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During the Great Depression, a common-man hero,James J. Braddock--a.k.a. the Cinderella Man--was to become one of themost surprising sports legends in history. By the early 1930s, theimpoverished ex-prizefighter was seemingly as broken-down, beaten-upand out-of-luck as much of the rest of the American populace who hadhit rock bottom. His career appeared to be finished, he was unable topay the bills, the only thing that mattered to him--his family--was indanger, and he was even forced to go on Public Relief. But deep inside,Jim Braddock never relinquished his determination. Driven by love,honor and an incredible dose of grit, he willed an impossible dream tocome true. In a last-chance bid to help his family, Braddock returnedto the ring. No one thought he had a shot. However Braddock, fueled bysomething beyond mere competition, kept winning. Suddenly, the ordinaryworking man became the mythic athlete. Carrying the hopes and dreams ofthe disenfranchised on his shoulders, Braddock rocketed through theranks, until this underdog chose to do the unthinkable: take on theheavyweight champ of the world, the unstoppable Max Baer, renowned forhaving killed two men in the ring.
Fact-based story of depression era boxing champJames J. Braddock (Russell Crowe). The film opens with Braddock winninga fight in 1928 and becoming a contender for a championship bout. Thefilm then quickly jumps five years into the future. The depression ison and Braddock has had a series of defeats. Fighting injured,including with a broken hand, made him less of a fighter. Braddock,like many others in that era, lost everything in the stock market andscrimping by on the small fights he can get and on dock work. His wife(Renee Zellweger) would prefer he quit boxing, but knows how badly theyneed the money to get by with their three kids. Watering down milk justto make it do for several more days is a common occurrence. When histrainer (Paul Giamatti) manages to get him one more fight on the spurof the moment against the current #2 contender, Braddock rises to theoccasion and knocks him out. His amazing comeback becomes the source ofinspiration of many down-on-their-luck Americans. A series of fightslater leads to the championship match against the arrogant champ, MaxBaer (Craif Bierko). Baer, who had already killed two men in the ring,urges the older Braddock not to fight him. Of course, Braddock feels hehas nothing more to lose and very devastating, intense fight ensues.Contains very brutal boxing violence.