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
The TKO loss to Braddock ended Corn Griffin's career as a serious heavyweight contender. At the time he fought Braddock, his record was 44-11-4. He fought 14 more bouts after facing Braddock and lost 13 of them before retiring in 1936. See more »
The family enters the apartment after the electricity has been turned on again. Jimmy Braddock is the only one with snow covering his hat and jacket. The rest of the family has no snow on their outer clothes. See more »
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 »
A very good film that apparently takes HUGE liberties with some facts to make for a more exciting film.
Before I get to whether or not I liked this film, the history teacher in me thinks it's very important to set the record straight. Although the film is pretty accurate when it comes to the career of James Braddock, it's very inaccurate in portraying his opponent, Max Baer. The champion, Baer, is shown as a sadistic jerk who killed two men while boxing--and really delighted in taunting Braddock about this. In the film, the evil and filthy-mouthed Baer tells Braddock to bow out of the fight, as he could be the next to die in the ring--and he really seems to LIKE tormenting Braddock's wife about this. In reality, Baer killed one man in the ring. It was a horrible accident which occasionally happens in boxing--one which apparently haunted Baer for the rest of his life. In fact, he helped pay for his dead opponents to get educations and looked after this family--hardly the act of a sadist. I understand why the folks who made "Cinderella Man" changed this in an attempt to create tension, but the story would have STILL worked great if it had just stuck to the truth. Plus, think of how this film affected Baer's relatives when they saw it. Max Baer Jr. ('Jethro' from "The Beverly Hillbillies") knew his father was not like this and I am sure it pained him to see him so badly misrepresented.
As for the NON-Baer parts of the film, they are great. The look of the 1930s is exceptional--much more realistic than you often see in films. Also, the acting is terrific, the film VERY engaging and the story of Braddock very compelling. Without the misrepresentation of Baer's in the story, I would have given this one a 10. Really....it's that compelling and they did a great job. The acting, direction, designs...everything but the writing was perfect.
By the way, this isn't so much a complaint as an observation. In this movie, like practically EVERY other boxing movie, there is hardly any defense (such as blocked shots) in the boxing matches--punch after punch that lands on the opponent. If fights REALLY were like this, they'd rarely go beyond the first round!
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