Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Ali Still Packs a Punch at Box Office

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Ali Still Packs a Punch at Box Office

Article excerpt

Byline: Alan Hubbard

PERHAPS it is the pure drama and violence interwoven with a strong whiff of intrigue, corruption and scandal that make boxing such an attractive genre for the filmmakers.

The fight game has long provided the perfect punchlines for the big screen and this year will see more movies in which fake blood flows as freely as the tears of the women at ringside who can't bear to watch.

Among new releases this year will be yet another return for Rocky, while the end of last year had the most intimately revealing celluloid chronicle yet depicting the softer side of Muhammad Ali.

Scores of directors have been fascinated by the fight game - not just for the violence but for the drama of fighters' lives, portraying raw courage, crooked promoters, wily old cornermen, fixes, comebacks and the occasional romantic interlude.

It has been so since Alfred Hitchcock in 1927 made The Ring, a silent tale of a pugilistic love triangle.

Although not strictly a boxing movie, Budd Schulberg's 1954 classic On the Waterfront produced one of the most memorable lines in cinema history.

"I coulda been a contender," laments Marlon Brando's ex-fighter Terry to brother Charley. "I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am."

Subsequently, there were fistic epics such as The Harder They Fall, Rocky I to VI, Somebody Up There Likes Me, Body and Soul, Champ, Golden Boy, Fat City, Hurricane, Warrior, Million Dollar Baby, The Fighter, Cinderella Man, When We Were Kings, Raging Bull, and 2014's unlikeliest puglistic pastiche, Grudge Match, which pitted one-time rival warriors Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro as near-septuagenarians.

The screen's glove affair continues this year with Southpaw, in which Jake Gyllenhaal plays a champion welterweight called Billy "The Great" Hope, who stages an epic comeback from personal tragedy. …

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