‘Cinderella Man’ Film Analysis

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The movie “Cinderella Man” is a true story about James J. Braddock, a boxer during the Great Depression. This movie came in 2005. This film is about a man who went from “Rags to Riches,” but it wasn’t always that way. He was a world famous boxer and after his injuries and the stock market crashing, James J. Braddock and his family went into poverty. He eventually was not making enough money to support his family. His boxing manager, Jim, offered one more fight to show his ability and earn extra cash. That one fight turned into many more fights that lead to him becoming the heavyweight champion. Braddock becoming the champion, pull him and his family out of poverty from the stock markets. Although a lot of the film is an accurate representation of the Great depression there are some faults.

The Great Depression is a tragedy that took millions of people out of work. This event not only affected normal citizens of the United States, but also the Government and the country’s economy. October 29, 1929 was a tragic day our country’s economy, it was the day the stock market crashed. That day in history is now is now referred to black Tuesday. Between “1929-1932 over 10,000 U.S. banks failed leaving 15 million people unemployed.”(Slideshare.net) during the fall of 1933 “the U.S. unemployment rate was 24.9% and a few years later in 1939 the unemployment rate was at 17.2%”(slideshare.net) 1939 was the year that 1 billion was spent on armed forces, that is one reason the unemployment rate was so low.

The stock market was viewed as a way to get wealthy, but after it crashed it caused bankruptcies. Throughout the film, there was a scene portrayed that was accurate to the Great Depression. The scene on the Docks where there were hundreds of men who were yelling desperately to get picked for that days job. This is an accurate representation of how desperate all of these men needed the job to supply for not only themselves, but also for their family. In the beginning of the film it shows a news paper that states “15 million out of work”(theindependenctritic.com) which is a true statement that happened during the time of the great depression and the stock market crashing. 15 million was only the starting number eventually more men became unemployed.

Early in the film Braddock’s’ son stole salami from the meat store. Jim later finds out why he stole the meat, and it hurts him mentally knowing he can’t provide for his family, and that his son was scared of being sent away along with his other siblings. Braddock’s son stealing the meat can also be portrayed as symbolic to when the crime rate was increasing and mothers and fathers not being able to supply the necessities for their families to survive.

Immediately after the scene when his James J. Braddock’s son stole the salami, James started to sell his boxing gloves and other household items that weren’t a necessity to survive. This is another example to the extent that families had to go to to survive during this time. When Mae(James’ wife), James, Jim, and Jim’s wife all went to dinner before the heavyweight champion fight, the waiter came to take the plates out of the way. Mae denied him and put her steak in a napkin, and put it in her purse for the kids. This is yet another example of how short money was during the Great Depression.

If James would have lost the fight and would’ve been seriously hurt who knows the next time their family would have been able to supply a meal. This was a struggle everyone who didn’t have a consistent job struggled with. . Yet another scene that accurately portrays the lack of money is during their kids birthday party. All three kids had to share a cake and from what i saw there were no presents. His son tells him “I wish we had our own birthday cake, like we used to”(howard) Ron Howard created this film to portray the life of James J. Braddock, and how he was considered a hero during the great depression and to show that people looked up to him. James went from “Rags to Riches”(npr.org), and not only did he fight for fame and fortune, but for his family and country as well.

During one of his boxing matches he was loosing in the beginning, and then the film pictured his wife in three kids, and then he imagined his kids beds and his home but none of his family was there. He ended up winning the match after imagining his life without his family. People would go to extreme measures to make sure their family was provided for, even if that means putting their own life in danger. The proven “Rags to Riches” statement gave people hope. And the Cinderella Man was what he was called.

The Films inacurracies wasn’t necessarily about the Great Depression, but about how the characters were portrayed during the film.In the final boxing tournament to win the heavyweight champion title, James’ opponent Max Baer was shown “as a Ruthless fighter showing inappropriate behavior, but in reality he was caring and wasn’t out to break people’s necks”(blogspot.com) in the film it also states that he has killed two people while boxing, but in fact he has only killed one.

Another inaccurate detail the film portrayed was during his kids birthday party. “Braddock’s friend come up drunk and angry at the world. What is interesting is Braddock’s wife, Mae, later wrote in a biography that one day Jim came to the church and had seem to of been completely “broken down”” (blogspot.com). The reason the roles were swapped was to prove to the audience who was watching that James was only seen as the “Good Guy”. Cinderella Man would be a good movie for students to watch when learning about the Great Depression.

Students should be able to pick apart the film and use the knowledge they learned in class to know that the historical aspects of the movie dealing with the Great Depression is an accurate representation of situations everyday people dealt with during this time.The target audience is not necessarily for a certain class of people, but for a modern day person to educate themselves about our history during the time of The Great Depression.

History Tends to repeat itself, so this film creates a more entertaining way to for everyday people to learn about our history when the stock market crashed and millions where out of work.


Cite this paper

‘Cinderella Man’ Film Analysis. (2020, Sep 09). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/cinderella-man-film-analysis/

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