The Boxer [WS] [DVD] [1997]

The Boxer appears in an impressive collector's edition that offers an array of interesting features. "Fighting for Peace: Inside the Boxer" provides a worthwhile overview of the production and writer/director Jim Sheridan's thoughts on the project. It runs for 23 minutes and also includes comments from Barry McGuigan, the real-life boxer who was an inspiration for the story. Daniel Day-Lewis and the other actors also discuss their experiences and display an honest and genuine passion for the material. The disc also includes 16 minutes of deleted scenes, which appear with a lesser-quality transfer. They give the characters more depth and make the environment appear even harsher. A one-minute alternate ending also exists and provides a slightly more upbeat conclusion. The remaining supplements include feature-length commentaries from Sheridan and producer Arthur Lappin, production notes, cast and crew biographies, and the original theatrical trailer. The Boxer utilizes a decent 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer that nicely conveys the bleak, cold atmosphere. Little grain and few defects exist on the picture. The 5.1 channel Dolby Digital audio track is also solid but falls a bit short of the premier level. The dialogue is easily understandable, and the sound effects do spring well from the entire sound field.
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Overview

Special Features

  • Feature commentary with director Jim Sheridon
  • Feature commentary with producer Arthur Lappin
  • "Fighting for Peace: Inside the Boxer," an original featurette on the making of the film featuring interviews with director Jim Sheridan, Daniel Day-Lewis, Emily Watson, Ciaran Fitzgerald, and boxing consultant Barry McGuigan, plus never-before-seen, behind-the-scenes footage
  • Cast and filmmaker bios
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Alternate ending
  • Deleted scenes
  • Film highlights
  • Production notes

Synopsis

The Boxer
Jim Sheridan (In the Name of the Father) directed this drama about a Belfast boxer, filmed with Dublin locations substituting for Belfast. Released after his 14-year prison sentence for IRA activities, 32-year-old Danny Flynn (Daniel Day-Lewis) returns to his old neighborhood and sees former-flame Maggie (Emily Watson), who has an unhappy marriage and now raises her son alone while her husband is in prison. To get back in the boxing ring, Danny gets the community-center gym back in operation and starts training, encountering opposition from militant IRA members, including Harry (Gerald McSorley). Danny and Maggie grow closer, but after a bomb sets off events leading to the destruction of the gym, Danny leaves for a disastrous boxing match in London. More grim situations arise when he returns to Belfast. ~ Bhob Stewart, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Daniel Day-Lewis
    Daniel Day-Lewis - Danny Flynn
  • Emily Watson
    Emily Watson - Maggie
  • Brian Cox
    Brian Cox - Joe Hamill
  • Ken Stott
    Ken Stott - Ike Weir
  • Gerard McSorley
    Gerard McSorley - Harry
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