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Top 5 Boxing Movies Of All Time
List Of The Top 5 Boxing Movies Of All Time
In Hollywood boxing movies have been far more successful than any other type of sports related film. As a matter of fact, the only sports related films to win Acadamey Awards for Best Picture are the boxing movies Rocky and Million Dollar Baby.
Some of the better directors of boxing films, such as Clint Eastwood and John G. Avildsen have what it takes to create characters that have much in common with the movie audience. Many of boxer’s come from underprivileged backgrounds and are used to scrapping for food and money just to support their families and loved ones. So, when they have to fight for survival in a boxing ring they already have everything it takes to win.
Boxer’s, like the rest of us have need for guidance or confidence to realize their full potential. In boxing movies, directors like to create a kind, lovable, knowledgeable character who acts as a trusting mentor and father figure to the fighter. The movie audience is then taken along with these two characters as they quest for glory which often times involves heartbreak, sacrifice, struggle and belief.
No matter what the sport, but more so in boxing, people tend to be naturally drawn to the underdog. People don’t usually like favorites winning unless of course, gambling is involved! This is where movie directors will create an anti-hero, a character that the audience dislikes. A character who is rude, cocky, arrogant, etc.. and he is usually at the top of his sport.
This pair of pugilistic rivals are finally pitted against one another in a winner take all confrontation. In the near corner you have a fighter that everyone loves to hate and in the far corner is a fighter whom everyone has come to admire and love.
Everyone likes happy endings and audiences at boxing movies are no different. They were brought up with the stories of Cinderella, Snow white, etc.. and they hope to leave the movie theater happier than they entered. They pray the underdog wins because they remember how it feels to be an underdog. Do you remember how you felt when you were leaving the movie theater after seeing Rocky for the first time? That’s the feeling every movie director wants you to experience.
We all admire a character who has great pride, courage and strength. The great film directors are well aware of this and strives to give it to them.
Boxing movies work because everyone loves a good underdog story!
Here Is My List Of The Top Five Boxing Movies Of All Time:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Neil Gerstein is an expert author who writes about multiple topics. You can read some of his articles here:
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Ladies and Gentlemen and boxing movie lovers of all ages. The winner and still undefeated and unanimous champion of the heavyweight boxing films division is Rocky, starring everybody’s pugilistic punch drunk actor, Sylvester (Sly, The Italian Stallion) Stallone. As a matter of fact, I have looked at just about every movie review site on the Internet and found Rocky listed as the “Best Boxing Movie Ever Made” wherever I looked! Directed by John G. Avildsen and starred the amazing cast of Sylvester Stallone (Rocky), Burgess Meredith (Mickey), Talia Shire (Adrian), Carl Weathers (Apollo Creed) and Burt Young (Paulie).
Next to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Rocky is probably the greatest underdog movie ever made. In this first Rocky film, the life of a down-on-his-luck Philadelphia boxer named Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) is about to change. In a publicity stunt, the flamboyant boxing heavyweight champion of the world, Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers), is going to give a virtual nobody a one-in-a-million chance to win the heavyweight crown by fighting Apollo in front of the world on our country’s bicentennial celebration. Apollo Creed’s criteria for his opponent is: He must be white, he be an unknown, he must have a losing record and he must not have a Chinaman’s chance in Hell at winning this title shot. As Creed and his manager go through the almanac of heavyweight boxers, one name grabs hold of his attention, “The Italian Stallion” who is none other than Rocky Balboa! Sylvester Stallone’s superb acting performance takes us on an emotional rollercoaster ride as he prepares for the title shot with Apollo Creed and tries to win the heart of his best friend Paulie’s (Burt Young) super shy sister Adrian (Talia Shire). The acting of Burgess Meredith who portrayed Rocky‘s tough trainer (Mickey) was awesome.
Rocky is not only first in our top 5 boxing movies of all time but I consider it one of the best movies ever made!
The Cinderella Man stars Russell Crowe, Renée Zellweger, Paul Giamatti, Craig Bierko and is directed by Ron Howard in this excellent heart wrenching underdog boxing movie that was set in 1930 U.S. during The Great Depression.
It was during the worst years of The Great Depression, when James Braddock (Russell Crowe), a onetime successful boxer loses all his lifetime savings and possessions with the crash of the stock market. Braddock was forced into early retirement from boxing after a string of loses. Now with the depression on in full force, Jim must work several worthless low paying jobs to try and keep his lovely wife Mae Braddock (Renée Zellweger) and their three children from starving and freezing due to lack of heating. In 1934, Braddock’s manager and coach Joe Gould gives him a chance to resume his once promising and successful boxing career. Due to a late cancellation, Jim gets an opportunity to fight the number two ranked contender in the world. Not only does he accept the challenge, but he wins the fight. He soon becomes the symbol for hope for a nation full of hopeless people in a ruined nation. The great storyline and wonderful acting puts the Cinderella Man at second on our list of the Top Five Boxing Movies of All Time.
The boxing movie “The Hurricane” is a true story starring Denzel Washington, Dan Hedaya, Vicellous Shannon, Rod Steiger, Liev Schreiber and directed by Norman Jewison. This true story follows Rubin "Hurricane" Carter (Denzel Washington) an African-American man who went from being a troubled youth to become a strong contender for the middle-weight boxing title. In June 1966 that would all come crashing down when Carter is charged with a triple homicide when three people are murdered in a New Jersey bar. Carter is found guilty and sentenced to three natural-life terms in prison. While in prison he writes his memoir entitled “The 16th Round” in hope of proving his innocence. Seven years later a Brooklyn and his three Canadian mentors read Carter’s now published memoir and are convinced of his innocence. Together, they work for Carter’s exoneration, although proving his innocence is going to be more difficult than winning a title fight. This emotional true story and Denzel Washington’s acting puts The Hurricane at third on our list of the Top Five Boxing Movies of All Time.
Million Dollar Baby
Clint Eastwood returns to directing and fighting with this Oscar Winning boxing movie, Million Dollar Baby. Starring heavyweight actors Morgan Freeman (Eddie Scrap-Iron Dupris), Hillary Swank (Maggie Fitzgerald) and Clint Eastwood (Frankie Dunn). Maggie Fitzgerald (Swank), is a struggling thirty-one year old waitress from the wrong side of the tracks that the only way she can turn her life around is through boxing. She has one small problem though. She has to convince the hard nosed, experienced boxing trainer, Frankie Dunn to manage and coach her. Morgan Freeman plays the role of ex-prize fighter, Eddie Scrap-Iron Dupris, who was once fought for Frankie Dunn until he lost the vision of one of his eyes during a very brutal fight that Frankie should have stopped. Maggie enlists the aid of Eddie who sees huge potential in Maggie‘s fighting. With both Maggie and Eddie working on him, Frankie finally relents and agrees to train and manage Maggie. With Frankie’s expert tutelage and Maggie’s tenacity and desire, she quickly rises in the ranks and is ready for a title shot. Frankie‘s worst nightmare is about to become reality! Million Dollar Baby’s strong cast and excellent characterization puts Million Dollar Baby at fourth on our list of the Top Five Boxing Movies of All Time.
Sylvester Stallone returns to the big screen one more time to star and direct in “Rocky Balboa” the latest in the Rocky series of boxing movies. This hard-hitting, action-packed boxing film sees Rocky Balboa once again finding life hard. Adrian (Talia Shire) has passed away and Rocky’s relationship with his son (Milo Ventimiglia) has been strained. But things soon change after Rocky witnesses a computer simulation which pits Rocky (in-his-prime) vs. Mason Dixon (boxing’s current undefeated heavyweight champion). Like a page out of the George Foreman handbook of fight returns, Rocky gets the “Eye of the Tiger” back and focuses on a return to the ring to let the “Beast Loose” one last time. Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Burt Young (Paulie), Antonio Tarver, Mike Tyson (himself) and Milo Ventimiglia. This sixth and final Rocky movie had me feeling what it would be like for a sports hero to come to grips with a declining career. I place Rocky Balboa at fifth on our list of the Top Five Boxing Movies of All Time.
Each of these boxing movies helps brings back memories of the past, be it good or bad. The best part of watching a good boxing movie is the good guy usually wins! I hope you have enjoyed reading my list of the Top 5 Boxing Movies Of All Time.
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