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Cinderella Man (2005)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama, Sport | 3 June 2005 (USA)
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The story of James Braddock, a supposedly washed-up boxer who came back to become a champion and an inspiration in the 1930s.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
2,246 ( 181)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 40 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
David Huband ...
Gene Pyrz ...


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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


One man's extraordinary fight to save the family he loved. See more »


Biography | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense boxing violence and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

3 June 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El luchador  »

Box Office


$88,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$18,320,205 (USA) (3 June 2005)


$61,644,321 (USA) (25 November 2005)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Russell Crowe and Mark Simmons (Lasky) had over 300 choreographed punches to learn for the Braddock/Lasky fight. See more »


Jimmy Braddock passes a movie poster for the film S.O.S. Iceberg, misspelled "Iceburg." See more »


[first lines]
Joe Gould: Attaboy! Keep him busy!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »


Referenced in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Episode #7.83 (2009) See more »


Don't Be That Way
Written by Benny Goodman, Mitchell Parish, and Edgar M. Sampson (as Edgar Sampson)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Excellent fiction treatment of historical boxer "Humbling Bull"
17 May 2005 | by (Texas, USA) – See all my reviews

Just saw a preview of this film (opens June 3) and as shamelessly emotional as it is, I liked it very much. It provides a more visceral view of the Great Depression era than did another fine film, Seabiscuit. Call it Seabiscuit with even more heart!

Ron Howard teams with Russell Crowe (James J. Braddock) again and shows they can repeat with a winner. Like him as a person or not, Crowe puts forth another finely tuned, very convincing performance. Unlike in real life, he can be quite humble and sympathetic while beating the heck out of people. Really, his character is affecting, especially in his scenes with Braddock's children, and may be fairly reflective of the actual person of Braddock. (The fight game at that time, or any time, was not for saints but, whatever.) Renee Zellweger, who is not my favorite except for a brilliant portrayal in Cold Mountain, plays the wife effectively and mirrors the emotions for the females in the audience. (If my observations at the showing are typical, women fans will spend time alternately heading their eyes and virtually cheering out loud for Braddock/Crowe.)

There are a number of good supporting actors but Paul Giamatti strikes again! He plays the manager who supports Braddock through thick and thin and his character recalls the era better than anyone in the film. I don't know what kind of research he did for this role but his Joe Gould is the archetypal boxing manager of the time or, at least, our cinema image of one. Here's hoping he pulled some big bucks for a role for once.

(You will certainly recognize Bruce McGill, as the seemingly hard-hearted fight promoter who could care less about Braddock but really doesn't want to see him get killed in the ring, from many movie and TV appearances where he is always reliable and who may be remembered from an early exposure as "D-Day" in Animal House.)

87 of 129 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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