A fictional story inspired by North America's most famous female boxing promoter, Jackie Kallen. Her struggle to survive and succeed in a male dominated sport.


Charles S. Dutton


Jackie Kallen (life), Cheryl Edwards
2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Meg Ryan ... Jackie Kallen
Omar Epps ... Luther Shaw
Charles S. Dutton ... Felix Reynolds
Tony Shalhoub ... Sam LaRocca
Tim Daly ... Gavin Reese
Joe Cortese ... Irving Abel
Kerry Washington ... Renee
Sean Bell ... Ray Kallen
Dean McDermott ... Pete Kallen
Skye McCole Bartusiak ... Little Jackie
Juan Carlos Hernández ... Pedro Hernandez (as Juan Hernandez)
Holt McCallany ... Dorsett
Tory Kittles ... Devon Green
Gene Mack Gene Mack ... Kevin Keyes
Beau Starr ... Corcoran


A Jewish woman from Detroit who became a boxing manager, guiding several major careers. This film focuses on her relationship with one boxer (Epps), who's reportedly a composite of several including Toney, McKart and Hearns. Kallen eventually left her husband of 30 years, and moved to Los Angeles, becoming the commissioner of the International Female Boxers Association... Written by austin4577@aol.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


She gave the boxing world the one-two punch they never saw coming.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for crude language, violence, brief sensuality and some drug material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Tim Daley (Gavin) & Tony Shaloub (Sam) played together in the long running sitcom "Wings". See more »


When Luther is having dinner with Jackie, he picks up his napkin twice. See more »


Jackie Kallen: That's my job to see shit coming.
See more »


Edited into Indie Film Cafe (2004) See more »


Baby Workout
by Jackie Wilson and Alonzo Tucker
Performed by Jackie Wilson
Courtesy of Brunswick Record Corporation
See more »

User Reviews

against the audience?
25 August 2007 | by ChrysanthepopSee all my reviews

Said to be based on a true story, 'Against the Ropes' is not as effective as other movies of this genre. The story does not grip and even as a character study it fails. The screenplay is quite poor (and predictable), the characters are half-baked, the dialogues are dull and it has nothing new to offer. Cheryl Edwards expects to understand what's going on but we are always questioning what the motivation of the characters were.

Meg Ryan looks very hot and she does the best she could with an ill-written character. Omar Epps is okay (he two suffers from a badly written role). The relationship between the two characters is one of the most important elements of the plot (or should have been). Yet, this is hardly developed. One moment we see Epps character hugging Ryan and the next we see him call her a bitch and wanting to quit. It would have been a far better movie had this point been improved.

The plot is obviously very predictable and we know how it will end. There are so many plot holes and there is just too much missing from this film. Maybe there was pressure to make this film within the time limit and the director decided to leave out some parts, probably substantial parts. On a positive note, the last boxing scene was well shot.

'Against the Ropes' felt very incomplete and it's a waste for the cast and crew who are otherwise known for their good work. For some reason I tried to enjoy the film...but did not succeed. It isn't the worst movie around and I think it's okay for a one-time watch.

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Official Sites:

Official site


USA | Germany



Release Date:

20 February 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Jackie Kallen Story See more »

Filming Locations:

Cleveland, Ohio, USA See more »


Box Office


$39,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,038,546, 22 February 2004

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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