The Fighter (2010)

R | 115 mins | Drama | 2010

THIS TITLE IS OUTSIDE THE AFI CATALOG OF FEATURE FILMS (1893-1993)
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HISTORY

The Fighter is framed by documentary-style interview footage with “Dicky Eklund” and “Micky Ward,” as played by actors Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg. Although both clips are shot at identical angles and locations, the first scene is prefaced by a card that reads: “Lowell, Massachusetts – 1993,” and the final scene takes place after Ward’s victory over Shea Neary for the World Boxing Union (WBU) Light Welterweight Championship title. The actual date of the fight, 11 Mar 2000, is not mentioned in the film, but the passage of time is evidenced by costume change and the absence of drug-induced mannerisms in Eklund’s behavior during the last interview. The final scene is followed by three written epilogues stating: “Micky Ward went on to three epic fights with Arturo Gatti, bringing his first seven-figure payday. He retired in 2003,” “Micky married Charlene in 2005. They live in Lowell with his daughter Kasie,” and “Dicky maintains his status as a local legend. He trains boxers at his brother’s gym.” The end credits scroll displays modern footage of the real Eklund and Ward.
       The opening interview scene is interspersed with clips from authentic home movies of the brothers sparring as boys and their mother, Alice Ward, watching over. This footage is used again when Micky recuperates from his defeat in Atlantic City. Clips of real footage from Eklund’s illustrious fight are shown during the interview scene with a caption reading “Dick Eklund vs. Sugar Ray Leonard, Boston, Massachusetts, July 18, 1978” as Eklund explains in voice-over that the victory earned him the moniker “the Pride of Lowell” and notes the differences in ... More Less

The Fighter is framed by documentary-style interview footage with “Dicky Eklund” and “Micky Ward,” as played by actors Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg. Although both clips are shot at identical angles and locations, the first scene is prefaced by a card that reads: “Lowell, Massachusetts – 1993,” and the final scene takes place after Ward’s victory over Shea Neary for the World Boxing Union (WBU) Light Welterweight Championship title. The actual date of the fight, 11 Mar 2000, is not mentioned in the film, but the passage of time is evidenced by costume change and the absence of drug-induced mannerisms in Eklund’s behavior during the last interview. The final scene is followed by three written epilogues stating: “Micky Ward went on to three epic fights with Arturo Gatti, bringing his first seven-figure payday. He retired in 2003,” “Micky married Charlene in 2005. They live in Lowell with his daughter Kasie,” and “Dicky maintains his status as a local legend. He trains boxers at his brother’s gym.” The end credits scroll displays modern footage of the real Eklund and Ward.
       The opening interview scene is interspersed with clips from authentic home movies of the brothers sparring as boys and their mother, Alice Ward, watching over. This footage is used again when Micky recuperates from his defeat in Atlantic City. Clips of real footage from Eklund’s illustrious fight are shown during the interview scene with a caption reading “Dick Eklund vs. Sugar Ray Leonard, Boston, Massachusetts, July 18, 1978” as Eklund explains in voice-over that the victory earned him the moniker “the Pride of Lowell” and notes the differences in fighting styles between himself and his brother. Actual footage of the Eklund-Leonard fight is used on several other occasions in the film, when Eklund tosses training punches at a crack house while Ward waits for him at the gym, and as he goes through withdrawals in prison. Additional clips from Eklund-Ward family home movies are superimposed and shown side-by-side with fight images in the background of this scene. A card reading: “Based on a true story” is shown in between the interview scene and the beginning of the narrative.
       Footage produced by Home Box Office (HBO), both real and recreated, is used throughout The Fighter , including the Eklund-Leonard fight. According to production notes from AMPAS library files, the three main fights featured in the film originally aired on HBO, and the footage was used by the production team and actors to choreograph boxing scenes so that they could be duplicated realistically. The boxing matches, shot over several days at the beginning of the production to capture Wahlberg at the peak of his physical training, were also recorded by an HBO film crew that used a multi-camera technique unique to their televised sports productions. The footage from both film and television crews was edited in montage sequences for the final cut. A 19 Nov 2010 WSJ article explains that Wahlberg’s connections at HBO, as the inspiration and executive producer for their hit show “Entourage,” allowed the production team access to the exact video cameras that were used for shooting boxing matches in the 1990s. An HBO clip of Alice Ward before the Eklund-Leonard fight, telling viewers that her son will win, is replicated exactly, with Melissa Leo in the role of “Alice.”
       A recreation of the HBO documentary, High on Crack Street: Lost Lives in Lowell (1995), is interwoven throughout the story. At the beginning of the film, the HBO production team is shown filming Eklund, Ward and their family members, and the documentary is later televised and viewed by the Eklund-Ward family. Richard Farrell, who produced, directed, filmed, wrote and edited the original documentary, is credited in the cast of The Fighter as “HBO cameraman #1.” Although the film version of the documentary, entitled Crack in America , focuses on Eklund, the actual film also follows the lives of “Boo Boo” and “Brenda,” cohorts from the crack house Eklund frequents. The character “Gary ‘Boo Boo’ Giuffrida” is portrayed in the film by actor Paul Campbell. Footage in the dramatized adaptation of the documentary is inspired by, but not an exact reproduction, of the real documentary. In the film version of the documentary, Lowell residents are interviewed and express ambiguity about Eklund’s defeat of Sugar Ray Leonard. They suggest that Leonard may have slipped instead of being knocked out and express anger that Eklund has not lived up to his promise. This animosity is not evidenced in the real HBO documentary. Crack in America shows Eklund’s son in the courtroom when he is sentenced, but actual documentary footage of the hearing in High on Crack Street: Lost Lives in Lowell displays Eklund arriving late because, he explains, he had to tell his son he was going away before leaving.
       Both versions of the documentary emphasize the historical significance of Lowell as the origin of the Industrial Revolution and note the impact of its collapsing economy on its residents. Writer-executive producer Eric Johnson, who researched Lowell’s culture and history, explains in the film’s production notes that when mills closed and unemployment became prevalent, boxing was seen as a way out of poverty, as evidenced in the vast number of gyms per capita.
       The Fighter was shot on location in Lowell, including Art Ramalho’s West End Gym, where, according to a 10 Jun 2010 Boston Globe article retrieved online, Ward trained for his comeback, and at Tsongas Center (formerly Paul E. Tsongas Arena), where the main fights were shot and attended by locals, according to production notes. Both sources also note that Ramalho trained Ward and Eklund early in their careers, and he is credited with a cameo appearance in the film. Lowell police officer and Ward’s trainer at the West End Gym, Mickey O’Keefe, was cast as himself. The location for the Ward-Eklund family home was established three blocks away from where it actually stands, according to production notes, and it was decorated to exactly replicate the original. As reported in production notes, the film was shot in 33 days, using predominantly handheld and Steadicam cameras to accentuate intimacy and realism with the story and its location.
       Various reviews and news sources emphasize Mark Wahlberg’s personal crusade to make The Fighter . According to a 10 Dec 2010 NYT review, Wahlberg, who grew up in the Boston area, was a fan of the local hero, Ward, and began training for the role over three years prior to the film’s production at a boxing ring he built at his home. In a 19 Nov 2010 WSJ article, Wahlberg dates the start of his training as 13 Oct 2005, noting disbelief at how long it took for the film to be made. A 5 Dec 2010 LAT article adds that Wahlberg moved Ward and Eklund into his home with him to learn their trademark moves, including Ward’s infamous body shot.
       WSJ explains that Wahlberg spent years trying to obtain the rights to Ward and Eklund’s story himself, but they had already been sold. A DV news item on 1 Aug 2003, however, reports the life rights of Ward and Eklund were officially acquired by Scout Prods. and Edgartown Ventures, with Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson contracted as writers. Production did not move forward for several more years, until Paramount won a bid against four major studios with a seven-figure deal for the rights to The Fighter , as reported in an 11 May 2005 DV new item, with David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman from Mandeville Films producing. HR also noted that writers Tamasy and Johnson would act as producer and executive producer, respectively, along with producer Dorothy Aufeiro of Scout Prods. and executive producers Keith Dorrington and Leslie Varrelman of Edgartown Ventures.
       While Darren Aronofsky was attached to direct the project as early as 27 Mar 2007, as reported by DV and HR , Walhberg often consulted with director David O. Russell, whom he worked with previously on Three Kings (1999, see entry) and I Heart Huckabees (2004, see entry), according to the 5 Dec 2010 LAT article. When Aronofsky dropped out of the project to make The Wrestler (2008, see entry), Wahlberg convinced Russell to step in and direct after a six year hiatus. Although he does not receive credit as a writer, Russell worked extensively on rewrites with Scott Silver, according to production notes.
       The production also lost momentum when several key stars pulled out during pre-production. Matt Damon, who was initially cast in the role of Eklund, left due to commitments with conflicting schedules, but he was soon replaced by Brad Pitt, according to a 21 Sep 2007 DV news item. A 10 Aug 2010 NYT article notes that Pitts’ involvement was short-lived and Paramount decided against financing the production when he and Aronofsky departed from the project. In his effort to resurrect The Fighter , as reported in a 1 Nov 2010 Var article, Walhberg approached Relativity Media, who agreed to produce the film with a budget reduced from Paramount’s $60 million to $25 million. A 21 Apr 2009 DV news item reported that Relativity Media had stepped in as full financers of the film, and that they were negotiating deals with Russell and Bale. Amy Adams and Melissa Leo were secured not long after. Relativity Media’s CEO, and producer of The Fighter , Ryan Kavanaugh, explains in the 10 Aug 2010 NYT article that the stars all worked at a reduced rate. Wahlberg eventually contributed financial support to the film and is credited as a producer. His company, Closest to the Hole, is listed in the credits after Relativity Media and Mandeville Films, and he was nominated for several awards for production. Although Kavanaugh received onscreen credit for his role as producer, the Producer’s Guild of America and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences limit the number of producers to be considered for awards to three individuals, and Kavanaugh was denied inclusion despite a formal appeal to both organizations, according to LAT and HR news items.
       Dealings with Paramount continued to be tenuous throughout production and post-production. The 10 Aug 2010 NYT article reports that Paramount asked Relativity Media to cover all marketing costs and did not include the film in the line up of their pay-per-view channel, Epix. The Fighter was screened for other major studios, including Sony Pictures and Lionsgate, and producers were close to closing a deal with Universal when Paramount finally agreed to release and market the film. According to a 7 Oct 2010 article in HR , Paramount grew so confident of The Fighter’s success that it held back its release date to promote it as a contender for awards.
       The Fighter was nominated for, and won, numerous awards from critics and film societies, including Golden Globe nominations for Best Motion Picture – Drama (Paramount Picture and Relativity Media), Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picuture – Drama (Wahlberg), Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Adams), Best Director – Motion Picture (Russell) and Golden Globe awards for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Leo) and Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture (Bale). The Screen Actors Guild nominated the film in the categories of Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role (Adams) and Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture (Wahlberg, Bale, Adams, Leo and Jack McGee) and presented awards for Outstanding Performance by an Male Actor in a Supporting Role (Bale) and Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role (Leo). The Directors Guild of America nominated Russell for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in a Feature Film, the Producers Guild of America nominated Hoberman, Lieberman and Wahlberg for the Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award, the Writers Guild of America nominated Silver, Tamasy, Johnson and Dorrington in the category of Original Screenplay, and the Art Directors Guild of America nominated Judy Becker and her team for Excellence in Production Design for a Contemporary Feature. The National Board of Review selected Bale as the recipient of its award for Best Supporting Actor. The Fighter received the following Academy Award nominations: Directing (Russell), Actress in a Supporting Role (Adams), Film Editing (Pamela Martin) and Best Picture (Hoberman, Lieberman and Wahlberg), and won the following two Academy Awards: Actor in a Supporting Role (Bale) and Actress in a Supporting Role (Leo). The Fighter was selected as one of AFI’s top ten Movies of the Year for 2010.
       Set production assistant M. Dean Egan’s name was misspelled as “M. Deam Egan” and production financer Bryan LaCour’s name was misspelled as “Bryan LaCout” in the end credits. The roles of boxers Hernandez, Manetti and Collins are not credited. According to the fight record on Ward’s official website, Ward never fought men with these names. Although the film portrays Ward’s victory against Alfonso Sanchez as the grounds for his invitation to fight Shea Neary for the World Boxing Union Welterweight title, his fight record dates the Sanchez fight in 1997 and the Neary fight in 2000, with six fights over the three years between them.
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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
1 Aug 2003.
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Daily Variety
11 May 2005.
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Daily Variety
27 Mar 2007
p. 1, 13.
Daily Variety
21 Sep 2007
p. 1, 20.
Daily Variety
21 Apr 2009
p. 1, 24.
Daily Variety
11 Nov 2010
p. 1, 10.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Mar 2007
p. 2, 58.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Oct 2010
p. 1, 12.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Jan 2011.
---
Los Angeles Times
5 Dec 2010
p. 1, 5.
Los Angeles Times
10 Dec 2010
p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
13 Jan 2011.
---
New York Times
10 Aug 2010
p. 1, 5.
New York Times
10 Dec 2010
p. 1.
The Boston Globe
10 Jun 2010.
---
Variety
1 Nov 2010
p. 6, 14.
WSJ
19 Nov 2010.
---
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Fight announcers:
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
A Relativity Media/Mandeville Films and/Closest to the Hole production
A David O. Russell film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
1st asst dir, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
2d asst dir
2d asst dir, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
2d 2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
Co-prod
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
A-cam op/Steadicam op
B-cam op
Cam op/Steadicam, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Cam op/Steadicam, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
A-cam 1st asst
B-cam 1st asst
Cam 1st asst, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Cam 1st asst, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
A-cam 2d asst
B-cam 2d asst
Cam 2d asst, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Cam 2d asst, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Cam 2d asst, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Cam loader
Cam loader, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Cam loader, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Cam loader, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Cam intern
Gaffer
Gaffer, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Gaffer, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Best boy elec
Best boy elec, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Best boy elec, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Set elec
Set elec
Set elec
Set elec
Set elec
Set elec
Set elec
Set elec
Set elec
Set elec
Set elec
Set elec
Set elec
Set elec
Elec, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Elec, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Elec, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Elec, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Elec, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Elec, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Elec, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Elec, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Genny op
Elec driver/Genny op, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Base camp genny op
Rigging gaffer
Rigging gaffer
Best boy rigging elec
Rigging elec
Rigging elec
Rigging elec
Rigging elec
Rigging elec
Rigging elec
Rigging elec
Rigging elec
Rigging elec
Rigging elec
Rigging elec
Key grip
Key grip, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Best boy grip
Best boy grip, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Best boy grip, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
A dolly grip
B dolly grip
Set grip
Set grip
Set grip
Set grip
Set grip
Set grip
Set grip
Set grip
Set grip
Set grip
Set grip
Set grip
Set grip
Set grip
Grip, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Grip, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Grip, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Elec, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Grip, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Grip, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Grip, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Grip, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Key rigging grip
Best boy rigging grip
Rigging grip
Rigging grip
Rigging grip
Rigging grip
Rigging grip
Rigging grip
Rigging grip
Rigging grip
Rigging grip
Rigging grip
Video assist
Video assist op, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Addl video assist
Addl video assist
Addl video assist
Still photog
Dimmer board op, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Cam equip by
Filmed on
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Asst art dir
Graphic des
Art dept coord
Art dept prod asst
Art dept prod asst
Art dept prod asst
Art dept prod asst
FILM EDITORS
Addl ed
1st asst ed
2d asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Editorial PA
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Leadman
Leadman, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Local leadman
On-set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Set dresser, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Set dresser, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Set dresser, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Shopper/buyer
Prop master
Prop master, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Asst prop master
Asst prop master, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Propmaker gangboss, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Props, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Asst props
Asst props
Asst props
Asst props
Asst props
Props intern
Const coord
Const coord, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Const foreman
Labor foreman, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Key scenic
Lead scenic, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Scenic foreman
Cam scenic
Scenic artist
Scenic artist
Scenic artist
Scenic artist
Scenic artist
Scenic artist
Key set prod asst
Key set prod asst, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Stand-by painter, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Stand-by painter, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost des, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Asst cost des
Asst cost des
Ward supv
Cost supv, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Cost supv, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Key cost, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
On-set cost
On-set cost
On-set cost
On-set cost
Set cost, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Ward shopper
Tailor
Ward prod asst
Ward prod asst
MUSIC
Mus supv
Mus supv
Mus coord
String arr and violin
Percussion
Mus prod
Mus contractor
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Sd mixer, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Sd mixer, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Boom op
Boom op
Boom op, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Sd utility
Sd utility, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Sd editing
Supv sd ed/Des, Dimension Sound
Dial/ADR supv, Dimension Sound
Dial/ADR ed, Dimension Sound
Dial/ADR ed, Dimension Sound
Dial/ADR ed, Dimension Sound
Sd eff ed, Dimension Sound
Sd eff ed, Dimension Sound
1st asst sd ed, Dimension Sound
2d asst sd ed, Dimension Sound
2d asst sd ed, Dimension Sound
Foley by
Foley artist
Foley artist
Foley rec
Foley rec
Foley asst
Foley ed
Sd re-rec at
Re-rec mixer, 424 Inc.
Re-rec mixer, 424 Inc.
Sd rec, 424 Inc.
Group ADR casting
The Final Word
Group ADR casting
The Loop Squad
Group ADR casting
ADR rec stages
ADR rec stages
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Spec eff coord, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Spec eff foreman
Vis eff and titles
Vis eff supv, Comen VFX
Vis eff prod, Comen VFX
Compositing lead, Comen VFX
Compositor, Comen VFX
Compositor, Comen VFX
Compositor, Comen VFX
Compositor, Comen VFX
Graphic artist, Comen VFX
Matchmove artist, Comen VFX
Matchmove artist, Comen VFX
Rotoscope artist, Comen VFX
Operations, Comen VFX
Controller, Comen VFX
MAKEUP
Dept head make-up
Key make-up artist
Key make-up artist, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Make-up artist, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Addl make-up artist
Addl make-up artist
Dept head hair
Key hair stylist
Hair stylist
Hair stylist
Hair stylist
Hair stylist
Hair stylist, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Hair stylist, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Principal casting assoc
Principal casting asst
Loc casting
Loc casting assoc
Extras casting
Extras casting
Extras casting, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Extras casting asst, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Exec in charge of prod
Consultant
Tech consultant
Prod supv, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Prod coord
Prod coord, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Asst prod coord
Asst prod coord, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Asst prod coord, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Prod secy, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Office prod asst
Office prod asst
Office prod asst
Office prod asst, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Office prod asst, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Office prod asst, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Film runner
Prod accountant
Prod accountant, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
1st asst accountant
2d asst accountant
2d asst accountant
Payroll accountant
Payroll acccountant, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Accounting clerk
Accounting asst, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Post prod accountant
Post prod accountant
Loc mgr
Loc mgr, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Loc mgr, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Key asst loc mgr, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Key asst loc mgr, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Asst loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Loc asst
Loc asst
Loc prod asst
Loc prod asst
Loc prod asst
Scr supv
Picture car coord
HBO Sports crew
HBO Sports crew
HBO Sports crew
HBO Sports crew
HBO Sports crew
HBO Sports crew
HBO Sports crew
HBO Sports crew
HBO Sports crew
HBO Sports crew
HBO Sports crew
HBO Sports crew
HBO Sports crew
HBO Sports crew
HBO Sports crew
HBO Sports crew
HBO Sports crew
HBO Sports crew
HBO Sports crew
Set medic
Set medic
Set medic
Set medic, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Set medic, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Chef
Asst chef
Asst chef
Asst chef
Catering asst
Craft service
Craft service, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Craft service, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Craft service, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Craft service asst
Craft service asst
Addl craft service
Transportation coord
Transportation coord, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Transportation coord, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Transportation capt
Transportation co-capt, Addl photog Los Angeles un
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Driver, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Driver, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Driver, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Driver, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Driver, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Driver, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Driver, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Driver, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Driver, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Driver, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Driver, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Driver, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Driver, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Driver, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Driver, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Driver, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Driver, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Unit pub
Asst to David O. Russell
Asst to David O. Russell
Asst to David O. Russell
Exec asst to Ryan Kavanaugh
Asst to Ryan Kavanaugh
Asst to David Hoberman
Asst to Todd Lieberman
Local asst to David Hoberman & Todd Lieberman
Asst to Mark Wahlberg
Road crew to Mark Wahlberg
Trainer
Trainer
Asst to Kenneth Halsband
Asst to Amy Adams
Security for Christian Bale
Dialect coach for Christian Bale
Prod intern
Prod intern
Prod intern
Prod asst, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Prod asst, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Prod asst, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Prod asst, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Studio teacher, Addl photog Los Angeles unit
Post prod supv
Post prod coord
Post prod asst
Data management
Data management
Data management
Data management
Scanning/Rec
Scanning/Rec
Scanning/Rec
Scanning/Rec
Scanning/Rec
Scanning/rec
Restoration
Restoration
Restoration
Restoration
Restoration
Account exec
Photographs courtesy of
Stock footage and stock audio by
Stock footage and stock audio by
Stock footage and stock audio by
Footage courtesy of
Exec vice president of prod, For Relativity Media
Senior vice president of prod, For Relativity Medi
Senior vice president of operations, For Relativit
Vice president of operations, For Relativity Media
Financial controller, For Relativity Media
Prod finance exec, For Relativity Media
Finance exec, For Relativity Media
Sr exec vice president of bus affairs, For Relativ
Exec vice president of bus and legal affairs, For
Senior vice president of bus and legal affairs, Fo
Bus and legal affairs, For Relativity Media
Bus and legal affairs, For Relativity Media
Bus and legal affairs, For Relativity Media
Prod legal counsel, For Relativity Media
Security and integrity consultant, For Relativity
Coord physical prod, For Relativity Media
Prod financing provided by
Prod financing provided by
Prod financing provided by
Prod insurance provided by
Prod insurance provided by
Completion guaranty provided by
Payroll services by
Clearances by
Cleared By Ashley, Inc.
Researcher
Product placement
Product placement
Product placement
Prod equip by
Prod equip by
Remote heads
Condors provided by
Travel provided by
New Act Travel
Ground transportation provided by
Moore Transport Services
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunt coord
Dicky stunt double
Charlene stunt double
Utility stunts
Utility stunts
Utility stunts
Utility stunts
Utility stunts
COLOR PERSONNEL
Lab processing & video dailies
Dailies colorist
Dailies project mgr
Dailies lab adv
Digital intermediate colorist
Digital intermediate prod
Digital intermediate ed
Digital intermediate tech
Digital intermediate tech
Digital intermediate tech
Lab col timer
Lab contact
Ed services
SOURCES
SONGS
"How You Like Me Now?," written by Kelvin Swaby, Dan Taylor, Spencer Page, Chris Ellul and Arlester Christian, performed by The Heavy, courtesy of Counter Records
"Sweet Dreams," written and performed by Keith St. John, courtesy of Marc Ferrari/Mastersource
"Can't Hide Your Love Forever," written by James William Henterly and Dennis Klinefelt, performed by Mariner, courtesy of Rip Tide Music Inc.
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SONGS
"How You Like Me Now?," written by Kelvin Swaby, Dan Taylor, Spencer Page, Chris Ellul and Arlester Christian, performed by The Heavy, courtesy of Counter Records
"Sweet Dreams," written and performed by Keith St. John, courtesy of Marc Ferrari/Mastersource
"Can't Hide Your Love Forever," written by James William Henterly and Dennis Klinefelt, performed by Mariner, courtesy of Rip Tide Music Inc.
"Solid Gold," written by Keith Mansfield, courtesy of APM Music
"Down and Dirty," written by Scott Nickoley and Jamie Dunlap, performed by Michael Mulholland, courtesy of Marc Ferrari/Mastersource
"Saints," written by Kim Deal, performed by The Breeders, courtesy of Elektra Entertainment Group, by arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
"So Into You," written by Buddy Buie, Dean Daughtry and Robert Nix, performed by Atlanta Rhythm Section, courtesy of Universal Records, under license from Universal Music Enterprises
"Sara Smile," written and performed by Daryl Hall and John Oates, courtesy of The RCA Records Label, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
"Here I Go Again," written by David Cloverdale and Bernard Marsden, performed by Whitesnake, courtesy of Geffen Records, under license from Universal Music Enterprises
"Dance Hall Days," written by Darren Costin, Nick Feldman and Jack Hues, performed by Wang Chung, courtesy of Spirit Music Group
"Send Me Your Love," written and performed by Jaymee Carpenter, courtesy of Drive Music
"La Maleta en el Camino," written and performed by Antoine Duhamel, courtesy of Milan Entertainment Inc.
"I Started a Joke," written by Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb and Maurice Gibb
"Jasmine Girl," written and performed by Sinn Sisamouth and Pan Ron, courtesy of Minky Records Inc.
"Good Times Bad Times," written by Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and John Bonham, performed by Led Zeppelin, courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp., by arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
"Stakeout," written by Matt Koskenmaki and David John Vanacore, courtesy of APM Music
"Voices Carry," written by Michael Hausman, Robert Holmes, Aimee Mann and Joseph Pesce, performed by 'Til Tuesday, courtesy of Epic Records, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
"HBO Feature Presentation Theme," written and performed by Ferdinand Jay Smith, courtesy of Home Box Office, Inc.
"Strip My Mind," written by Anthony Kiedis, Flea, John Frusciante and Chad Smith, performed by Red Hot Chili Peppers, courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc., by arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
"Rock 'N' Roll Stew," written by Jim Gordon and Rick Grech, performed by Traffic, courtesy of Island Records Ltd., under license from Universal Music Enterprises
"Back in the Saddle," written by Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, performed by Aerosmith, courtesy of Columbia Records, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
"The Warrior's Code (Live)," written by Alexander Barr, Timothy Brennan, Kenneth Casey, Matthew Kelly, James Lynch, Marc Orrell and Joshua Wallace, performed by Dropkick Murphys, courtesy of Born and Bred Records
"Siesta," written by Daniel Indart, performed by Mariachi La Estrella, courtesy of Hot Latin Tracks, under license from Latin Music Specialists
"Can't You Hear Me Knocking," written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, performed by The Rolling Stones, courtesy of Promotone B.V.
"Paint the Town Red," written by James Fintan McConnell, performed by The Mahones, courtesy of The Mahones/Whiskey Devil Records
"Glory & Consequence," written and performed by Ben Harper, courtesy of Virgin Records America, under license from EMI Film & Television Music.
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DETAILS
Release Date:
2010
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 10 December 2010
Copyright Claimant:
Fighter, LLC
Copyright Date:
10 December 2010
Copyright Number:
PA1711060
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Digital; dts
Color
Technicolor
Lenses/Prints
Film prints released on Fujifilm; Release prints by Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
115
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
46231
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1993, an HBO documentary film crew follows boxer Dicky “the Pride of Lowell” Eklund and his younger, half-brother, “Irish” Micky Ward, through the streets of working-class Lowell, Massachusetts as Micky paves the asphalt and, later, they are warmly greeted by fans. Celebrated for his 1978 defeat of Sugar Ray Leonard, Dicky believes the documentary will commemorate his comeback, although he is now a coach not a fighter. Training Micky for an upcoming match in Atlantic City, Dicky is distracted by his addiction to crack cocaine. Throwing shadow punches in a drug-induced haze at a crack house, Dicky keeps Micky waiting at the gym while their mother and manager, Alice Ward, proudly shows off scrapbooks of Dicky’s career to the HBO crew. She reprimands Officer Mickey O’Keefe for stepping into the ring to train Micky in Dicky’s absence and explains that Micky worships his brother and learned everything he knew from him. When Dicky finally arrives at the gym after sprinting across town, Micky tells the HBO cameraman that both Mickey and Dicky are in his corner. Later, at a bar, the HBO cameramen seek clarification about the paternity of the family from the men’s seven sisters while Micky amorously observes the bartender, Charlene Fleming. With the encouragement of his father, George, Micky approaches Charlene and repudiates her perception of him as a “stepping stone” who builds on the status of other fighters. He contends that his next fight with Saoul Mamby will prove his skill at the “hand body” technique that distinguishes brawling from the finer art of boxing and asks her out. Before leaving town, Micky visits his ... +


In 1993, an HBO documentary film crew follows boxer Dicky “the Pride of Lowell” Eklund and his younger, half-brother, “Irish” Micky Ward, through the streets of working-class Lowell, Massachusetts as Micky paves the asphalt and, later, they are warmly greeted by fans. Celebrated for his 1978 defeat of Sugar Ray Leonard, Dicky believes the documentary will commemorate his comeback, although he is now a coach not a fighter. Training Micky for an upcoming match in Atlantic City, Dicky is distracted by his addiction to crack cocaine. Throwing shadow punches in a drug-induced haze at a crack house, Dicky keeps Micky waiting at the gym while their mother and manager, Alice Ward, proudly shows off scrapbooks of Dicky’s career to the HBO crew. She reprimands Officer Mickey O’Keefe for stepping into the ring to train Micky in Dicky’s absence and explains that Micky worships his brother and learned everything he knew from him. When Dicky finally arrives at the gym after sprinting across town, Micky tells the HBO cameraman that both Mickey and Dicky are in his corner. Later, at a bar, the HBO cameramen seek clarification about the paternity of the family from the men’s seven sisters while Micky amorously observes the bartender, Charlene Fleming. With the encouragement of his father, George, Micky approaches Charlene and repudiates her perception of him as a “stepping stone” who builds on the status of other fighters. He contends that his next fight with Saoul Mamby will prove his skill at the “hand body” technique that distinguishes brawling from the finer art of boxing and asks her out. Before leaving town, Micky visits his daughter, Kasie, at her home in an upscale neighborhood and promises that his success will enable him to get a bigger apartment so she can live with him more often. On the day of departure for Atlantic City, Dicky is again detained at the crack house and Alice, George, Mickey and Micky retrieve him in a limo on the way to the airport. Terrified that Alice will discover him there, Dicky jumps from the second story window and falls into a dumpster below. Upon arrival in Atlantic City, they learn that Mamby has the flu and Micky has instead been matched against an opponent who far exceeds his weight. Although it is not safe for Micky to fight, Alice and Dicky encourage him to go through with it rather than forfeit the pay, and Micky is devastatingly beaten. As Dicky attempts to reconnect with Sugar Ray Leonard in the hotel lobby by touting the HBO documentary about his comeback, Micky returns from the hospital and is offered a deal with Mike Toma to train in Las Vegas without Dicky. Back in Lowell, Micky expresses reluctance about separating from his family and is unsure about continuing to fight, but Alice insists that she will find him a better opportunity. Charlene angrily misinterprets Micky’s evasiveness and choice of art house film Belle Epoque instead of a movie in the Lowell mall as a snub, but when he explains his shame of being seen after losing the fight, she inquires if his family truly has his interests at heart and they kiss. Three weeks later, Alice books a new match. Ordering her daughters to find Micky, who, they disparagingly report, has been preoccupied with the purported party girl and college elitist, Charlene, Alice resolutely collects Dicky from the dumpster behind the crack house. With the entire family gathered in the living room, Dicky and Alice pressure Micky to accept the fight. Charlene breaks the family’s code of silence about Dicky’s crack addiction. When she points out that Dicky is often missing and that the offer to train in Las Vegas provides a much better prospect for Micky’s success, she is accused of disrespect by Alice but defended by Micky. Dicky’s promise to come up with money for Micky to continue training in Lowell leads him to orchestrate several scams with his Cambodian girlfriend, Karen, including propositioning her family for fraudulent investments in a pyramid scheme and using her as a decoy prostitute while he impersonates a police officer to rob clients. Caught in the act, Dicky runs from the scene, starts a fight and resists arrest. Micky’s attempts to protect his brother result in the pummeling of his hand with a police baton. The brothers are taken to jail, where Micky is released on his own recognizance and Dicky is charged with multiple offenses and imprisoned. Charlene, enraged by the incident and the setbacks created by Micky’s family, refuses to see Micky, while Dicky is treated as a hero by his fellow inmates who call his name through the wall as he suffers withdrawals. When the HBO documentary airs, a special screening is set up in prison, but Dicky is soon angered to discover that the film is not about his comeback, but rather a character study of crack addiction. Furthermore, Lowell residents in the film contend that Leonard slipped during Dicky’s illustrious victory and that he has not lived up to his name and made them proud. When the audience of convicts laughs at his son’s misery, Dicky unplugs the television and starts a fight. Meanwhile, family members watching from home are grief-stricken and Charlene goes to Micky’s apartment to comfort him. After spending the night with Charlene, Micky decides to resume his training with Mickey. When his hand heals and he gets back in shape, Micky accepts an offer, arranged by George, for management by local businessman Sal Lanano under the condition that he will no longer work with Dicky and Alice. Alice and her daughters form an angry mob to take their wrath out on Charlene. A fight breaks out between the ladies on Charlene’s porch as Micky confirms his decision to work exclusively with Sal and Mickey. With his career propelled by a victorious series of fights against Hernandez, Manetti and Collins, Micky visits Dicky in jail to tell him that Mickey is now his trainer, but Dicky warns that he is being used as a “stepping stone” by Toma in his next fight on HBO against Alfonso Sanchez. Despite Micky’s accusations that he is jealous, Dicky inquires about his fight plan and coaches him to use a body shot. During the Sanchez fight, Micky takes a beating without retaliation to the dismay of Mickey and Charlene, but then shocks everyone with a knock out body shot and wins. Listening to the results through a phone call to Alice from prison, Dicky and the inmates cheer Micky’s victory. As Micky and his team celebrate, Toma appears, telling him he is no longer a “stepping stone” and offering him a shot for the world title. When Dicky is released, Alice drives him directly to the gym, but Micky reveals that his deal with Lanano obliges him to train without him. After Micky argues his desire to work with everyone, Mickey and Charlene walk out. Once again sparring with his brother, Micky gives Dicky a forceful body shot, knocking him to the ground. As Alice scolds him and jumps into the ring to fuss over Dicky, Micky accuses her of favoring Dicky and not supporting him in his chance at success. Upset, Dicky walks away with the cake presented to him by his sisters and brings it to the crack house. Despite a warm welcome, he leaves his old friends behind. Dicky proceeds to create a hard-fought truce with Charlene and resumes training Micky with the entire team behind them. In London, at the World Welterweight Championship fight, Shea Neary is clearly the crowd favorite despite his insolence. Although Micky fights back, it appears that Neary has gained control. In his corner, Dicky tells Micky that this is his time and makes him repeat the words “head, body.” In the eighth round, Micky is thrust against the ropes and gets pounded, but then turns the fight around and knocks Neary down with a total knock out, winning the title. Alice and Charlene jump into the ring and kiss him as the crowd cheers, and the past tensions between the members of Micky’s corner dissipate. At his brother’s side, Dicky holds up his brother’s arm in victory.
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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award
The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.