Cinderella Man

The Real James J. Braddock

The real life James J. Braddock


The plot:

This is the best motivational movie of all time for athletes.  The despair and hardship that the protagonist James J. Braddock, a boxing champion, went through in this film is unparalleled.  The film takes place in New York City during the era of the Great Depression.  It shows his career from a prosperous boxer hit hard by the times to then struggle as an impoverished family man and his subsequent rise to become a sporting legend.  It stars Renee Zellweger, Paul Giamatti and Russell Crowe.



Above, one of my favorite motivational sports movie clips


The actual facts:

The antagonist and Jim’s boxing opponent Max Baer isn’t the asshole he was characterized in the film.  It’s said that he was a loving and charismatic guy who was always haunted by the death of an opponent at his hand in the ring.

And another reason I love Jim Braddock.  In an epilogue it notes that he served in WWII.  Owned and operated equipment at the same docks he struggled to get work at in the film during the depression.  And Built a bridge.


Russell Crowe

Russell Crowe portrays Jim Braddock

My favorite line?

Opening Title Card – Damon Runyon (who also gave Braddock his nickname, the title of the movie.

“In all the history of the boxing game you find no human interest story to compare with the life narrative of James J. Braddock.”


Why it makes me think, “Damn, got to get moving!”

I can be a spendthrift.  When I see this film, I know I can’t go through what Jim Braddock went through and come out on top like him.  This film makes me watch my dollars and makes me grind.  Work hard and grind for the dollar.  I never want to be in the poverty of the people who had to endure the Great Depression.  Jim Braddock had such a fighting spirit both in and out of the ring and that influences me immensely.


How many times have I watched it?



James J. Braddock North Hudson Park, North Bergen, New Jersey

James J. Braddock North Hudson Park, North Bergen, New Jersey


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