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Million Dollar Baby (2004)

Million Dollar Baby (2004)

aka Million Dollar Baby

"Beyond his silence, there is a past. Beyond her dreams, there is a feeling. Beyond hope, there is a memory. Beyond their journey, there is a love."

Directed By: 
Written By: 
Details: 132 mins · English, Gaeilge · FSK 12

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gave

Good but Tragic

Very moving film, totally deserves all the awards it got.
Hillary Swank's character is such a strong figure, fighting to be able to compete, fighting to live, and in the end, fighting to die on her own terms.

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gave

OK

I've only seen this once, and I was very sad and anti-feel-good, but the acting was great Hilary Swank is just excellent - so I think I have to "persuade" myself to re-see

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Horribly depressing.

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Cast:

Small Frankie Dunn
Small Maggie Fitzgerald
Small Eddie Scrap-Iron Dupris
Small Danger Barch
Small Big Willie Little
No_movie_poster Father Horvak
Small Billie 'The Blue Bear'
Small Shawrelle Berry
Small Earline Fitzgerald
Small Mardell Fitzgerald
Small Omar
No_movie_poster Irish Fan #2
No_movie_poster Second at Vegas Fight
No_movie_poster Ring Doctor #2
No_movie_poster Rehab Doctor
No_movie_poster Lawyer
Small Boxer
Small Billie's Manager
No_movie_poster Sally Mendoza
No_movie_poster Ref #3
No_movie_poster Irish Fan #5
No_movie_poster Perez
No_movie_poster Restaurant Owner
Small Hogan
No_movie_poster Yugoslavian Judge
Small Father Horvak

Crew:

Small Clint Eastwood Director
No_movie_poster Henry Bumstead Production Design
No_movie_poster Jack G. Taylor Jr. Art Direction
No_movie_poster Bub Asman Sound Editor
No_movie_poster Joel Cox Editor
No_movie_poster Phyllis Huffman Casting
Small Paul Haggis Producer
No_movie_poster Albert S. Ruddy Producer
No_movie_poster David Potaux-Razel Additional Soundtrack
No_movie_poster Tom Stern Director of Photography
No_movie_poster Deborah Hopper Costume Design
No_movie_poster Tom Rosenberg Producer
Small Clint Eastwood Production
Small Paul Haggis Writer
No_movie_poster Joel Cox Editing

Taglines:

"Beyond his silence, there is a past. Beyond her dreams, there is a feeling. Beyond hope, there is a memory. Beyond their journey, there is a love."

Plot:

Margaret "Maggie" Fitzgerald, a waitress from a Missouri town in the Ozarks, shows up in the Hit Pit, a run-down Los Angeles gym which is owned and operated by Frankie Dunn, a brilliant but only marginally successful boxing trainer. Maggie asks Dunn to train her, but he angrily responds that he "doesn't train girls."

Maggie attempts to win Frankie over by working out tirelessly each day in his gym, even when others discourage her. Eddie "Scrap-Iron" Dupris, Frankie's friend and employee, encourages and helps her all he can. "Scrap" also narrates the story.

Frankie's prize prospect, "Big" Willie Little, signs with successful manager Mickey Mack after becoming impatient with Dunn's rejecting offers for a championship bout. With prodding from Scrap and impressed with her persistence, Frankie reluctantly agrees to train Maggie. He warns her that he will teach her only the basics and then find her a manager. His most important advice is that she should protect herself in the ring at all times.

Before her first fight, Frankie leaves Maggie with another manager, much to her dismay, but rejoins her in the middle of the bout, and coaches her to victory. Maggie makes him promise not to abandon her again. Maggie turns out to be a natural. She fights her way up in the women's welterweight boxing division, winning many of her bouts with first-round knockouts. Estranged from his own daughter who returns his letters unopened, Frankie comes to establish an almost paternal bond with Maggie. Dupris becomes concerned when Frankie rejects several offers for big fights, though, and arranges a meeting for her with Mickey Mack, but she is loyal to Frankie, and is rewarded for her loyalty when he begrudgingly accepts a fight for her against a top-ranked opponent in the UK. He bestows a Gaelic nickname on her, which energizes the crowd, and the two travel Europe as she continues to win.

Maggie's own white trash family cares little for her well-being. Maggie saves up enough of her winnings to buy her mother a house, but instead of being grateful, she berates Maggie for endangering her welfare payments and Medicaid benefits. She also belittles her daughter's success in the ring, saying that everyone back home is laughing at her.

Frankie is finally willing to arrange a title fight. He secures Maggie a $1 million match in Las Vegas, Nevada against the WBA women's welterweight champion, Billie "The Blue Bear", a German ex-prostitute who has a reputation as a dirty fighter. Overcoming a shaky start, Maggie begins to dominate the fight, but after a round has ended, Billie knocks her out with a sucker punch from behind. Before Frankie can pull the corner stool out of the way, Maggie lands hard on it, breaking her neck and leaving her a quadriplegic.

At first, Frankie refuses to accept the bleak prognosis, but dozens of other medical opinions unanimously confirm there is no hope of recovery. He half-heartedly places the responsibility on Scrap for convincing him to train Maggie, but in the end blames himself.

In a medical rehabilitation facility, Maggie looks forward to a visit from her family, though Frankie repeatedly calls them with no success. Eventually, the family arrives—but only after first visiting Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood—and with an attorney in tow. Their lone concern is to arrange the transfer of Maggie's assets to them. She sees through their transparent scheme and orders them to leave, threatening to sell the house, which they have not claimed in their name to continue receiving welfare payments, out from under them if they ever show their faces again.

Frankie never leaves her side. He reads to her, urges her to go back to school and invites her to come live with him. As the days pass, however, Maggie develops bedsores and undergoes an amputation for an infected leg. She asks a favor of Frankie: to help her die while she can still remember the cheers she heard, saying she got what she most wanted out of life.

A horrified Frankie refuses, but seeks the advice of his priest, Father Horvak, whom he has tormented for 23 years. Horvak warns him that euthanasia is a grave sin, and that he will be lost forever if he goes through with it. Maggie bites her tongue repeatedly in an attempt to bleed to death, but the medical staff saves her life each time and takes measures to prevent further suicide attempts.

Frankie sneaks in one night. Just before administering a fatal injection of adrenaline, he finally tells Maggie the meaning of a nickname he gave her, Mo Chuisle (spelled incorrectly in the film as "mo cuishle"): Irish for "my darling, and my blood" (literally, "my pulse"). He then disappears for good. Scrap's narration is revealed to be a letter to Frankie's daughter, informing her of her father's true character.

Release Dates:

DVD : 2010-06-01

DVD : 2005-12-06

DVD : 2005-07-12