Cinderella Man

Produced and distributed by Universal Pictures June 23, 2005, budget of $88 million, gross of $61 million, color 35mm negative, 1.85:1 screen ratio, digital sound, 125 mins., filmed in Canada, in the Distillery District of Toronto, at Hudson's Bay Department Store on Richmond St., Toronto for the Madison Square Garden exterior, in Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto for the boxing scenes




This film is based on the true story of James J. Braddock, a "cinderella man" in the Great Depression for coming back from defeat and poverty and injury to win the boxing championship on June 13, 1935, defeating Max Baer in a 15-round decision match before a crowd of 30,000 in the Madison Square Garden Bowl in Queens. Like the story of Seabiscuit, it was significant because of the symbolic triumph of the human spirit in hard times, and because it was broadcast on national radio and ballyhooed by writers such as Damon Runyon who gave Braddock his nickname. The film opens in 1928 with Braddock as a moderately successful fighter, getting $250 for a match. After the Crash of 1929, he works on the New Jersey docks for $4 per day. He is even forced to take government relief to keep his family together. In 1934 his manager Joe Gould gave him an opportunity for a comeback and he defeated John Griffin, then in 1935 defeated Art Lasky, setting up the championship bout with Baer. On June 22, 1937, Braddock lost his title to Joe Louis. However, his manager Joe Gould had made a deal that gave Braddock 10% of Louis's fight revenues for 10 years. By 1939, Braddock had received over $150,000. In 1942, he enlisted in the army and served on Saipan. He died in his home in 1974, survived by his wife Mae who lived eleven more years.


revised 8/15/05 by Steven Schoenherr at the University of San Diego | Filmnotes