scripts I can remember in recent years, and occasionally brutal action.
Those who have run into my reviews may note that this is one of my shortest. Please understand that I really don't think there's much to say about this simple, beautiful and very human story, besides - see it!
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