Films To Watch Before You Die #47 – Cinderella Man (2005)

D.J. Haza presents the next entry in his series of films to watch before you die…

Cinderella Man, 2005.

Directed by Ron Howard.
Starring Russell Crowe, Renee Zellweger, Paul Giamatti, Craig Bierko, Bruce McGill and Paddy Considine.

The beautiful story of boxing legend James J. Braddock is brought to the big screen in a fantastic and touching tale set during the American Great Depression. The Irish-American fighter was once a contender, but is forced to give up boxing after badly breaking his hand. With jobs few and far between Braddock’s unable to find regular work as a long shore man and he and his family struggle to make ends meet.

When a last-minute drop out gives Braddock the opportunity to fight and make a little bit of money he comes up against the no. 2 contender in the world. Despite many believing Braddock’s best days are behind him he wins the fight with a knockout. With the possibility of a world title fight against Max Baer the underdog continues to train and fight.

As Braddock earns money he uses some to pay back the government for what was given to him during hard times and not only is he a hero in his neighbourhood, but soon the entire country. As his amazing rags to riches story sweeps the country the sports writer Damon Runyan calls him ‘The Cinderella Man’ and he becomes the person representing the hopes and aspirations of the American people all struggling in the depression. In one of the greatest fights of all time Braddock began as a 10 to 1 underdog, but went on to beat Baer and become the Heavyweight Champion of the World.

Cinderella Man is a stunning true story about one man’s desire to do right by his family and feed their starving mouths anyway he can. From the hardship he suffered he went onto become what he always dreamed of being – the World Champion. Braddock found himself truly at rock bottom and not only took money from the government, but begged those at the boxing commission to spare him any change they had.

Cinderella Man is a film you must see before you die because it is a truly inspirational story of hardship, hopes and aspirations. In times when many feel hard done by and believe they are struggling to make ends meet Braddock’s story sheds a little light on what true poverty looks like and that you can change your situation.

D.J. Haza

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  • Jepressman

    Cinderella Man is a good choice as it is one of those touch your heart kind of films. It also shows the hardship most people endured during the Great Depression. This film was set aside by Hollywood and mishandled by Universal and it really deserved to be recognized as the excellent film it has always been.

  • Flickering Myth

    Yeah, it is a great film, some excellent performances from the cast and a true underdog story.