Cinderella Man is the inspiring story of James Braddock, the boxing legend who rose from poverty to win the heavyweight title during the great Depression. His story is so far-fetched, no one would believe it if it wasn’t true.
Braddock’s incredible story begins in the 1920’s, when Braddock was an up-and-coming challenger for the World Heavyweight Title. Sadly, his career was slowly de-railed by injuries to his hands. In the 1930’s, the midst of the depression, Braddock was stripped of eligibility to fight after breaking his hand in a “beer league” type match. Several years later, Braddock was given the chance to fight in Madison Square Garden for a boxer who pulled out lame, and he shocked the audience by winning. Several bouts later, Braddock was the heavyweight champion.
Although its box office take was not overly impressive, Cinderella Man is a great movie. According to respected talk show host Larry King, it is “one of the best movies ever!” Star Russell Crowe turns in a tear-jerking performance that allows Braddock’s deep love for his family to shine through. Renee Zellweger and Paul Giamatti round out a sparkling cast.
He had a lot to work with, but director Ron Howard made the most out of this uplifting story. You can feel the emotions in every scene: Braddock’s love for his family, the sadness of the depression, and the crowd’s support for the true underdog to win. A worthy film for any audience, Cinderella Man is one to see.