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Million Dollar Baby (2004) Poster

Trivia

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Boxing and kickboxing champion Lucia Rijker, who also played the part of Billie "The Blue Bear" in this movie, was Hilary Swank's boxing coach.
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At age 74, Clint Eastwood became the oldest Best Director Oscar winner for this movie.
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Producer Albert S. Ruddy loved the story and was determined to make it into a movie and spent four years trying to find backers who were interested in helping him make it. "I couldn't get anybody interested", he said in an interview, "and I'm talking about people who are friends of mine, people I've done business with for years. They'd tell me, 'Who wants to see a movie about two old grizzled guys and a girl fighter?'" Eventually, he found someone interested, Clint Eastwood. He read the script and said "It's a downer...but God, it's gorgeous."
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Stayed in the top five at the box office every weekend from the time it was nominated for Best Picture until after the Academy Awards.
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Morgan Freeman was originally approached to play the role of Frankie Dunn. But even before Clint Eastwood took on directing and starring roles, he decided to take the part of Eddie "Scrap-Iron" Dupris.
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"Mo chuisle" literally means "my pulse", but can mean "my love" or "my darling". It's a term of endearment taken from the original phrase "A chuisle mo chroí", or "Pulse of my heart".
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Hilary Swank contracted a bacterial infection from a blister she developed on her foot during training for her role. The infection was so serious that she almost had to be hospitalized for three weeks. Catching the infection in the nick of time, she instead chose to take a week off for medicated rest and didn't tell Clint Eastwood or the other producers of this movie about the injury, because she didn't believe it was in character.
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Hilary Swank underwent a serious training schedule to prepare for this movie. She gained nearly twenty pounds of muscle due to the workouts.
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Jerry Boyd (a.k.a. author F.X. Toole) died a month after learning that Clint Eastwood had signed on to make a movie out of his work.
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The movie is based on three short stories from Jerry Boyd/F.X. Toole's short stories: "The Monkey Look", "Million $$$ Baby", and "Frozen Water". Some parts of the introduction were used as well.
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Stuck in development hell for years with many studios rejecting it because of its relatively downbeat subject matter. Even Warner Brothers rejected it, despite their longstanding association with Clint Eastwood, refusing to put up the $30 million required. Eastwood persuaded Lakeshore Entertainment's Tom Rosenberg to put up half the budget, along with Warner Brothers.
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Released in December to qualify for the Academy Awards. Remarkably, this movie hadn't even begun shooting in July that year.
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Hilary Swank engaged with her character Maggie easily as her upbringing was very similar.
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Played in theaters for six and a half months.
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Writer Paul Haggis was directing Crash (2004) and was scheduled to direct this movie when Clint Eastwood (who was to act only) asked to direct it as well. Haggis agreed to step aside as director.
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Prepping and shooting of this movie was so quick that producer and director Clint Eastwood basically kept the same crew as he used on Mystic River (2003).
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One of two boxing movies that won Best Picture. The other is Rocky (1976).
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The first shot of Frankie Dunn and Eddie "Scrap-Iron" Dupris in the gym office was filmed with a split diopter lens. This is a close-up accessory lens cut in half so it changes the focal point of only half of the scene, allowing both the foreground on one side and background on the other side to appear sharply. Brian De Palma is famous for using this technique in his movies.
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One of two times when the presenter handing Clint Eastwood an Oscar was Barbra Streisand. She previously handed him the Best Director Oscar of Unforgiven (1992). Before giving the second movie award to him, she said, "I would be very happy to give you this again, Clint."
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One of three Warner Brothers movies in a row where the Best Picture winner co-starred Morgan Freeman. The other two are Driving Miss Daisy (1989) and Unforgiven (1992). The Departed (2006) was the first Warner Brothers Best Picture Oscar without Morgan Freeman since Amadeus (1984).
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Clint Eastwood was the only nominee for the Best Actor Oscar in 2005 to play a fictional character. All four of the other nominees portrayed real people in their respective movies. The winner, Jamie Foxx, had played Ray Charles in Ray (2004).
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Sandra Bullock was the first actress attached to play Maggie, and she wanted to pursue Shekhar Kapur as a director. By the time a studio expressed an interest in the project, her commitment to Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous (2005) prevented her from doing this movie.
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Producer Albert S. Ruddy received his second Best Picture award for this movie. The first, for The Godfather (1972), was presented to him by Clint Eastwood.
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The term "million dollar baby" actually refers to the nose art on a World War II B24 heavy bomber.
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One of two Best Director and Best Picture Oscar winners featuring Clint Eastwood as actor, producer, and director, and Morgan Freeman co-starring. The first being Unforgiven (1992).
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According to "Variety", the cost was actually closer to $18 million instead of the reported $30 million (the amount that was used for publicity reasons).
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The movie was filmed in thirty-seven days, but originally scheduled filming for thirty-nine days.
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This is the 25th movie Clint Eastwood has directed, the 57th movie in which he has acted, and the 21st he has produced.
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Anjelica Huston originally brought the book "Rope Burns" to producer Albert S. Ruddy's attention, hoping that he would ask her to direct this movie. (She guaranteed that he would cry after reading the "Million $$$ Baby" story, and he admits that he did.) However, by the time Ruddy acquired the rights, Huston was busy on another project.
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The first Best Picture Oscar winner to be released on HD DVD and Blu-ray.
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Of the three Best Picture Oscar winners featuring Morgan Freeman, this is the only one where he also won the Oscar. He was nominated for Best Actor in Driving Miss Daisy (1989).
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One of two times when Clint Eastwood and Martin Scorsese competed for Best Picture and Best Director at the Oscars. Clint Eastwood won this time, but four years later they competed again with Scorsese winning for The Departed (2006) and Eastwood nominated for Letters from Iwo Jima (2006).
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Roger Ebert listed this movie as the best of 2004.
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Maggie's checkbook ledger contains an entry for Michael Sexton, this movie's property master.
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"Rope Burns: Stories From the Corner", a collection of short stories based on the experiences of long-time fight manager and cut-man Jerry Boyd, writing under the pen name F.X. Toole, was published in 2000 by Harper Collins. Toole was seventy at the time, and had been writing and battling rejection letters for forty years. "Rope Burns" was his first published work. Soon after its publication, he was commissioned to write his first novel, an epic story set on the Texas-Mexico border. He died on September 2, 2002, at the age of seventy-two, just before his novel was finished. "Rope Burns" was dedicated to Jerry's partner and longtime friend Dub Huntley.
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Shares with Chariots of Fire (1981) the largest haul of Academy Awards for a sports-themed movie, each movie winning a total of four Oscars.
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Clint Eastwood based his character's voice on producer Albert S. Ruddy.
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Hilary Swank won the Best Actress Oscar for her performance in this movie, making her the first actress to win an Oscar for the portrayal of a boxer.
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The cast includes three Oscar winners: Hilary Swank, Clint Eastwood, and Morgan Freeman.
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The name of the café in which Maggie Fitzgerald (Hilary Swank) works is "On the Waterfront Café".
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This movie covers similar territory to Alejandro Amenábar's The Sea Inside (2004), which was released the same weekend in the United States.
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The only movie that year to be nominated for Best Actor and Best Actress Oscars.
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Hilary Swank's Best Actress Oscar winning performance was the only nominee in the category in a Best Picture nominee that year.
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Included amongst the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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Theatrical movie debut of Mike Colter (Big Willie Little).
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Though this was the only time Clint Eastwood and Albert S. Ruddy won Oscars together for Best Picture, this wasn't the first time they were on stage for the Oscars. Eastwood handed Ruddy the Best Picture Oscar for The Godfather (1972).
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Morgan Freeman's win for Best supporting actor was the second year in a row that category was won for a Clint Eastwood film. The previous year Tim Robbins won the same Oscar for Mystic River (2003).
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Ashley Judd was also considered for the part of Maggie.
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Paul Haggis' first produced screenplay.
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Michael Peña collaborated with Screenwriter Paul Haggis on their next movie, Crash (2004).
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Second sports-related movie for Hilary Swank after her starring debut in The Next Karate Kid (1994).
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For this film, Clint Eastwood became the 12th person to direct multiple Best Picture Oscar-winning films, having also directed Unforgiven (1992). The first 11 are Frank Lloyd (Cavalcade (1933) and Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)), Frank Capra (It Happened One Night (1934) and You Can't Take It with You (1938)), William Wyler (Mrs. Miniver (1942), The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), and Ben-Hur (1959)), Elia Kazan (Gentleman's Agreement (1947) and On the Waterfront (1954)), Vincente Minnelli (An American in Paris (1951) and Gigi (1958)), Billy Wilder (The Lost Weekend (1945) and The Apartment (1960)), Sir David Lean (The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) and Lawrence of Arabia (1962)), Robert Wise (West Side Story (1961) and The Sound of Music (1965)), Fred Zinnemann (From Here to Eternity (1953) and A Man for All Seasons (1966)), Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather (1972) and The Godfather: Part II (1974)), and Milos Forman (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) and Amadeus (1984)). Of these 12, Wyler is the only one to direct more than two.
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Second in the poll for Fipresci Grand Prix of the Year 2005.
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The only movie in which Hilary Swank won an acting Oscar for her performance in a movie which won Best Picture.
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Anthony Mackie and Michael Pena are both in the MCU, Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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Cameo 

Morgan Eastwood: "Little girl in truck" is Clint Eastwood's daughter.
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

Probably one of the key features to this movie being such a success was that no one had divulged the gutpunch twist that occurs towards the end of the movie, taking it in a whole new direction. People were going to see what they thought was a female boxing movie, and coming out overwhelmed by having seen a searing account of euthanasia.
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