Braddock was the last of the great Irish heavyweights that dominated the sport at the turn of the century. Like many poor people, Braddock's reason for entering the dangerous sport of boxing was simple: earn a living. Before the New Deal, real wages were so low that boxing was worth the risk to many. Immigrants, with no established wealth in their new country, found it even more attractive. But the Irish, who boxed bare knuckles back in Ireland, virtually owned the sport for over half a century in the US. The film is subtle about Braddock's Irishness merely showing his family in a Catholic church as they prayed while he was fighting. The real Braddock bragged about his Irish heritage and wore a shamrock into the ring. His loss to Joe Louis in 1937 (not covered here) was the end of the Irish era in boxing. See also Cinderella Man: The J J Braddock Story.
Click picture for more info
Director Ron Howard
Writer Cliff Hollingsworth
Cast Russell Crowe, Renée Zellweger, Paul Giamatti, Craig Bierko, Paddy Considine, Bruce McGill