7.8/10
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9 user 5 critic

Ring of Fire: The Emile Griffith Story (2005)

A story of violence, love, sex, politics and media centered around the life of Griffith, a six-time world welterweight champion.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Don Dunphy ...
Himself (archive footage)
Benny Paret ...
Himself (archive footage)
Emile Griffith ...
Himself
Pete Hamill ...
Himself
Juan Gonzalez ...
Himself
Howie Albert ...
Himself
Gil Clancy ...
Himself
Jimmy Breslin ...
Himself
Bill Gallo ...
Himself
Ron Ross ...
Himself
Hank Kaplan ...
Himself
Franklin Griffith ...
Himself
Jimmy Powers ...
Himself (archive footage)
Gaspar Ortega ...
Himself
Neal Gabler ...
Himself
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A story of violence, love, sex, politics and media centered around the life of Griffith, a six-time world welterweight champion.

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January 2005 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

 
Intelligent, interesting and occasionally moving
27 April 2013 | by (US) – See all my reviews

Intelligent, interesting and occasionally moving, this tells the story of boxer Emile Griffith, a gentle warrior, who accidentally killed a man in the ring, and who may have been gay at a time (the early 60s on) when an admission of that by an athlete was unthinkable.

Indeed, one of the frustrating and sad things about the film is that Griffith still insists on keeping his sexuality mysterious, which keeps the film from deeply exploring a potentially very powerful part of Griffith's story. It feels awkward that the subject is so front and center in some ways (he was mocked with a slur for being homosexual by the man he beat to death in the ring), yet so danced around in others.

But there's plenty here to hold your interest. Griffith's career arc, his jovial, likable personality, the great use of archival footage, the emotional and career complexities of taking a life all make for a documentary that while perhaps not all it could be (and a bit repetitive at times) is still very worth watching.


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