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Chuck (2016)

The Bleeder (original title)
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A drama inspired by the life of heavyweight boxer Chuck Wepner, who had a once in a lifetime bout with Muhammad Ali that would inspire the film, Rocky (1976).


Philippe Falardeau





Cast overview, first billed only:
Liev Schreiber ... Chuck Wepner
Elisabeth Moss ... Phyliss Wepner
Ron Perlman ... Al Braverman
Naomi Watts ... Linda
Jim Gaffigan ... John
Michael Rapaport ... Don Wepner
Pooch Hall ... Muhammad Ali
Morgan Spector ... Sylvester Stallone
Jason Jones ... Arty
William Hill ... Paddy
Wass Stevens ... Johnny Dicesare
Kelvin Hale ... Charlie Polite
Megan Sikora ... Flo Wepner
Emil Tonev Emil Tonev ... Fight Ref
Georgia Ximenes Lifsher ... Rachel


Chuck Wepner, the "Bayonne Bleeder," he was the pride of Bayonne, New Jersey, a man who went fifteen rounds in the ring with Muhammad Ali, and the real life inspiration for Rocky Balboa. But before all that, Chuck Wepner was a liquor salesman and father with a modest prizefighting career whose life changed overnight when, in 1975, he was chosen to take on The Greatest in a highly publicized title match. It's the beginning of a wild ride through the exhilarating highs and humbling lows of sudden fame-but what happens when your fifteen minutes in the spotlight are up? Written by AnonymousB

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Untold Story of the Inspiration for Rocky Balboa See more »


Biography | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language throughout, drug use, sexuality/nudity and some bloody images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

5 May 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Chuck See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$34,565, 5 May 2017, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$320,725, 9 June 2017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


Christina Hendricks was cast alongside Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber back in 2011 when the project was announced. Hendricks dropped out while the film was stuck in development and eventually Elisabeth Moss replaced her. See more »


Chuck Wepner served his prison time in East Jersey State Prison in Rahway, NJ, not Northern State Prison in Newark, NJ, as depicted in the movie. This is where he met Sylvester Stallone while filming "Lock Up" in 1989. See more »


Features Requiem for a Heavyweight (1962) See more »

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User Reviews

A loveable bleeder
3 March 2018 | by jadavixSee all my reviews

"Chuck" is a sad, albeit entertaining, story about a loser with a heart of gold.

Wepner was called "the bleeder" due to his always seeming to get cut in his fights. The real-life Chuck needed 72 stitches after his loss against the brutal punching Sonny Liston. He also lost to George Foreman, Liston's successor as the most feared man in boxing.

Wepner was, in short, a fan favourite not due to boxing skill, but due to his toughness and heart.

Somehow, the stars aligned and Wepner found himself ranked in the top ten. Don King wanted a white guy to fight his champion, Muhammad Ali, who had just done the impossible and defeated Foreman. No one gave Wepner a hope in hell of defeating Ali, and the truth was, he didn't have one, either. But he almost went the distance, and he knocked Ali down.

This was the fight that inspired "Rocky". Wepner is the Italian Stallian, Ali is Apollo Creed.

Then, the fame goes to Wepner's head, and we get a fairly predictable series of failures involving drugs, broken relationships and prison time. Stallone actually wants Wepner to star in "Rocky II", but he's on so many drugs by that stage, he blows the audition. "Chuck" rises above the cliche, however, by keeping its protagonist relatable.

It also brings out the real jewel in its crown - not Schreiber, though he is good, but a show-stoppingly brilliant Naomi Watts, who deserved an Oscar for the complete transformation she did into the role of Wepner's second wife. She is unrecognizable, and not just in terms of looks. The performance is stunning.

It's easily the best thing about the movie, and everything else kind of pales in comparison to Watts' performance. It's good, but it's not THAT good, unfortunately, and this is a movie of relatively limited interest to anyone who isn't a boxing fan, or a "Rocky" fan.

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