Top 6 Boxing Films You Should Watch
Most of us probably feel like we’ve exhausted the majority of films with all of the extra hours we’ve had on our hands recently, especially with lockdown number three now amongst us in the UK.
You may have seen that we recently partnered up with photographer Neil Bedford to shoot our Army Gym collection on ex Team GB, turned pro boxer Joe Maphosa. Taking inspiration from this, we thought it would be fitting to knock out our all-time favourite boxing films for you to enjoy. Although there are many great boxing films, we’ve narrowed it down to our top six. Whether you like the sport or not, you want to give these a go:
Million Dollar Baby (2004)
Based on the book ‘Burns: Stories from the Corner’, released in 2000, 4 years later, Million Dollar Baby was ready for us all to watch. The story is centred around an aspiring female boxer, Maggie Fitzgerald, acted by Hilary Swank, who you might also recognise from the likes of P.S. I Love You (2007) and The Next Karate Kid (1994). Maggie aspires to be trained by Frankie Dunn, who is played by Clint Eastwood (as well as being director of the film). Although Dunn is initially reluctant, she proves his initial judgment wrong. With both the training and Fitzgerald’s talent, she progressed and became the first female to win a million dollars in prize money. Ready to be inspired?
The Hurricane (1999)
“Hate put me in prison, love’s going to bust me out”, the words spoken by Denzel Washington who tells the true story of the African American man Rubin Carter; known as the “Hurricane” in the boxing world back in the 60s. During Carter’s successful boxing career, he is hit with the accusation of the murders of 3 people in a bar. Despite being wrongly sentenced, he spent almost 20 years in prison, where he wrote his autobiography to prove his innocence in a world filled with racism.
Know the song ‘Hurricane’ by Bob Dylan? It’s based on Rubin Carter.
Ready for a tear-jerker? Then Southpaw is the one for you. Boxer Billy Hope, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, seems to have a perfect life – unbeaten in his career, with a beautiful wife and daughter. Tragically following the shooting of his wife after one of his fights, he finds himself in a whirlwind of problems - from losing his house, to losing the custody of his daughter. In a bid to turn his life around for himself and his daughter, Hope reaches to trainer Tick Wills, played by Forest Whitaker, to help fight back and get him back on track. Despite the struggles, Hope makes his return and fights for the first time again following his wife’s death.
Bleed For This (2016)
From the producer of American Beauty and Silver Linings Playbook, this film tells another true story of boxer Vinny Pazenzia in 1988. On the way to get coffee, a tragic car accident takes place leaving Pazienza, played by Miles Teller, with a broken neck, putting both his life and career on hold. Despite being left with the news that he may never walk again, he is determined to make the unimaginable happen and be fit to fight
Raging Bull (1980)
Jake LaMotta, who is played by Robert De Niro, is an Italian American middleweight boxer. LaMotta’s behaviour jeopardised the relationship with his wife and family because of his toxic traits through being self-destructive and having an obsessive rage. These traits were apparent both inside and outside of the ring. One of Martin Scorcese’s finest films.
This one is probably the first to come to mind when someone mentions ‘boxing films’, so if you haven’t yet, this is your cue. Although there is a total of six Rocky films, the original dates back to 1976, both written and starring Sylvester Stallone. Rocky Balboa is an Italian-American boxer living in Philadelphia. Despite his humble background, Rocky gets a chance to fight in the world heavyweight championship. With odds stacked against Rocky Balboa, he takes this as his chance to become somebody.