Million Dollar Baby

Million Dollar Baby

DVD - 2005
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Frankie is a former boxing manager, who initially refuses to train Maggie due to her gender and age. With her talent and his coaching the spirited young fighter rises through the ranks of women's boxing, the pair form a touching bond in the process.
Publisher: Burbank, CA : Warner Home Video, 2005, c2004.
ISBN: 9781419802492
1419802496
1419802488
Branch Call Number: FIC Milli
Characteristics: 2 DVDs (132 min.)

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t
ThomasWMutherJr
Oct 09, 2018

There is both much to admire, and to despise, within this film. I believe the positives far outweigh the negatives, yet the negatives are so odious, so blatant, that they amount to a major defacement--all the more so because they could have so easily been corrected--marring what otherwise might have been a masterpiece of film making. As a drama about two lonely people who find each other and fall in love (though not in a romantic sense), this film is in a class few others share. As a drama about the sport of boxing, it veers wildly between insightful and ridiculous, and the film as a whole too often embraces caricature and melodrama, crippling our suspension of disbelief and leaving it floundering.

The film revolves about Maggie Fitzgerald (Hilary Swank)--a 30 year old woman who attempts to escape a difficult upbringing in a single-minded pursuit of a boxing career--and Frankie Dunn (Clint Eastwood), a down-on-his-luck manager/trainer and owner of a rundown boxing gym. She basically takes up residence in his gym, working out and trying to persuade him to take her under his wing. He wants no part of managing a "girl"--especially one virtually over the hill--and puts her off with one caustic rebuff after another. She persists, and over time, stubbornly refusing to take no for an answer, finally persuades him to train her. Before long, reluctantly, a bond begins to grow between the crusty old trainer, permanently estranged from his only daughter, and this fiercely determined woman whose father, the only person who ever loved her, died long ago. It is this growing relationship that is the heart of the film, and it is magnificently played out between these fine actors. Swank in particular is mesmerizing, every gesture, every expression is convincing. We come to care so deeply for these characters [Spoiler Alert] that the ultimate tragedy that befalls them is almost unbearable to watch.

Or at least, it would be if you can ignore the intruding absurdities. The principle problem concerns the fights involving a boxer called "The Blue Bear"--a figure so ludicrous her appearance in a comic book would be jarringly idiotic. We see her perform acts of deranged mayhem in the ring that make the biting off of an ear seem pacifist. A Nazi Storm Trooper would find her embarrassing. Anyone displaying these traits in real life would be barred from prize-fighting years before reaching a title fight. To suggest that such a one could become champion is light years beyond far-fetched.

There are other drawbacks which are far from incidental, but in spite of them, found myself spellbound by Maggie and Frankie's relationship. There are other nice things about the film, not least of which is a crowd-pleasing "interchange" between Morgan Freeman and a bully/would-be fighter. And of course, there is Freeman's narration, always marvelous. Eastwood's direction which, in spite of contributing to the lapses noted above, does a fabulous job of getting the most from his cast and providing a wonderfully paced movie--but it is the strength of the central relationship which buoys the film, keeping it afloat in the midst of its sea of weakness. I cannot help but mourn the loss of what could have been. A more realistic villain, a fine-tuning of the script, and this might have been both the greatest boxing movie of all time, and one of the great love stories. I'd like to shake Haggis (the writer) and Eastwood for failing to fully capitalize on their opportunity.

r
reginator_22
Feb 08, 2018

Excellent movie!

f
firefly5
Nov 16, 2017

A fantastic movie. With Clint Eastwood, Hillary Swank and Morgan Freeman what could be better! Amazing actors. an absolute 10/10. The story touched my heart, a story of determination, perseverance, friendship and love.

c
c67macdonald
Feb 26, 2017

One of the best movies by Clint East and Hillary Swank!

j
JackPurcell
Oct 08, 2015

Not a bad movie considering what all it is about. Moving in a lot of ways, fun in the earlier stages, disturbing later. I probably wouldn't watch it again if I were making the decision with a better knowledge of what was coming.

b
booksmile
Oct 04, 2015

Agh! Wish I could erase this from my brain. The kind of story that will make you want to shoot yourself.

e
erinsnest
Apr 18, 2015

April 17 2015.....I haven't finished watching this movie, but I sure love it. I should have known, I have enjoyed every movie that I have watched that has Morgan Freeman in it. Does he know how to pick good ones or what! I'm saving the last bit for tomorrow......it's just too good to watch when I'm too tired! Looking forward to the book. I just love Hillary Swank's smile.......April 18 2015, well, I'm glad I saved the end until today......what a shocker, I just wasn't expecting that!

p
Patron3563
Mar 13, 2015

Has to be one of my favourite Eastwood films. Swank and Freeman turn in great performances.

g
garycornell
Jan 05, 2015

Clint Eastwood scores a knock out with "Million Dollar Baby"! He takes us into boxing world like no other movie before or since its release. Morgan Freeman does double duty as the narrator throughout the movie and as the actual manager of the boxing gym Clint Eastwood owns. Clint plays Frankie the former boxing manager with a gym where he helps train young boxers. See if you aren't taken in by this wonderful story of courage. What does it take to get to a Championship Fight? After you see "Million Dollar Baby" you will know all the details big and small. The number one rule is protect yourself at all times. Not bad advice and I totally recommend this Oscar Winning Best Picture to you for your viewing enjoyment!

Good movie with a hokey ending.

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r
reginator_22
Feb 14, 2018

Violence: Violent scenes.

z
zorg
Oct 25, 2009

Violence: A Few extremely bloody scenes.

g
GGirl
Sep 04, 2008

Violence: This title contains Violence.

g
GGirl
Sep 04, 2008

Coarse Language: This title contains Coarse Language.

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r
reginator_22
Feb 08, 2018

Frankie Dunn: It wasn't fault. I was wrong to say that.

Eddie Scrap-Iron Dupris: You damn right. I found you a fighter. You made her the best fighter she could be.

Frankie Dunn: I killed her.

Eddie Scrap-Iron Dupris: Don't say that. Maggie walked through that door with nothing buts guts. No chance in the world of being what she needed to be. It was because of you that she was fighting the championship of the world. You did that. People die everyday, Frankie - mopping floors, washing dishes and you know what their last thought is? I never got my shot. Because of you Maggie got her shot. If she dies today you know what her last thought would be? I think I did all right.

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