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Resurrecting the Champ (2007)

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Up-and-coming sports reporter rescues a homeless man ("Champ") only to discover that he is, in fact, a boxing legend believed to have passed away. What begins as an opportunity to resurrect Champ's story and escape the shadow of his father's success becomes a personal journey as the ambitious reporter reexamines his own life and his relationship with his family.


Rod Lurie


Michael Bortman (screenplay), Allison Burnett (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Samuel L. Jackson ... Champ
Josh Hartnett ... Erik Kernan Jr.
Kathryn Morris ... Joyce Kernan
Dakota Goyo ... Teddy Kernan
Alan Alda ... Ralph Metz
Rachel Nichols ... Polly
Teri Hatcher ... Andrea Flak
Kristen Shaw ... Perlmutter
Nick Sandow ... Marciano
David Paymer ... Whitley
Harry Lennix ... Bob Satterfield Jr.
Peter Coyote ... Ike Epstein
Ryan McDonald ... Kenny
Chris Ippolito ... Jaws
Jameson Trenholm Jameson Trenholm ... Runt


A young journalist comes to the aid of a homeless man who claims he is a former heavy weight title contender. Seeing a chance to redeem his struggling career, the writer's story of the champ's life raises questions about the past that will threaten all he holds dear. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Based on a true story, that was based on a lie.


Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

24 August 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

O Resgate de Um Campeão See more »

Filming Locations:

Calgary, Alberta, Canada See more »


Box Office


$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,659,756, 24 August 2007, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$3,172,573, 20 July 2012

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,242,427, 20 July 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The story was inspired by the article "Resurrecting the Champ" by J.R. Moehringer, which appeared in the Los Angeles Times Magazine in 1997. Although the article indeed purportedly focused on Bob Satterfield, there are various other differences with the true story. Moehringer had no children, and his father was not well-known, though he did abandon his family, when the writer was an infant. See more »


When Erik leaves Champ at the house they were conversing in front of, Champ is shown standing on the curb as he contemplates knocking on the door of the house. Then, as Erik is driving away, he looks into his rear-view mirror, and Champ is instantly shown standing in the middle of the street instead of on the curb. See more »


[first lines]
Announcer: He lost to Harold Johnson and to Nino Valdez. That win to Valdez catapulted him into the national statistics spotlight also. Charles, 32 years old, Satterfield, 30. Here's round two. 189 for Charles, 180 for Satterfield. Charles is in the white trunks.
Erik Kernan Jr.: [narrating] A writer, like a boxer, must stand alone.
Announcer: Satterfield has surprised all tonight with his right.
Erik Kernan Jr.: Having your words published, like entering a ring, puts your talent on display. And there's nowhere to hide. The truth is ...
See more »


References Dexter (2006) See more »


Roberto Duran
Written by Tim Cronin, Jon Kleiman
Performed by The Ribeye Brothers
Courtesy of North Star Media
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

One of the best films since "The Shawshank Redemption"
3 August 2007 | by transcendingpicturesSee all my reviews

I had the privilege of seeing an advance screening of "Resurrecting the Champ" earlier tonight, followed by a Q & A with director Rod Lurie and screenwriter Michael Bortman. This is an extraordinary motion pictures. In my opinion, this film has the best writing, characterization and dramatic construction of any film released so far this year. The performances are stellar across the board, with a special mention to the film's leads, Josh Hartnett and Sam Jackson. Hartnett's character is torn between his ambition as an up and coming investigative journalist and his integrity as a man, a husband, a father and a son. Jackson plays "Champ", a one-time up and coming boxer who climbs the ranks to #3 in the world, to eventually be reduced to a homeless man scaling the trash cans of Denver.

Hartnett and Jackson create an unexpected friendship in his quest to write a magazine article about the journey of this man's forgotten life. Along the way, the film explores the themes of integrity, honesty, vulnerability, authenticity, truth, consequence, and family is an entertaining, emotional and significant fashion. The entire film breathes energy into the value and importance of responsibility and trust, and how abusing them can lead to consequences that can only be cured by forgiveness and a re-commitment to being true to one's character. The way that Hartnett's characters comes to understand the damages he could do to his relationship with his son, by living through it with champ is powerful and a important lesson for all parents.

I truly hope this film gets the respect and attention it deserves from critics and audiences alike. Comes Oscar time, I would come to expect "Resurrecting the Champ" to be on the minds of many. When it comes to films that you can sense the passion and heart of the storytelling being present in every frame, this one is near the top of that list. 10/10!

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