The story of King George VI of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, his impromptu ascension to the throne and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch become worthy of it.
Helena Bonham Carter
Wanting to learn from the best, aspiring boxer Maggie Fitzgerald wants Frankie Dunn to train her. At the outset he flatly refuses saying he has no interest in training a girl. Frankie leads a lonely existence, alienated from his only daughter and having few friends. Maggie's rough around the edges but shows a lot of grit in the ring and he eventually relents. Maggie not only proves to be the boxer he always dreamed of having under his wing but a friend who fills the great void he's had in his life. Maggie's career skyrockets but an accident in the ring leads her to ask Frankie for one last favor. Written by
Anjelica Huston originally brought the book "Rope Burns" to producer Albert S. Ruddy's attention, hoping that he would ask her to direct the film. (She guaranteed that he would cry after reading the "Million Dollar Baby" story, and he admits that he did.) However, by the time Ruddy acquired the rights, Huston was busy on another project. See more »
When Frankie introduces Maggie to one of the managers at the gym, movie lights can be seen reflected in the sunglasses hanging on his shirt. See more »
Eddie Scrap-Iron Dupris:
Only ever met one man I wouldn't wanna fight. When I met him he was already the best cut man in the business. Started training and managing in the sixties, but never lost his gift.
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There are no opening credits after the title is shown. See more »
It would be difficult to imagine a more perfect trio of performers the likes of Hilary Swank, Clint Eastwood, and Morgan Freeman in their respective roles in the emotionally-charged "Million Dollar Baby."
My favorite scenes were the early sequences in which Maggie (Swank) visits the dowdy boxing gym and co-opts Eastwood's crusty boxing trainer Frankie into becoming her mentor. Along with the veteran, retired boxer Eddie, played by Freeman, the performances were as electric as the Ali shuffle.
In the overall arc of the story of "Million Dollar Baby," there were three extraneous subplots: (1) Frankie's visits to church and his talks with the priest; (2) the story of the mentally-challenged young man named Danger, who appears in the gym and is taunted by the boxers; and (3) Maggie's family members introduced in two scenes filled with such vulgarity that much of the film's hard-earned credibility was lost. Not only would the film have worked effectively without the subplots, it would have been a much better film without them.
While Eastwood's direction was superb, much credit should also go to the designers, especially the stylish work with lighting. I cannot recall a film as dimly lit as this one, and the subdued lighting contributed substantially to the characters and mood evoked in this sensitive film. The three main performances were standouts. But this film was also a very successful team effort.
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