Southpaw And The Top 5 Boxing Movies
Southpaw opened this weekend, and it features a seriously ripped Jake Gyllenhaal as boxer Billy Hope who decides to take a break from boxing, only to watch his life fall apart. In order to try to change his fortunes he returns to the ring. Rachel McAdams plays Maureen Hope, Billy’s Wife. The movie is the latest in a long line of boxing films, and we take a look at our five favourites.
We couldn’t do this list justice if we didn’t mention Rocky first. It won the Academy Award for best picture, turned Sylvester Stallone into a star, and made everyone cheer for the ultimate underdog. Some of the sequels were pretty good too, but there were a couple of duds out there as well. We’re curious what the sort of sequel Creed will be like when it comes out later this year, but until then we just can’t get the theme to the movie out of our head.
Four years after Rocky turned heads, Martin Scorsese released a boxing movie of his own called Raging Bull, and shockingly it lost out at the Oscars to Ordinary People. A case could be made that Raging Bull is the best boxing movie of all time, and it will forever be known as one of the biggest movies to be upset at the Academy Awards. It won Robert De Niro the best actor award though, for playing real life boxer Jake La Motta, and has earned it’s place in cinematic history.
“Irish” Micky Ward’s story may not be as well known as other boxer’s, but you can find out all about him in The Fighter. Mark Wahlberg plays the underdog boxer, and Christian Bale won an Oscar for playing his drugged out brother who helped train him. If Rocky hadn’t come out before Micky started boxing, you might just think it was based on his life.
It’s not just the men boxers who have made it on the big screen either. Clint Eastwood directed, and Hillary Swank starred in Million Dollar Baby in 2004, and it easily won the major awards that year. It’s the sad story of a female boxer who came from nothing and was determined to make a name for herself, only to see her dreams dashed away by a cheap shot.
And if you are looking for a boxing film that takes place during the early days of the sport, then look no further than Cinderella Man. It’s the true story of Jim Braddock (played by Russel Crowe), a washed up boxer who makes a come-back and inspires a generation when the depression was knocking so many people down.
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