A true Cinderella story
The clock strikes midnight as Cinderella runs down the steps of the palace. Her life seems to be spiraling downward, until one day, the prince finally finds her. They live happily ever after. Jim Braddock is the perfect example of Cinderella, or in this case, a Cinderella man. The movie Cinderella Man has great examples of historical accuracy, cinematic storytelling, the effects of the depression, great character traits, and a parallel world to the world today. In Cinderella Man, there are many historical references but not all of them are true. However, examples such as Hoovervilles, Herbert Hoover and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and NBC, are very historically accurate. During the movie, Jimmy goes to central park, the largest Hooverville in town, and looks for his friend Mike. The movie shows the Hooverville as a place of destruction, devastation, poverty and sadness. This is very accurate. Homeless people established Hoovervilles. Their houses were made out of cardboard, or cheap plywood. Also, the crime rate and death rate in Hoovervilles were extremely high. This is shown in the movie when Mike is killed by a spontaneous murder. The movie also talks about Herbert Hoover and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Jimmy and Mike are sitting in a bar talking about both of the presidents when Jimmy comments that he doesn’t trust Franklin Delano Roosevelt until he gives everyone their houses back. Many people in the 1930’s were very skeptical of Roosevelt’s New Deal. Many believed that every president would be like Hoover, and drive the depression further into the ground. Another historically accurate piece of information was the broadcasting of boxing matches. In the movie, there are always microphones and a man giving the play by play as to what’s happening in the match. In the 1930’s television sets were not a common household item and therefore the matches were broadcasted via radio. One of the most common producers of the fights and other news was NBC. Not only is Cinderella Man historically accurate, it gives great examples of cinematography. Cinderella Man gives many ambiguous scenes to display the Depression and hidden meanings to the scene. For example, in one of the scenes Mae gets very frustrated with Jimmy and the children because they are boxing in the house. She yells at them and walks outside upset. When she walks outside, she walks into a spot light, when everything around her is dark. This represents that she is alone emotionally and physically. Another very ambivalent example is when Jimmy is waiting in line at the bank to get a loan. Jimmy talks to the employee working there, and for a few moments, the camera angle switches to the employee’s point of view. The angle shows Jimmy behind bars. This shows that Jimmy is living is a theoretical prison. The Depression has put him in such a horrible state that he is living in a prison. Another subtle example is the boxing ring. The first time the viewer sees the outside of the boxing ring the lights are flashing gold. The second time it’s shown, the lights are dim and the gold turned to a pale yellow. This represents that the “glory days” are over, and the Depression had begun. Jimmy Braddock was a boxing star. When the Depression struck in 1934, even he, Jimmy Braddock, was affected. For example, like many Americans, Jimmy and his family had very little food and milk. Milk was only refilled if the bills were paid, and if the bills weren’t paid, the family would have to make do with what they had. Jimmy’s family didn’t pay the bills on time and therefore had to make do with what they had. Mae had to water down the milk in order to give everyone in her family milk. The Depression also affected Jimmy’s money income. The Depression forced Jimmy to beg for money, like many other Americans during the time. Taking out loans, selling possessions and begging for money was the only source of income for Jimmy, and millions of Americans. Jimmy would also fight in as many fights as he could. At one point, he goes to the boxing community to beg for money because he had nowhere else to turn. The Depression caused the problem of low income and Jimmy had to find somewhere to work. Therefore, Jimmy also worked on the docks when he could. Hundreds of people would line up outside of a dock gate and hope to be picked to work. However, like Jimmy, not everyone was picked. This type of work was a very unreliable source of income. Even though the Depression was one of the hardest times to live in American history, Jimmy Braddock never changed. He was a brave, humble, and reliable man. Jimmy was brave in many situations. For example, when he went to look for Mike in the Hooverville, he risked his life to find a friend. Also, he was a very brave man to fight the top champions of boxing. It would have been easy for him to back down and give in, but he was brave enough to accept the challenge, and in the end, win them all. Jimmy was also a very humble man. When he was being interviewed for a newspaper the reporter asked him, “What are you fighting for Jimmy?” Instead of saying money, pride, or any other narcissistic answer, he simply replied, “Milk.” He was also very humble around other people. He didn’t act like he was any better than them because he was an amazing boxer; he treated them and himself like normal people. Jim was also a very reliable man. For example, he promised his son Jay that he would never send him away, and he kept his promise under even the worst circumstances. Also, after he had enough money, the first thing he did was pay back the loans he took out from the bank. There are many similarities and differences between the 1934 and 2008. The most common similarity being that we put out faith in sports heroes, and the most common difference is the attitude the generations carry. In 1934, people had no nope or inspiration, except for that of sports heroes. Many people found the story of Jimmy Braddock very encouraging because they believed many their story would be a Cinderella story too. Whenever Jimmy won, it gave his fans a sense of hope, a hope for Jimmy to win, and a hope for a brighter tomorrow. Today people put their faith in sports heroes as well. It’s very common to see people wearing jerseys with players’ names on them. Whether or not that person is their inspiration is inevitable, people still care enough about them to buy their jerseys. However, when there are similarities, there are differences. The most common difference between 1934 and 2008 is the attitude of the people. In 1934, people had no nope and no reason to brag. Millions of Americans were left with nothing, living in Hoovervilles struggling to survive. That was the norm. This caused people to be very humble towards other Americans. They did not brag and they did not boast, and they lived as one, or at least tried to. Today, however, it is very common for people to brag about their money, the size of their house, or what kind of jeans they bought. Society today is so dependent on oneself; there is no need to care for others. Her story started with a beat up pair of shoes, to a glass slipper. The clock strikes midnight, ending her perfect dream. The slipper fits, and she marries the prince. His story started with a beat up pair of gloves, to new gloves. The bell rings and the match is over, Jimmy’s lost everything. The courage he finds gives him the strength to win. A true Cinderella man. Cinderella Man gives great examples of historical accuracy, cinematic storytelling, the effects of the depression, great character traits, and a parallel world to the world today. Jimmy Braddock will go down as history as the real Cinderella man.