32 user 26 critic

The Great White Hype (1996)

R | | Comedy, Sport | 3 May 1996 (USA)
2:40 | Trailer
The boxing champ's promoter thinks, change is needed. He finds the one man, who's beaten his black champ (at 17), a white man now in a rock band. Like Rocky, he trains heavily whereas the champ slacks.


Reginald Hudlin


Tony Hendra (screenplay), Ron Shelton (screenplay)





Cast overview, first billed only:
Samuel L. Jackson ... Rev. Fred Sultan
Jeff Goldblum ... Mitchell Kane
Peter Berg ... Terry Conklin
Corbin Bernsen ... Peter Prince
Jon Lovitz ... Sol
Cheech Marin ... Julio Escobar
John Rhys-Davies ... Johnny Windsor
Salli Richardson-Whitfield ... Bambi (as Salli Richardson)
Jamie Foxx ... Hassan El Ruk'n
Rocky Carroll ... Artemus St. John Saint
Albert Hall ... Roper's Manager
Susan Gibney ... Vivian
Michael Jace ... Marvin Shabazz
Duane Davis ... Palace Guard #1
Lamont Johnson ... Palace Guard #2


When the champ's promoter, Reverend Sultan, decides something new is needed to boost the marketability of the boxing matches, he searches and finds the only man to ever beat the champ. The problem is that he isn't a boxer anymore and he's white. However, once Reverend Sultan convinces him to fight, he goes into heavy training, while the confident champ takes it easy, and falls out of shape. Written by P. Wong <pwong@nt.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


If you can't find the perfect contender....make one.


Comedy | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and brief sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Reverend Fred Sultan (Samuel L. Jackson) greets a man with shoulder length black hair and a black suit, with "Hey Vincent, Vincent, where's Jules man?", a reference to Jackson's character in Pulp Fiction (1994). See more »


The length of Roper's cigarette just before the fight. See more »


Terry Conklin: I've never been to a city more exploitive towards women. It makes me sick and I can't wait to go home.
See more »

Crazy Credits

While walking back to dressing room after fight, Conklin is followed by two little people from his entourage. See more »


Spoofs Roger & Me (1989) See more »


Movin' On
Performed by DJ U-Neek (as D.J. U-Neek) featuring Nyt Owl
Written by Annie Lennox, David A. Stewart (as Dave Stewart), DJ U-Neek (as D.J. U-Neek), Nyt Owl
Based on "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)"
Written by Annie Lennox and David A. Stewart (as Dave Stwart)
Produced by DJ U-Neek (as D.J. U-Neek) for U-Neek Entertainment, Inc.
D.J. U-Neek and Nyt Owl appear courtesy of U-Neek Entertainment, Inc./King Pin Records, Inc.
See more »

User Reviews

Severely underrated for its time!
17 September 2019 | by SeriousJestSee all my reviews

IMO, this movie was severely underrated for its time. It was purposefully cheesy, but precisely insightful (even prescient) about a wide array of problems within boxing, as well as about the use of racist rhetoric and promotion to fuel sales. Today, we have seen the explosion of the internet and social media take these concepts to a new, terrifying level.

The entire cast was excellent, leaning into the cheesiness of their roles and script, but doing so in a very funny way. Three standouts for me: Jackson's performance as the devious yet charismatic master promoter was delightful; Peter Berg is great as an idealist whose good heart but dim wits get used as the center-piece for one of the very things he hates most; and Salli Richardson-Whitfield is absolutely stunning both in her beauty and in her commanding presence despite her male-dominated environment.

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Release Date:

3 May 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Great White Hype See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,349,481, 5 May 1996

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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