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Cinderella Man [HD DVD] [2005] [US Import]

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Product details

  • Actors: Russell Crowe, Renée Zellweger, Craig Bierko, Paul Giamatti, Paddy Considine
  • Directors: Ron Howard
  • Writers: Akiva Goldsman, Cliff Hollingsworth
  • Producers: Brian Grazer, James Whitaker, Kathleen McGill, Louisa Velis, Penny Marshall
  • Format: AC-3, Colour, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English, Spanish, French
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: To be announced
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: 9 May 2006
  • Run Time: 144 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000E1ZK4G
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 192,962 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Cinderella Man is a wholesome slice of old-fashioned Americana, offering welcomed relief from the shallowness of many summer blockbusters. In dramatising the legendary Depression-era comeback of impoverished boxer Jim Braddock, director Ron Howard benefits from another superb collaboration with his A Beautiful Mind star Russell Crowe, whose portrayal of Braddock is simultaneously warm, noble, and tenacious without resorting to even the slightest hint of sentimental melodrama.

The desperate struggle of the American Depression is more keenly felt here than it was in Seabiscuit, and Howard shows its economic impact in ways that strengthen the bonds between Braddock, his supportive wife--Renée Zellweger--and three young children, and his loyal manager, played by Paul Giamatti; all are forced to make sacrifices leading up to Braddock's title bout against heavyweight champion Max Baer in one of greatest boxing matches in the history of the sport.

Boasting the finest production design, cinematography and editing that Hollywood can offer, this is a feel-good film that never begs for your affection; it's just good, classical American filmmaking, brimming with qualities of decency and fortitude that have grown all too rare in the big-studio mainstream. --Jeff Shannon


Director Ron Howard and star Russell Crowe team up again for this rousing biopic following their Oscar-winning collaboration, A Beautiful Mind. It's the true story of boxer James J. Braddock (Russell Crowe), a heavyweight contender from New Jersey nicknamed the Bulldog of Bergen, who lost his fame and fortune during the Great Depression, only to win the hearts of the downtrodden during a spectacular comeback. Crowe is masterful as Braddock, with Renee Zellweger playing his wife, and Paul Giamatti as his loyal friend and manager, Joe Gould. The sharply observed script devotes a significant amount of screen time to the domestic struggles of Braddock's family; developing character and place with a wealth of period detail, so when the comeback starts, the payoff is enormous. The matches themselves are unforgettable: raw, intense, riveting, with more than a passing stylistic nod to Martin Scorsese's groundbreaking 1980 film, Raging Bull. Though it may sound a bit formulaic, one should remember that this is the true and original underdog boxer story from which all others hail, and it's riveted together with true craftsmanship. Howard has a real skill for plucking audience members' heartstrings, and the performances are first-rate. Giamatti and Crowe play off each other in a rapport perfectly suited to their roles, especially at the ring, where the one's manic intensity makes a perfect contrast to the other's warrior grace.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By scoon2 VINE VOICE on 13 Feb. 2006
Format: DVD
Cinderella Man features a great performance from Russell Crowe as Jimmy Braddock ,a quite remarkable real life Heavyweight boxer who plied his trade in New York during the depression of the late twenties early thirties.
Some of this fare we have seen in numerous boxing movies over the years but it is all very well realised by director Ron Howard.
The poverty and the sheer squalor of the depression years are also portrayed convincingly and Jimmy’s constant battle to provide for his family is extremely moving.
Paul Giamatti is terrific as Jimmy’s manager though Rene Zelwegger is really wasted in the role of the wife.
It is a long movie but well worth the time.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jezza on 5 Mar. 2006
Format: DVD
Having read and been influenced by many reviews on this site over the past couple of years, this is the first time I have been moved to actually write one of my own.
Cinderella Man has to be the best film of 2005. It is a heart warming story - very emotional yet never sentimental - which is wonderfully acted and sensitively directed by Ron Howard. Russell Crowe is magnificent in the title role and his performance is excellently supported by the underrated Paul Giamatti as his long time friend and trainer.
Renee Zellweger is also very good, though possibly slightly wasted, in the less demanding role of Braddock's wife.
Others before me have outlined the story admirably so I don't wish to go into great detail. I would just like to say that I benefitted from not previously knowing the history or outcome of the story. Suffice to say at the film's climax, when underdog Jim Braddock is in the ring fighting champion Max Baer for the world heavyweight title, I was at first on the edge of my seat, and by the fifteenth round up on my feet punching thin air as I tried to help Braddock with every ounce of energy.
I could go further with my ultimate reaction, but that would unfairly give away the ending to anyone who hasn't yet seen the movie.
In summary, if you enjoy films that deal with good old fashioned human values such as loyalty, humility, love and courage over adversity, told in a sincere yet unsentimental way, then I suggest you purchase this movie today. You will not be disappointed...
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Kona TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 Sept. 2005
Format: DVD
"Cinderella Man" is about a down-and-out guy who makes an astonishing boxing comeback and wins the title during the Depression. What makes this movie stand out from other under-dog boxing films is the sensitive and endearing performance of Russell Crowe. It really is one of his best roles ever.

Crowe looks the part of Jim Braddock; his face is craggy and lined, his tired eyes reflect desperation, fear, and hope. He is as convincing in the brutal boxing scenes as he is in the tender moments he shares with Renee Zellweger, who plays Jim's wife, Mae. The sentimentality never becomes maudlin, however, and we come to like and admire Jim for the love he has for his family and his determination to do whatever he has to do to support them and keep them together.

Two scenes define Braddock even more than the boxing matches: The first is when he is reduced to begging, hat in hand, from his former associates in order to have the heat turned back on in his pitiful basement apartment. The second is when Jim goes to the relief office and repays the money he had been given. These scenes show Jim was a man of intense pride and inner strength; he didn't complain about being poor or shirk his responsibilities. "Cinderella Man" is a very good fim!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rowena Hoseason HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 8 Oct. 2007
Format: DVD
Initially we didn't bother to see Cinderella Man at the cinema because we're not overly fond of boxing movies. Then I later read a couple of reviews which suggested that Russell Crowe's performance was top notch. He's one of my favourite actors, so we gave it a crack.

And I'm really pleased that we did. Yes, Cinderella Man IS a boxing movie. It's full of hard, sweaty men beating the living bejaysus out of each other at a time when deaths in the boxing ring were a real risk of the sport.

However, it's also a lot more than 'just' a boxing movie. It's the story of the economic collapse of the Great Depression in the 1930s, and how it ripped the heart out of American society. The lead character, an up and coming boxer who loses all his financial security in the crash, and then loses his boxing career to boot, demonstrates exactly how the Depression affected the average American. He went from a comfortable life in suburbia to desperate straits, standing in soup kitchen lines. The family came close to losing everything; no food, no warmth, and with the parents unable to feed their children. This part of the film is chilling -- and it explains why America clings so tightly to its economic prosperity. The spectre of such a financial disaster occuring again must be a scary one.

So you've got the main plot of 'under-dog fighter comes back from nowhere' and a fascinating snapshot of American history running in the background. Director Ron Howard combines the two so that you're compelled by the personal story and educted about the historical background without even noticing. Smart man.
(In the Special Features he shows how some of his favourite scenes had to be snipped to keep the film's pacing on the right footing).
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