Edit
Cinderella Man (2005) Poster

Trivia

Jump to: Spoilers (1)
Rosemarie DeWitt, who plays the neighbor Sara Wilson, is the granddaughter of the real Jimmy Braddock. She is the daughter of his daughter Rosemarie, who is portrayed by Ariel Waller in the film.
Professional boxers played Jimmy Braddock's opponents. They were told to land their blows as close to Russell Crowe's body as possible. Unfortunately, they sometimes couldn't pull back in time and ended up injuring Crowe.
15,000 blow up dummies with masks and hats were used to fill in the seating while filming the final fight.
Crowe suffered from several concussions and cracked teeth.
After the film's release many boxing analysts and even Max Baer's son, Max Baer Jr. decried the movie for its historical liberties taken with Max Baer. Specifically, that he had killed two men in the ring (he did kill one and an opponent he'd KO'd died a few weeks after their bout for reasons unrelated to the fight) and that he took pride in that fact. Max Baer Jr. has said that his father was always haunted by the memories of killing a man in the ring.
Russell Crowe lost more than 50 pounds, weighing only 176 pounds for his role (compare to 228 pounds in Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)).
This Depression-era drama made headlines for being not only one of the best reviewed films of 2005, but one of the least well attended. After four weeks of release the film had taken around US$50 million, which even during the box-office slump of the time was a disappointment, especially considering the good buzz. AMC Theatres hoped to keep the film and started a unique offer of a money-back guarantee. Ticket buyers who did not like the film were promised that their money would be refunded, no questions asked.
The cinematographer invented a "tire-cam" which is a camera cushioned inside a tire and behind Plexiglas. This allowed the professional boxers to hit the tire to create realistic reactions from a first-person point-of-view.
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.
Russell Crowe dislocated his shoulder while training for the film's boxing sequences, which delayed the filming two months.
The story Jimmy Braddock tells of his kids confusing the word "title" with the word "turtle" is true. A reporter asked Braddock's son Howard Braddock what he would do if his father brought home the title young Howard replied that he'd "play with it. Pull it around on a string".
Madison Square Garden Bowl was located at 48th Street and Northern Boulevard in Long Island City, Queens. The bowl was torn down after World War II.
The real Jimmy Braddock weighed 17 lbs at birth. He was one of 5 boys and 2 girls born to his Irish parents.
Max Baer, who's paternal grandfather was Jewish, boxed with a Star of David embroidered on his trunks. The star is visible on Baer's red trunks throughout his fight with Braddock in the final fight scene.
The movie, which cost around $90 million to make, did less well than expected, taking around $60 million at the US box office.
According to Steve Kroft during an interview with Russell Crowe on an episode of 60 Minutes (1968), the role of Jimmy Braddock is Crowe's personal favorite.
Canadian boxer Wayne Gordon taught Russell Crowe how to box for the movie. Gordon donated a pair of gloves worn by Crowe to the museum in Melfort, Saskatchewan, where Gordon's father is from.
Before Damon Runyon gave Braddock his nickname, the term "Cinderella man" was considered an insult similar to the use of "gigolo" today. A Cinderella man was a downtrodden man who met and married a rich "Princess Charming" in the same way that Cinderella met and married Prince Charming. A Cinderella man was also considered to be less than a true man, as he allowed his wife to fund their lifestyle. An example of this occurs in the movie Platinum Blonde (1931): When the male lead is called a Cinderella man to his face, he punches the man and tells the man that he wears the pants in the marriage.
The streetcars used in the movie are owned by the Halton County Radial Railway Museum, which has a huge collection of streetcars near Milton, Ontario, Canada.
One of the boxers portrayed in the film was Frankie Campbell. Campbell's real name was Frankie Camilli. His brother was Brooklyn Dodger all star first baseman Dolph Camilli.
At one time, Penny Marshall was intended to direct the film.
In the actual Baer fight, Braddock was introduced last. Which is not traditional (the champion is introduced last). But he was the sentimental choice. The local hometown underdog fighter. Baer from California was introduced first to polite applause.
6 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Braddock's real children were supportive of this movie as long as it portrayed their dad accurately. They even shared insight and some family letters to help with the screenplay.
5 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Art Binkowski (Corn Griffin) didn't like being knocked down during the Griffin/Braddock fight scene. He'd never fallen in a real fight, and he didn't want his opponents to think it was even remotely possible.
5 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Paul Giamatti would whistle around set. Russell Crowe insisted on finding a way to get it into the movie.
5 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Filming the boxing sequences was so brutal, Russell Crowe says the movie was "four-to-five times more difficult than Gladiator (2000)."
4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Russell Crowe and Mark Simmons (Lasky) had over 300 choreographed punches to learn for the Braddock/Lasky fight.
4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Was originally intended to be directed by Lasse Hallström.
8 of 10 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The filmmakers made sure the finances were accurate to the time.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Russell Crowe's actual daily training: running, swimming, boxing, weight lifting, more boxing, and yoga.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Ron Howard played old boxing footage in the production office around the clock while shooting.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
All of the dialogue in the Braddock/Baer fight scene was improvised. Ron Howard wanted "a cacophony of sound."
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Russell Crowe and Craig Bierko weren't friendly on set. Crowe even excluded Bierko from his 40th birthday party while shooting to heighten their tension.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
At one point, a cut during a continuous camera move is hidden by fading to black. Alfred Hitchcock used the same device in his movie Rope (1948), which was supposed to be all one shot.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Russell Crowe said that for a screen actor, being in a boxing movie is like being in Hamlet.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Paul Giamatti was cast because the filmmakers loved his performance in American Splendor (2003).
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The film was shot in Toronto instead of New York. Production Designer Wynn Thomas says New York had "changed too much" since the Depression to shoot there.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The filmmakers based the dock scenes on the Depression-era photographs of Lewis Hines. Hines's photographs helped change child-labor laws.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Russell Crowe spent almost a year training for the boxing sequences. He set up a ring and training facilities on his farm in Australia.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Russell Crowe had approached Renée Zellweger to play the role of Mae all the way back in 1998. He says that through the years when he was trying to get it made, she always "said yes."
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Ron Howard told Craig Bierko (Baer) that Baer's right punch "looks like he's throwing a hammer."
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The filmmakers used warm colours and shades of gold to accentuate the Braddocks' wealth here.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Sound designer Anthony J. Ciccolini III used watermelons, beef, and broken glass to create the punch sounds.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The filmmakers called the Griffin vs. Braddock bout scene the "thousand punches" fight, after a real Braddock quote.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The Braddock/Baer fight scene is the first time in the movie Russell Crowe fights another actor instead of an actual boxer. Ron Howard said they were all "on pins and needles."
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Ron Howard and Russell Crowe started talking about the film when they were making A Beautiful Mind (2001).
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Russell Crowe had a child, Charlie, just before the movie. Co-screenwriter Akiva Goldsman believed that it "informs the performance."
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Ron Howard uses the same "punch" joke in this movie and Parenthood (1989). He says, "It got the same huge laugh."
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Akiva Goldsman says that one line that really represents Jim Braddock is "He had a persistive spirit despite this endless downward spiral."
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

Rance Howard, who portrayed the ring announcer and is the father of fellow actor Clint Howard and actor/director Ron Howard, attended the fight in which Jim Braddock won the heavyweight title with his father. Considering he was in Oklahoma during the Depression it is unlikely he attended the fight in New York. Here is probably what happened: Howard's grandfather took Howard's father to a pool hall to listen to the Braddock/Baer fight on the radio. It was the first boxing match his father had ever heard. Now he's a life-long fan.

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

Contribute to This Page