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Beautiful Boxer (2004)

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Bio-pic of transgender Muay Thai boxer Parinya Charoenphol who pursued the sport to pay for her sex change operation.
6 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sorapong Chatree ...
Pi Chart
Orn-Anong Panyawong ...
Nong Toom's Mother
Nukkid Boonthong ...
Nong Toom's Father
Sitiporn Niyom ...
Somsak Tuangmkuda ...
Pi Moo (as Somsak Tuangmuka)
Kyôko Inoue ...
Herself (Female Wrestler) (as Kyoko Inoue)
Yuka Hyodo ...
Japanese fan (as Hyouda Yuka)
Tanyabuth Songsakul ...
Sarawuth Tangchit ...
Young Toom
Natee Pongsopol ...
Novice Monk Toom
Nattama Narkpo ...
Pi Nam
Chayaporn Tometh ...
Pi Nid
Panuwath Kongsamuth ...


Based on the real life story of Parinya Charoenphol, a Muay Thai boxer who underwent a sex change operation to become a woman. The movie chronicles her life from a young boy who likes to wear lipstick and flowers to her sensational career as a kickboxer - whose specialty is ancient Muay Thai boxing (moves which she can execute expertly with grace) - to finally confronting her own sexual identity, which leads to her sex change op. Written by theunraveler

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The true story of Asia's most famous boxer. See more »


Unrated | See all certifications »




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Release Date:

29 April 2004 (Singapore)  »

Also Known As:

A Luta Pela Beleza  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,713, 23 January 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$199, 21 September 2008
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Asanee Suwan placed his real-life kickboxing career in jeopardy to appear in the film. His bosses - the owners of the gym he fought for - feared that acting wouldn't allow him to fight or train, and gave him an ultimatum to either do the movie or stay with the gym. However, they ended up retaining him despite his commitment to the film. See more »


Nong Toom: It seems like the more makeup I put on, the harder my opponents kick me, so I kick them back harder.
See more »


Referenced in Drag Race Thailand: Beloved Thai Movies (2018) See more »


The Girl I Knew
music by Bruno Brugnano
lyrics by Nitipong Hornak
Performed by Asanee Chotikul
See more »

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User Reviews

A poignant and touching film for all
21 February 2005 | by See all my reviews

I rarely see films twice, but Beautiful Boxer continues to be a remarkably evocative film even on a second viewing. I saw it last summer at Outfest, and took several friends to see it this weekend, because I knew that they wouldn't see it on their own. It was a third choice film when I first saw it at the festival. I'm not a fan of boxing, and have seen my share of documentaries on the transsexual experience, so I was not particularly interested. Since I hadn't seen a Thai film, I decided to go. What a gratifying surprise the film turned out to be! Beautiful Boxer transcends time, culture, ethnicity, and gender identity to illuminate the humanity of the characters. Asanee Suwan the lead actor who plays Nong Toom is amazing. At the first viewing I thought that there was a very similar looking stunt double who did the fight scenes. Yet in the post film discussion with the Director Ekachai Uekrongtham we learned that the Asanee is an actual Muay Thai professional boxer. This was his first acting role. That makes his performance even more remarkable. He communicates the full range of Toom's being, seamlessly integrating the feminine and masculine dimensions of his/her personality.

In Iron Ladies and in other trans-gender themed films, the transvestites are usually in your face, over the top characters. The gender themes are either campy and/or played for laughs. Beautiful Boxer on the other hand conveys the inner life of the Toom's struggle to assert her identity. I was very moved by Toom's dignity, steadfast courage, and perseverance in coming to terms with who she is. The film is poignant and ultimately inspiring. Yet it is also very entertaining. The film provides a window into Muay Thai boxing, both its beauty and violence, the socio-economic conditions in Thailand, and aspects of Thai culture. It was a most rewarding experience. BTW my friends agreed. GO SEE IT!

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