Cinderella Man

  • Directors: Ron Howard
  • Producers: Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Penny Marshall
  • Writers: Cliff Hollingsworth, Akiva Goldsman
  • Genres: Biography, Drama, Sport
  • Actors: Russell Crowe, Paul Giamatti

James J. Braddock is a hard-nosed, Irish-American boxer from New Jersey, formerly a light heavyweight contender, who is forced to give up boxing after breaking his hand in the ring. This is a relief and an upset to his wife, Mae, who cannot bring herself to watch the violence of his chosen profession, and yet knows without him boxing they’ll have no good income.

As the United States enters the Great Depression, Braddock does manual labor to support his family even after badly breaking his hand. Unfortunately, he can not get work every day. Thanks to a last-minute cancellation by another boxer, Braddock’s longtime manager Joe Gould offers him a chance to fill in for just this one night and make a little money. The fight is against the number two contender in the world and Braddock is seen as little more than a convenient punching bag.

Braddock stuns the boxing experts and fans with a third-round knockout of his formidable opponent. He believes that because his hand is now healed, he is fit to fight. Against his wife’s wishes, Braddock takes up Gould’s offer to return to the ring.

Mae resents this attempt by Gould to profit off her husband’s dangerous livelihood until she discovers that Gould and his wife also have been devastated by hard times.

On June 13, 1935, in one of the biggest upsets in boxing history, Braddock defeats the seemingly invincible Baer to become the heavyweight champion of the world.

A League of Their Own

  • Directors: Penny Marshall
  • Producers: Elliot Abbott, Robert Greenhut
  • Writers: Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Sport
  • Actors: Geena Davis, Tom Hanks, Madonna, Lori Petty, Rosie O Donnell

When World War II threatens to shut down Major League Baseball, candy manufacturing magnate Walter Harvey (Garry Marshall) decides to create a women’s league to make money. Ira Lowenstein (David Strathairn) is put in charge of public relations and scout Ernie Capadino (Jon Lovitz) is sent out to recruit players.

Capadino likes what he sees in catcher Dottie Hinson (Geena Davis). She’s a terrific hitter and, almost as important, “a doll” and likely to attract male fans. He offers her a tryout, but the married woman is content where she is, working in a dairy and on the family farm in Oregon while her husband is away at war. He’s less impressed with her younger sister, pitcher Kit Keller (Lori Petty), who loves the game passionately but appears to be less talented. He finally lets her come along when she persuades Dottie to give it a try for her sake. Along the way to the tryouts, he also checks out Marla Hooch (Megan Cavanagh), a great switch-hitting slugger. However, the blunt-speaking scout finds her too homely and rejects her. Dottie and Kit refuse to continue on without her and Ernie reluctantly gives in.

When the trio arrive at the tryouts in Chicago, they meet Doris Murphy (Rosie O’Donnell) and Mae Mordabito (Madonna), two tough-talking Brooklynites. They are assigned with 14 others to form the Rockford Peaches; 48 other prospects are chosen for the Racine Belles, Kenosha Comets, or South Bend Blue Sox. The Peaches are managed by drunkard former baseball great Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks). Jimmy initially treats the whole thing as a joke, leaving the managerial duties to Dottie. However, he takes over when he sees how hard and well his team plays. Meanwhile, the players have to attend mandatory etiquette classes to maintain a “lady-like” image, even though they are also required to wear very short (by 1940s standards) skirts as part of their uniforms.

Many years later, the two sisters, who haven’t seen each other in quite a while, and many of their Peaches teammates (except for Dugan and Evelyn Gardner who had died some years earlier) are reunited at the opening of a women’s section in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Many of the older women shown in the final scenes had been actual players of the AAGPBL.


  • Directors: Penny Marshall
  • Producers: James L Brooks, Robert Greenhut
  • Writers: Gary Ross, Anne Spielberg
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy, Romance
  • Actors: Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Perkins, Robert Loggia, John Heard

After being humiliated while attempting to impress an older teenage girl at a carnival, Josh Baskin (David Moscow) goes to a wish/fortune-telling machine (called Zoltar Speaks) and wishes that he were “big”. The next morning, he sees a face in the mirror he does not recognize. Overnight, he has become a 35-year-old man (Tom Hanks). With the help of his 13-year-old best friend, Billy Kopecki (Jared Rushton), Josh rents a cheap room in Manhattan and gets a lowly data-entry job at the MacMillan Toy Company. In a memorable scene, he meets the company’s owner, MacMillan (Robert Loggia), checking out the products at the FAO Schwarz toy store, and impresses him with his childlike enthusiasm. They end up playing a duet together on a “Big piano”, a foot-operated electronic keyboard, performing Chopsticks and Heart and Soul. This earns Josh a promotion to a dream job for a kid: testing toys all day long and getting paid for it. He soon attracts the attention of the beautiful, ambitious Susan Lawrence (Elizabeth Perkins), a fellow toy executive. A romance begins to develop, much to the annoyance of her current boyfriend, Paul (John Heard). As Josh becomes more and more entwined in his “adult” life, much to the annoyance of Billy, he soon begins to wish for the carefree life of a child again and becomes determined to find the Zoltar machine to reverse the wish.


  • Directors: Nora Ephron
  • Producers: Nora Ephron, Douglas Wick, Penny Marshall
  • Writers: Sol Saks, Nora Ephron, Delia Ephron
  • Genres: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance
  • Actors: Nicole Kidman, Will Ferrell, Shirley MacLaine, Michael Caine

The film is not an adaptation of the television series, instead a bizarre Re-imagining. It is about a witch named Isabel Bigelow (Nicole Kidman) who wants to give up magic and have a normal life, despite her magic-loving father’s (Michael Caine) warnings that she cannot live without it. She meets a failing movie star named Jack Wyatt (Will Ferrell) who wants to find an unknown actress to play a witch — and his wife — in a TV show, a modern adaptation of the classic TV show Bewitched, a ploy whereby the egocentric actor can eclipse his co-star and claim the spotlight entirely. Part of this is perpetrated by his agent (Jason Schwartzman), who is just as obnoxious as Jack.

When she becomes more popular than he is and unintentionally takes the spotlight away, the pompous, self-centered Jack decides to downplay her role and make the show focus on Darrin (thus garnering the audience’s attention). Isabel becomes angry when she finds out (since he told her during her auditions that he “needed her”) and furiously tells him that he is a jerk. The harsh words, strangely enough, appeal to Jack who never had anyone speak their mind to him before, especially his ex-wife (who he claimed preferred to just lock him out of the house). He begins to give her a bigger role and the two begin to fall in love and enjoy filming their TV show.

Meanwhile the “spirits” of the old Bewitched television show work their own magic on Isabel and Jack by ensuring that the couple ends up in a happy union of witch to mortal like on the original series. The home in which Isabel and Jack finally settle in together is numbered “1164” as a nod to the house from the original TV series (at 1164 Morning Glory Circle); their new neighbors are also a nod to their TV counterparts.