The boxing drama starring Russell Crowe and Renee Zellweger and directed by Ron Howard is based on a true story of one man’s extraordinary fight to save the family he loved. “Cinderella Man” tells a boxing story we’ve all heard before, Fighter gets knocked down, fighter struggles, fighter ultimately wins, but this story is different. This movie characterizes what actually happened to James J. Braddock, the celebrated athlete whose boxing comeback became a sign for hope during the Great Depression.
This film captures the depression era when hopelessness was constant and hope was nothing more than a dream. That dream is Jim Braddock (Russell Crowe) who captures the character. His talk, his walk, his style in the ring are all perfect and also aspiring. In real life Jim Braddock was a tough and strong Irish man from the streets , who was a once promising light heavyweight boxer forced to give up boxing after losing a nuber of fights. As the United States enters the great depression, Braddock loses all the money he had won from past fights and invested in the bank.
Braddock was then forced to work in the docks of Hoboken to be able to support his family. While working hard Braddock still dreamed of some how returning to boxing and making it big. His dream came true when thanks to a last minute cancellation by another boxer, Braddock had gotten a second chance to fight. Braddock stuns the experts and fans with a third round knockout of his tough opponent. Fighting with permanent injuries to his hands, Braddock continues to win and before the next fight he comes to the ring representing the hopes and aspires many Americans that were coping with depression.
Jeremy Schaap author of Cinderella Man, the greatest upset in Boxing History , brings to life both Braddock and Max Baer, the man he upset in 1935 for the heavyweight title. In the book it tells you about the dream that James Braddock lived. Jeremy Schaap also tells us about boxers who I got to know the two men fighting for the heavyweight championship. His thrilling boxing story really gets you sad too know how hard it was to go through the depression life. In a sport in which it is well known but during Braddock’s lifetime was more popular Cinderella Man is probably one of the most memorably and amazing story you culd hear, and by reading the book it really is a great story and helped me learn more about the depression and about one of the greatest boxers in history.
The film’s background is the crash of 1929 and the following depression. Even though the hardship and pain suffered by Braddock and his family, Ron Howard’s Cinderella Man is not a movie about American reality, but rather a Hollywood fairy-tale, for this reason the title Cinderella Man is well-deserved for more than one reason.
Russell Crowe was a New Jersey-based amateur prizefighter champion and simple, honest, hard-working man who was dedicated to his wife and family during the Great Depression, and who just happened to have talent in the boxing ring. He was known for his fierce right hand who turned pro in the 1920s. In his early years, he was dubbed “the Bulldog of Bergen”. He seemed to be on the way to the top when he sustained permanent damage to his badly broken right hand. He lost his winning punch and attacking power. His career began to slide down.
In 1929, he suffered a crushing defeat opposite light heavyweight champion Tommy Loughran in a heartrending 15-round decision from which he did not recovered. Russell Crowe was never the same again. After a string of bad luck and ugly losses, the local boxing commission forced to him to retire by canceling his license. Boxing is a business and poor fights are bad publicity, and once you lose a lot audience get bored and don’t come back. The same year, Wall Street’s stock market crashed. The resulting Depression hit New York City and the entire country hard.
Braddock was now an broke ex-championship fighter desperately and often unsuccessfully looking for work in NYC’s docklands. When he became unable to pay the bills, milk, gas and electricity, he was forced to go on Public Relief. And when he got there the lady attending him told him “I never thought I would see you hear” and he just walked away feeling embarrassed. Russell Crowe was deeply in love with his family and he took the chance of a one time fight in order to pay back his debts, get out of poverty and his three kids back; his wife had been forced to send their children away to a family member because they weren’t able to support the kids anymore.
Eventually of the efforts of his determined manager, Joe Gould (played by Paul Giamatti) Crowe was given chance to fight John Griffin in Madison Square Garden. Soon after Crowe won against Griffin he started winning more and more and he got more chances of fighting to rise again. Crowe’s once in a lifetime chance came next: the possibility to fight for the title of heavyweight champion of the world against the flamboyant Max Baer.
By the way Baer fought one of the greatest boxing matches of all time, knocking out the German legend Max Schmeling in a ten-round fight. A year later, Baer defeated Primo Carnera knocking him down eleven times in eleven rounds. It was the same night that Jim Braddock successfully fought Corn Griffin. Crowe was going to fight a really though boxer who even killed other opponents, but it didn’t scare Crowe he knew he could beat him. Baer dominated the first rounds, but was unable to knock out Braddock. Whenever one fighter seemed to dominate a round and a premature end seemed near, the opponent rallied back.
The fight lasted fifteen rounds. Braddock finally won in an unanimous decision. This fight was proclaimed the greatest upset in boxing history. This all changed when he had to face Tommy Loughran or the popular light heavyweight championship and Tommy who had studied Braddock’s boxing style knew about Jim’s powerful right hand and spent the match ducking and dodging Jim’s punches. Braddock would never land a clean hard punch and lost the 15 round session to decision from which he did not recovered. Braddock was never the same again.