12. A pre-cursor to 'The Wrestler'. A mediocre film, but evidence that Mickey Rourke hasn't just all of a sudden learnt to act as the press seem to be saying at the moment. An outstanding performance in a custom made role.
(1988) Starring:Mickey Rourke, Christopher Walken, Debra Feuer Director:Michael Seresin Certificate:
Johnny Walker (Mickey Rourke) is a "punch-drunk" boxer. He's a bit old to keep on boxing but it's the only thing that he does well. He's in love with Ruby (Debra Feuer) but is too shy to tell her. Johnny meets Wesley (Christopher Walken), a smooth-talking wise-guy who is torn between greed and his ..read more »
(1949) Starring:Ruth Roman, Marilyn Maxwell, Kirk Douglas Director:Mark Robson Certificate:
Kirk Douglas was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of a champion boxer who alienates his friends and family in his pursuit of greatness. He even stands up against the syndicate who want him to throw a fight. He refuses and the mob bosses put a price on his head - a hit he only survives with ..read more »
8. John Wayne plays a retired fighter in this John Ford classic. Has to be on this list because it has one of cinema's all time classic fights.
The Quiet Man
(1952) Starring:Ward Bond, Mildred Natwick, John Wayne Director:John Ford Certificate:
Returning to the Ireland of his birth, director John Ford fashions a irresistable valentine to the Auld Sod in The Quiet Man. Irish-American boxer John Wayne, recovering from the trauma of having accidentally killed a man in the ring, arrives in the Irish village where he was born. Hoping to bury ..read more »
7. More about bare knuckle fighting. Charles Bronson lives up to his legend. He oozes presence. Great, great last line.
Hard Times(1975) Starring:Strother Martin, James Coburn, Charles Bronson Director:Walter Hill Certificate:
In Depression New Orleans, bare knuckles boxer Chaney (Charles Bronson) teams up with gambler-turned-promoter Speed (James Coburn) to enter a series of illegal prize fights. Chaney's relationship with girlfriend Lucy (Jill Ireland) suffers under the strain of his fighting career, which is itself ..read more »
6. The greatest of many boxing film noir movies from this era.
Body and Soul
(1947) Starring:John Garfield, Lilli Palmer, Hazel Brooks Director:Robert Rossen Certificate:
Charlie Davis, a boxer from New York's East Side, has fought his way out of the slums to become a world title holder, but has sold his soul along the way. Under the ownership of a corrupt promoter he is about to defend is crown and must face the biggest decision of his life if he is to redeem himself.
4. Daniel Day Lewis. Emily Watson. Brian Cox. Jim Sheridan.
(1997) Starring:Emily Watson, Brian Cox, Gerard McSorley Director:Jim Sheridan Certificate:
Jim Sheridan (In the Name of the Father) directed this drama about a Belfast boxer, filmed with Dublin locations substituting for Belfast. Released after his 14-year prison sentence for IRA activities, 32-year-old Danny Flynn (Daniel Day-Lewis) returns to his old neighborhood and sees former-flame ..read more »
3. A much adored classic. A career peak for Sylvester Stallone (as leading man and writer).
(1976) Starring:Talia Shire, Burgess Meredith, Sylvester Stallone Director:John G. Avildsen Certificate:
Sylvester Stallone's rags-to-riches boxing drama won the Oscar for Best Film of 1976. Club fighter Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) has hit rock bottom. Having turned thirty, his boxing career is virtually over and he now makes a living collecting payments for a loan shark. Things start to look up ..read more »