Primary Source Analysis

As a movie produced in 2005 about the 1930s, there were certain ideals and perspectives of the year 2005 that were shown throughout the movie. Cinderella Man was released a few years after September 11, 2001. The message of hope, perseverance and loyalty to ones country were illustrated throughout this movie. The director Ron Howard was quoted on National Public Radio saying,”Our goal for this movie was to share an inspiring and uplifting true story.”During the early 2000s, the U.S. was in a state of fear because of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The U.S. needed to be uplifted the way that Braddock had been uplifted.

The numerous examples of James Braddock telling his children and the newspaper reporters that “We live in a great country that’s willing to help a man who’s down…I just thought I’d give it back when I didn’t need it anymore.” The idea of American pride and responsibility were emphasized throughout the film.2

Braddock is a story of a man who lost all that he had and then did whatever he could to get it back. His hard work and constant sacrifices are meant to appeal and inspire the American public into facing any ordeals head on. The character of Max Baer is exaggerated, but can metaphorically be seen as the toughest battle for Braddock, which ultimately represents the toughest battle for Americans.  Baer is conveyed as a rude, indecent, and sneaky boxer. Even though these were not his characteristics in real life, the movie portrays him as Braddock’s biggest obstacle. Symbolically representing another obstacle one would run across when trying to achieve stability and the desired life.

Despite it’s clear message on hope and perseverance, the movie poorly expressed the views of the year 2005  in terms of including racial and ethnic multiculturalism. There were no African-Americans or minorities in this film, at all. Granted the time period was before the Civil Rights Movement and blacks and whites would not intermingle regularly, however there were a large portion of blacks in New York City and New Jersey in the 1930s.

1. Ron Howard, Ron Howard on Cinderella Man, National Public Radio, May 23, 2005.

2. Cinderella Man, Directed by Ron Howard, Imagine Entertainment, 2005.

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