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Against the Ropes

Overview

Charles S. Dutton's feature-length directorial debut Against the Ropes is based on the real-life story of Jackie Kallen, a Jewish woman from Detroit who became a successful boxing manager. Played by Meg Ryan, Kallen works her way up in the world of boxing by believing in the fighting skills of Luther Shaw Omar Epps. Director Dutton appears as veteran trainer Felix Reynolds, whom Kallen encourages to come out of retirement.
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Overview

Charles S. Dutton's feature-length directorial debut Against the Ropes is based on the real-life story of Jackie Kallen, a Jewish woman from Detroit who became a successful boxing manager. Played by Meg Ryan, Kallen works her way up in the world of boxing by believing in the fighting skills of Luther Shaw Omar Epps. Director Dutton appears as veteran trainer Felix Reynolds, whom Kallen encourages to come out of retirement.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
That other 2004 boxing movie directed by an actor who casts himself as a trainer in the film, Charles S. Dutton's Against the Ropes is no Million Dollar Baby, but it does also focus on the unusual role of a woman in the world of pugilism. As played by Meg Ryan with a raspy Midwestern mill-town accent, that woman comes across as a lot tougher than her coiffed appearance would indicate, and a lot better informed about baahhxing than her male counterparts want to admit. Thankfully, she doesn't play the martyr saint. Ryan and Dutton realize that even though she's the only female representative in this male-dominated world, she can be less than perfect, and get the kind of inflated head that alienates both her boxer (Omar Epps) and the audience. Unfortunately, the film doesn't go quite far enough in documenting these human weaknesses, which leaves the audience a bit puzzled when she becomes universally vilified in the boxing community. The story then takes on many of the standard components of failure and redemption, all leading toward "the big fight" whose outcome is a tad less than uncertain. By the time the film closes with the most tired of clich├ęs -- the slow clap that builds toward thunderous applause -- Against the Ropes has devolved into something utterly conventional. Maybe it's appropriate that a film that deals so much with dualities -- black and white, male and female -- has very few shades of gray.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/13/2004
  • UPC: 097363349235
  • Original Release: 2004
  • Rating:

  • Source: Paramount
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Meg Ryan Jackie Kallen
Omar Epps Luther Shaw
Charles S. Dutton Felix Reynolds
Tony Shalhoub Sam LaRocca
Tim Daly Gavin Reese
Joe Cortese Irving Abel
Kerry Washington Renee
Sean Bell Ray Ray
Skye McCole Bartusiak Jackie Kallen (younger)
Tamara Hickey Megan
Tory Kittles Devon Green
Holt McCallany Doherty
Gene Mack Luther
Technical Credits
Charles S. Dutton Director
Eric L. Beason Editor
Ruth E. Carter Costumes/Costume Designer
Bruce Carwardine Sound/Sound Designer
Robert W. Cort Producer
Richard Cowan Asst. Director
Mike Drake Co-producer
Cheryl Edwards Screenwriter
Steven Essam Set Decoration/Design
Jack N. Green Cinematographer
Jackie Kallen Associate Producer
Michael Kamen Score Composer
Avy Kaufman Casting
Sandra Kybartas Production Designer
Scarlett Lacey Executive Producer
David Madden Producer
Jonathan Pillot Executive Producer
Steven Roffer Executive Producer
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