Friday, June 03, 2005

Defending Max Baer

Film critic Jeffrey Chen raises an important issue in his thoughtful review of director Ron Howard’s “Cinderella Man.” The movie’s villainization of boxer Max Baer bothers Chen, and he makes some very good points to back up his concern. “Historically, Baer did cause the death of two boxers, one directly and one indirectly,” he writes. “According to some stories, he felt guilty about the demise he delivered after a knockout blow -- it may have even caused him to pull his punches in subsequent fights, when he went on a temporary career downslide. In ‘Cinderella Man,’ however, the boxer is portrayed as willfully evil, even boastful of his status as a manslaughterer.”

As much as I enjoyed “Cinderella Man,” I think its treatment of Max Baer illustrates the danger inherent in biopics. How must Baer’s family be feeling after seeing the man’s reputation defamed in a major Hollywood production? How can they defend him? Perhaps they should demand that filmmaker Howard consider a Max Baer biopic for his next project. (Read Chen's full review on


  • Having had the pleasure of being aquainted with Max Baer Jr.and knowing his kind nature, I find it hard to swallow that Mr. Howard's version has any truth to it.I am also a Christian. Between DeVinci and the Cinderella man, I am wondering if Oppie knows how to do anything honestly. Hello Max where ever you are. I have not been able to get in touch. The kids love you.
    Felicia Bell-Cheffer , Jennifer & David Bell Memphis, Tennessee

    By Blogger Felicia Bell-Cheffer, At 9:38 AM  

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