Top 10 Boxing Movies

Mark your calendars. Odd as it may seem, today may be the day that Marky Mark (sans the Funky Bunch) joins the company of such greats as Robert De Niro, Sylvester Stallone, Will Smith, Russell Crowe and so on. Today, The Fighter opens up in theaters across the country. With as much buzz and acclaim the movie has been receiving, this could very well end up going down as one of the best boxing movies of all-time. sokaworld

In light of The Fighter‘s release, I thought now would be an appropriate time to make that list. My top boxing movies. The sport has been visited many a times throughout the history of cinema. Here, though, we narrow it down to the top 10. So without further ado, my Top 10 Boxing Movies. kinmagazine

10. Play It To the Bone
Play It To the Bone was written and directed by Ron Shelton. The movie stars Antonio Banderas and Woody Harrelson. Lolita Davidovich co-stars.

The movie is the story of two aging fighters, Cesar (Banderas) and Vincent (Harrelson), who are close friends. In the twilight of their careers, the two are given one last fight with a title shot up for grabs. The kicker: they’ll be fighting each other. The two boxers and friends set out to Vegas for their undercard bout, accompanied by Grace (Davidovich); Cesar’s girlfriend and Vincent’s ex. Along the way, we get a look into their past careers and their competitive friendship. Come fight time, what should have been a typical bout that no one has interest in, soon becomes the fight of the night as the two beat the hell out of each other. Cesar and Vincent leave it all in the ring, with something to prove to themselves and each other, they “play it to the bone”. A definite fight to remember. businesschamp

Now, Play It To the Bone was pretty much critically-panned. Call it my like for Woody Harrelson, or my sappy underdog side, but I enjoyed it. There’s plenty of humor, a fun road trip and one hell of a fight. Granted it’s not the greatest of movies, but definitely one of my more favorite boxing movies. businesssalt

9. Resurrecting The Champ
Resurrecting The Champ was written by Michael Bortman and Allison Burnett. It was directed by Rod Lurie and stars Samuel L Jackson and Josh Hartnett.

Hartnett plays a young sports writer who rescues a homeless man “Champ” (Jackson) only to find out that “Champ” is a boxing legend that was believed to be dead. The writer then sets out to resurrect Champ’s story and elevate his own career. The movie is based on real events and an LA Times Magazine article by the same name.

Granted this movie isn’t so much about boxing, rather that’s the underlying theme of it as it’s about a down-on-his-luck former boxer and the sports writer who seeks to restore the destitute man and resurrect his tale. What starts as a tale to resurrect a man who was once great, turns into an examination of life and family. Samuel L Jackson turns in a very good performance in this movie. Bringing such a level of humanity to the character, Jackson’s performance stands out in the film above all and you can’t help but feel for Champ the whole way through. For more info please visit these sites:-

8. Ali
Written by Gregory Allen Howard and Stephen J. Rivele, Ali was directed by Michael Mann. Will Smith plays the title role of boxing icon and legend Muhammad Ali. Other roles include Jamie Foxx playing Ali’s cornerman Drew Bundini Brown. Jon Voight also stars as the famed sports journalist Howard Cosell.

Ali is a biopic of the legendary boxer. It takes a look at his career from his title bout with Liston, to his conversion to Islam to the famous Rumble in the Jungle.

Will Smith turns in an excellent performance as the iconic boxer, even gaining significant weight to pull off the part. Voight also turns in a great performance as Foxx also does a fine job. On top of all that, the realism of the fights is like none other in any other movie, really. All fighters are played by professional boxers. They decided there would be no “illusion” to the fighting in this movie, but went for the real deal. Even the fights that involve Muhammad Ali are real. For instance, in Ali’s bout with Foreman in the movie, Shufford (who played Foreman) was allowed to hit Will Smith as hard as he could to contribute to the realism. The only rule: don’t really knock Smith out. With some great performances, some great fights and a look at the boxing icon, Ali is definitely a good one to watch.

7. The Hurricane
Based on books The 16th Round by Rubin Carter and Lazarus and the Hurricane by Sam Chaiton and Terry Swinton, The Hurricane is directed by Norman Jewison. Denzel Washington stars in the title role.

The Hurricane is the biopic of boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter. Carter was wrongly imprisoned for a triple homicide and spent 20 years in prison before being pardoned. While not so much a boxing movie, The Hurricane is more a tale of redemption. A tale about how love can overcome hate and injustice. Washington gives one of the finest performances of his career as Hurricane and his supporters seek to fight back against the racism and hate that imprisons him.

6. Requiem for a Heavyweight
Based on a teleplay written by Rod Serling, Requiem for a Heavyweight is directed by Ralph Nelson. The movie stars Anthony Quinn, Jackie Gleason and Mickey Rooney.

Anthony Quinn plays Mountain Rivera, a boxer at the end of his career after taking a beating from Cassius Clay. Being a proud man, Mountain must put that pride aside in order to save a friend. Finding out that manager bet against him, Mountain can only save his manager’s life by taking a dive….in a wrestling match.

Requiem for a Heavyweight provides a tight story and a memorable story (even heartbreaking). With strong characters, Quinn does a great job playing the burnt-out boxer. One of the more memorable scenes from the movie happens at the beginning. Doing a point-of-view sequence (from Quinn’s point of view), the movie chronicles Mountain’s bout with Cassius Clay as flurries of punches fly at the screen/camera as Clay pummels Mountain.


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