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Cinderella Man (2005)

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The story of James Braddock, a supposedly washed-up boxer who came back to become a champion and an inspiration in the 1930s.


Ron Howard


Cliff Hollingsworth (screenplay), Akiva Goldsman (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
3,356 ( 512)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 41 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Russell Crowe ... Jim Braddock
Renée Zellweger ... Mae Braddock
Paul Giamatti ... Joe Gould
Craig Bierko ... Max Baer
Paddy Considine ... Mike Wilson
Bruce McGill ... Jimmy Johnston
David Huband ... Ford Bond
Connor Price ... Jay Braddock
Ariel Waller ... Rosemarie Braddock
Patrick Louis ... Howard Braddock
Rosemarie DeWitt ... Sara
Linda Kash ... Lucille Gould
Nicholas Campbell ... Sporty Lewis
Gene Pyrz Gene Pyrz ... Jake
Chuck Shamata ... Father Rorick


During the Great Depression, a common-man hero, James J. Braddock--a.k.a. the Cinderella Man--was to become one of the most surprising sports legends in history. By the early 1930s, the impoverished ex-prizefighter was seemingly as broken-down, beaten-up and out-of-luck as much of the rest of the American populace who had hit rock bottom. His career appeared to be finished, he was unable to pay the bills, the only thing that mattered to him--his family--was in danger, and he was even forced to go on Public Relief. But deep inside, Jim Braddock never relinquished his determination. Driven by love, honor and an incredible dose the ones who are do of grit, he willed an impossible dream to come true. In a last-chance bid to help his family, Braddock returned to the ring. No one thought he had a shot. However Braddock, fueled by something beyond mere competition, kept winning. Suddenly, the ordinary working man became the mythic athlete. Carrying the hopes and dreams of the disenfranchised... Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


When America was on its knees, he brought us to our feet. See more »


Biography | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense boxing violence and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Universal [United States]





Release Date:

3 June 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El luchador See more »


Box Office


$88,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,320,205, 5 June 2005, Wide Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Russell Crowe spent almost a year training for the boxing sequences. He set up a ring and training facilities on his farm in Australia. See more »


When Jimmy Braddock first shows his wife the $175 his manager gave him, in order for him to train and get back in shape, he holds the money between his index finger and his middle finger. In the next shot, he holds it between his thumb and his index finger. See more »


[first lines]
Joe Gould: Attaboy! Keep him busy!
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Crazy Credits

Before the title appears the following: "In all the history of the boxing game, you'll find no human interest story to compare with the life narrative of James J. Braddock." - Damon Runyon (1936) See more »


References S.O.S. Iceberg (1933) See more »


Someday Sweetheart
Written by John Spikes and Benjamin Spikes
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Simple crowd pleaser
31 August 2005 | by Chris_DockerSee all my reviews

Cinderella Man is the story of a Depression-era boxer and American hero Jim Braddock, but it contains enough love interest, family interest, and great-champion-of-the-people interest to satisfy most Saturday night out filmgoers. It's a total no-brainer, beautifully served up, and all the clichés delivered with such accurate emotional punch that you forgive it for being a tad unoriginal.

Gladiator and bar-brawl man Russell Crowe plays the lead role and Renée Zellweger puts in a good performance as the ideal and very loving wife that supports her husband through thick and thin. The story starts in 1928 when Braddock is doing quite well, but the depression hits and, with an injured hand, he is forced to work in the shipyard. He and his family live in fairly abject poverty until a lucky break enables him to make a comeback.

This is the working man's hero who never says a bad word, teaches his kids never to steal for food even when they are starving, and nobly gives back his social security money the minute he can afford to. Zellwegger is similarly faultless of course, striking the right balance between supportiveness and concern that her man could get his brains knocked out permanently. The last fight generates quite a lot of genuine excitement due largely to neat editing and intense cinematography - you can almost feel your nose bleed just watching it.

This is classic American-style hero creation and worship and, on the face of it, healthy enough. So why the doubts? Sure you can sit back and just enjoy it, it's the type of story the U.S. has done well for a long time; but compare it with European cinema and it all seems very full of absolutes. The heroes don't have any failings. The choice is between total success and total failure, no half measures. Much as I admire the use of role models, I somehow wonder if more human heroes aren't sometimes called for, people who do quite well, who sincerely better themselves and others, but without becoming the most applauded individual on the continent. In watching the big picture we sometimes miss the detail that makes life real to everyone, not just the lucky few.

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