The boxing genre has a number of notable greats vying for the top spot in any greatest sports movie list and here comes another contender in the form of Philippe Falardeau’s The Bleeder (called Chuck in America).
Given that Rocky remains our favourite inspirational sports film ever made, the boxing genre has, for a long time, enjoyed success with mainstream audiences. It also brings out the best work in actors – think De Niro in Raging Bull , Mark Wahlberg in The Fighter and Jake Gykllenhall in Southpaw.
Now it’s Liev Schreiber’s turn. He plays Chuck Wepner, a liquor salesman from New Jersey, who went 15 rounds in the stunning 1975 heavyweight world championship against the greatest boxer of all time, Muhammad Ali, and ultimately inspired the billion-dollar Rocky franchise. In his ten years as a boxer, Wepner endured eight broken noses, 14 losses, two knockouts, and a total of 313 stitches. But his toughest fights were outside the ring: living an epic life of booze, drugs, wild women, exemplifying incredible highs and extraordinary lows.
The Bleeder, from The Good Lie director Philippe Falardeau features a stellar supporting cast including Naomi Watts (Mulholland Drive), Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men, The Handmaid’s Tale) and Ron Perlman (Hellboy).
Lionsgate UK presents The Bleeder on DVD, Blu-ray & Digital August 21