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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.

Director:

Ron Howard

Writers:

Cliff Hollingsworth (screenplay), Akiva Goldsman (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
3,130 ( 226)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 41 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

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 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Universal [United States]

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 June 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El luchador See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$88,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

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

Gross USA:

$61,649,911

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$108,539,911
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Paul Giamatti would whistle around set. Russell Crowe insisted on finding a way to get it into the movie. See more »

Goofs

The credits list Benny Goodman's version of "Don't Be That Way" as the song playing in the club when Jimmy Braddock meets Max Baer. That version of the song was first performed/recorded several years later, in 1938, at Carnegie Hall. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Joe Gould: Attaboy! Keep him busy!
See more »

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 »

Connections

Referenced in The Chase: Episode #4.2 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Danny Boy/Londonderry Air
(uncredited)
Traditional
Lyrics by Frederick Edward Weatherly
Performed by Paul Giamatti
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Russell Crowe K.O.
23 May 2005 | by bitcetcSee all my reviews

The dilemma: I hate boxing movies; I love Russell Crowe movies. I've already seen "Million Dollar Baby" and "Raging Bull" this year, and accidentally watched part of one of the "son of Rocky" serial movies on a Saturday afternoon. I feel like I am being punched, as Renee' Zellwegger's character Mae Braddock says, and I'm not as tough as these prize fighters.

But this one has Russell Crowe in it. And that makes all the difference.

It is not that Renee Zellwegger and Paul Giamatti, Paddy Considine, Bruce McGill and Craig Bierko, among others, give less than stellar performances: they all live up to their justifiably great reputations. You have to believe they are at the top of their game. But for all of Russell Crowe's reputation for being "difficult", it is hard to think of actors who can equal his personal force on the screen. He is brilliant.

Ron Howard has made of the real life of Depression-era prize-fighter James J. Braddock a work of art. The camera work is phenomenal. Without using violins or cliché' pull-back shots showing the numbers of people homeless and in soup lines, Howard makes the Depression a visceral reality with scenes of near-hopeless men at the docks, pleading for a day's work; a stolen salami; Crowe's giving his daughter his breakfast piece of bologna, telling her he dreamed he was full. The bleakness of the times is the graininess and the sepia/greyness of the camera shots; the images are stark but completely descriptive. Crowe as Braddock with hat in hand and tears in his eyes, begging for twenty dollars so he can get his children back into his home, is the personification of pride sacrificed to desperation. But when Braddock is later asked at a press conference why he is fighting at his age and after so many poor showings, all he has to say is "milk" to be supremely eloquent.

Doubtless many people know the history of James Braddock, and know the outcome of his fights, including the championship bout with Max Baer, who had already killed two men in the ring. If you don't know, DON'T look it up before you see the movie, and if you DO KNOW, DON'T TELL, but go. Analogous to watching Howard's film "Apollo 13", you may know the outcome, but there's wonderful suspense in the details. These were among the most exciting last twenty minutes I've seen on film. I didn't expect to be able to watch, but like Braddock's terrified wife Mae, I was unable to tear myself away.

The audience was like a prize fight audience, cheering, booing, gasping, groaning during the fights. We applauded Braddock's wins, suffered his defeats. It is a great movie, with authentic heart. Solid A.


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