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Sweet Dreams (2006)

Not Rated  |   |  Documentary, Drama, Sport  |  8 April 2006 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 41 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 3 critic

Over three years, Sweet Dreams tells the story of two Italian-American men. One of them, Gary "Tiger" Balletto is a 27-year-old boxer, who, burdened by the memories of a fellow boxer killed... See full summary »


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Credited cast:
Gary Balletto ...
Derek Fleming ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dino Autiello ...
Christina Balletto ...
Hailey Balletto ...
Jimmy Burchfield ...
Lino Cambio ...
Jimmy Hoffa Jr. ...
Teamster President
Union Meeting Attendee
Eddie Mustafa Muhammad ...
Kurt Reader ...


Over three years, Sweet Dreams tells the story of two Italian-American men. One of them, Gary "Tiger" Balletto is a 27-year-old boxer, who, burdened by the memories of a fellow boxer killed in the ring, attempts to unionize the sport. Besides attempting to organize the only professional sport where athletes have no protection, Balletto shoulders the tasks of raising a family, running a construction business, and boxing professionally. Then there is Derek, a 19-year-old Bookie - and "wanna-be" wiseguy. Derek dreams of upholding a reputation as a tough, brutal enforcer but faces real hardship in this endeavor due to his gentle, soft-spoken, and sometime thoughtless ways. A film about inspiration and perseverance, about faith, fatherhood, friends and family, about the ethic that drives the working man. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Not Rated


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Release Date:

8 April 2006 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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References The Godfather (1972) See more »

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User Reviews

The All-American Documentary! Classic!
11 June 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Wow! I viewed this documentary at Full Frame Fest this past year, burnt out from watching docs, some good, some downright bad, but all-in-all typical. The boxing imagery of the advertisements struck me, so me and my friends decided to check it out. We came out all agreeing to that this was hands-down the best documentary we had seen at the festival, and one of the best we had ever seen.

The story follows a boxer, Gary, and a young bookie, Derek. Gary, a family man at heart, spends his days working construction and nights training for boxing. The death of his fellow friend and boxer leads him to the direction of attempting to create a Union for boxers. The Union, of course, would not only protect fighters, but open the doors for them to a future after boxing. On the overhand, Derek spends his days booking on streets and nothing more. I was pleasantly surprised to have a guy like Derek, although wanting to be some tough guy, was nothing but a soft, insecure kid that turned out to be heart-warming and hilarious. The chemistry of the two stand out on screen so great, that if I didn't known any better, I would have thought it was great casting.

Now, this is the most beautifully shot and edited docs I have seen. This is a movie that requires multiple viewings being that there is so much emotional depth. No doubt about it, the boxing scenes were the best I have seen in movies, documentary or Hollywood. The use of music was so well fit for the movie, when used, I got chills. The theme of family was so strong, and the idea of blood, sweat and tears from the everyday working man defines your character, stood out greatly.

I stayed and listened to the director's panel talk on the making of the documentary which was extremely insightful on the approach and thought behind the making of the documentary. My hat off to the director, I look forward to seeing what his next movie will be.

I can't wait to see this movie again. It is an experience like no other. I always loved documentaries and have been going to Full Frame since it began. In my opinion, Sweet Dreams takes documentaries to a new level. I knew when I left the theater that I just experienced a movie that will someday be an All-America Film Classic.


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