Celebrating Great Films

Saturday, February 05, 2011

The Fighter

#222 at time of writing.

Boxing has generated a film genre all of its own. As a sport, only baseball has inspired more films. But there's something about boxing that is intrinsically cinematic: the build up and climax; the mano-a-mano face-off; the psychology; the brutality. The fact that one unguarded split second can be a reversal of fortunes that makes or breaks a career.

Any new boxing film has a grand legacy to live up to. Rocky, Raging Bull and Million Dollar Baby all feature in IMDb's Top 250, and indeed in the annals of silver screen legend.

So, does The Fighter compete?


It's the true story of "Irish" Micky Ward's career, often held back by his autocratic mother-manager and his gregarious crack-addicted half-brother. Micky Ward was known for his fighting style rather than his winning record - his ability to take a relentless beating in the ring, without quitting, and then somehow summon up the power to fight back made him the most televised fighter in boxing history.

The core of this film is the relationship between the two brothers, played by Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale. It's compelling stuff, with a satisfying climax. And then, just before the credits roll, we see a clip of the real Micky Ward and Dicky Eklund which is enough to believe that the actors have captured the characters perfectly.


  1. Hello Mr. Fish,

    I came here because I wrote you an e-mail recently about using your short story as script (adapted) for a college short film I have to do. I wanted to know if you had the change of reading it.

    If you did, please contact me if you can. If you didn't, you can still contact me through my e-mail: anaspaiva@ua.pt or pimkie_6@hotmail.com , and I'll send you the e-mail again.

    I'm sorry for any inconvenience,
    Ana Paiva

  2. Hi Ana, I'll send you an email!