The Brawler (2018) - full transcript

In 1975, a Bayonne, New Jersey underdog boxer gets a shot to fight the champ.

Subtitles by explosiveskull

[Chuck] Some guys
like chasing women.

Some guys
are all about the drink.

Some like to laugh it up
with the boys all night.

And some guys like to brawl.

Some guys,
they like all that shit.

Me, I'm one of those guys.

Big fucker punching me

is what they call
an up-and-comer.

The world will know him
as the guy

who sold the hamburger grill
on TV.

His name is George Foreman

and he'd hit
like a ton of bricks

falling off a rooftop
right on your head.

The motivational speaker
was Al Braverman.

He didn't know
the meaning of sugarcoating.

But I gotta say,
I wouldn't step in the ring

if I didn't know Al
wasn't gonna be in my corner.

You're fucking blowing it,
you understand? Blowing it.

Keep your fucking mitts up.

Use them to block the punches
instead of your fucking face.

- I can beat this guy, Al.
- [bell dings]

[Chuck] I was the toughest kid
in Bayonne.

No one wanted
to go two rounds with me,

especially in a smoker.

They loved watching us
kids fight.

I was a hardheaded Polish kid.

I didn't take shit from anyone.

You really knocked
his block off.


This kid stole my bike once.

I made sure he didn't take
anything ever again.

So where does a kid go
who loves to fight?

Where else?

The Marines.

I was a brawler.

And the Marines?
They liked brawlers.



After the Marines,

I figured I'd come home
and get a regular job.

Problem was I ain't any good
at regular jobs.

How's the fights going?

Going good at home.

I'm coming up
in a couple of weeks.

Don't forget me.

I want ringside tickets.

Yeah, anything for you, Joe.

This dirty motherfucker
owes us money.

When I catch him,

I'm gonna wring
his fucking neck.

Let's rock 'n' roll.

Let's go take care of this
piece of shit right now.

[Chuck] See, back then, anyone
who could throw a decent punch

in Bayonne went to work
for the Mob.

Where's my money, douchebag?

[Joey] Where's my fucking money?

- I don't have it.
- Are you fucking kidding me?

[Chuck] One of my favorite
side jobs was collecting

for a mobster named Joey G.

Welching on Joey G.
was a real bad move.

He was hands-down

the scariest mobster
in New York.

That guy would gouge out
your eye over a nickel.

[welcher] Joey, Joey, please,
let me explain.

Look at me.

The last fucking thing
you'll be looking at.




[Enzo] There we go.

[Chuck] The Mob
was a mean to an end.

Something to pay the bills.

But I knew I didn't want
to get mixed up

in that crazy shit.

So I went back
to what I did best.

[Joey] Get that motherfucker!
Come here.


Get in. Fucking...

You fucking...

Next time,
I'll fucking burn you,

you motherfucker.

I'll rip your fucking ears off!

[Chuck] But finally I settled in
to what I did best.

What I was meant to do.

I went to the only place
in the world

that made sense to me.

[bell dings]

Sometimes, life ain't fair.

All Foreman did
for three months straight

was train for this fight.

Me, I raised my kids.

Worked two jobs.

Get your head out of your ass.

Stop throwing wild punches.

Use your strength.

You gotta do defense
like we talked about.

Defense? Fuck that.

I gotta knock him out.

[bell dings]

- Hello.
- [Chuck grunts]

All right, I'm up. I'm up.

[Chuck] The only thing harder
than being a fighter

is being married to one.

They feel the pain
of every loss,

but they don't get
the high of a win.

After Liston, I was invincible.

Are you okay?

Daddy's okay, honey.
Go get ready for school.

- You don't look okay.
- I'm fine.

- Are you sure?
- Yeah, I'm sure.

[Charlene] Hey, get up.

Mom made you breakfast,

Would you look at that?
Jesus fucking Christ.

He got you good.

Does it hurt?

- Yeah, what are you gonna do?
- What are you gonna do?

I must be late for work.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, what?

You're really gonna go
to work right now?

- Are you joking me?
- Look at this dump.

It's not big enough
for all of us.

It's not a dump.
You need to lay down

and you need to heal up.

- Stop.
- I need to pay the bills.

That's what I need to do.

But what about the fight
and the money?

That was, like,
a really big fight, right?

After expenses, it goes fast.

Yeah, I know that.

So why do you do it, then?

You never win.

What's the point?

To look like shit?

No, I don't get it.
I actually don't get it anymore.

- Phyllis.
- I don't... What?

- I'm sorry.
- This is what I do.

Do something else.

You're the one
who married a fighter.

Yeah, so what do you think
about Chuck?

- You think he's got a chance?
- Of course. He's tough.

Of course he's got a chance.

- He's real tough.
- Very tough.

[crowd cheering]

[Chuck] Sonny Liston

was the meanest
heavyweight champion

who ever lived.

He was also the toughest.

He was the champ
till a kid named Muhammad Ali

took away his title.

- Jesus Christ!
- Oh, my god!

- Come on, Chuck.
- Are you serious?

[Chuck] I should've known this
was going to be a bloodbath.

Liston was knocking the shit out

of sparring partners
left and right for weeks

leading up to the fight.

I hope his wife
ain't watching this.

Donnie, he's... Okay, call.

We gotta stop this. Come on.

Hey, we gotta stop this fight!

Donnie, he's dying
right now, look.

No, they're gonna kill him!
You guys need to stop this!

[bell dings]

I can knock this guy out, Al.

Look, if you keep
your b-heading, you gotta block.

This guy's going right
for your face.

He's chewing you up.

[crowd cheering]

I got you.

- [trainer] Keep on it.
- I'm fine. I'm good.

How many fingers do I have?

How many guesses do I get?

[Joe] Can you even see?

[Chuck] I can see.
I'm fine. I can fight.

We're gonna have
to stop the fight.

- What?
- Al, I'm stopping this fight.

Don't stop this fight.

It's over. That's it, it's over.

- I'm stopping the fight.
- [Al] Stop the fight.

[Chuck] You don't realize

how banged up you are
in the ring.

It's after that you feel it.

I was banged up bad.

Broke my cheekbone.
Shattered my eye socket.

Tore me up for 72 stitches.

He got me good.

- [doctor] Stable?
- [nurse] Heart rate's good.

- Blood pressure is good.
- [machine beeps]

- [doctor] You look like shit.
- Aw, thanks, doc.

[Chuck] This big guy.
Come on, give me three.

That's what I'm talking about.
Kiss me, big guy.

[Donnie] Hey, we got a good
nickname for your daddy.

We're gonna call him
Zipperhead from now on.

[all laughing]

You know, when I was
watching that fight,

I saw my husband getting
the shit kicked out of him,

and living alone
without you in my life.

It's not... It's not normal.

what do you want me to do?

I, I don't really want you
to fight anymore.

[Chuck] I was knocking
fighters out left and right.

I had a glimpse of failure
which lit a fire in me.

I knew one day I'd have
to leave boxing,

but I was gonna go out swinging.

You know, this kid
could be champ?

Could be the White Hope.

- No, no, no.
- No?

Don't get ahead of yourself. No.

He's too easy to hit, you know?

[Chuck] I fought my way
all the way into the top ten.

I started getting noticed
by all the right people.

I was about to be thrown
into the fight of my life.

And my mom found out before me.

Oh, my god.

[telephone ringing]

[host] Ladies and gentlemen,

the story we're about to see
is true.

The names have been changed...


Chuckie, did you see
the newspaper?

[Chuck] No.

You're fighting Muhammad Ali
for the title.

[Chuck] I couldn't believe it.

Ali? Mom, Mom, that's...
That's great.

God, I'm so proud of you, honey.

[Chuck] Al Braverman got me
a title shot.

This is what I wanted
my entire life.

Fuck, yeah!

[upbeat music]


[Chuck] Guys like me
never got a chance like this

and I was gonna make damn sure
I didn't blow it.

- [Angelo] Ten-ounce gloves.
- [Muhammad] 22' ring?


All right, good,
make sure it's 22'

- 'cause I'm gonna be dancing.
- Yeah, I know.

What you doing
eavesdropping on us?

I'm not eavesdropping on you.

I'm just waiting for Al
to do his business.

You and Don are really giving me

a great opportunity here
and I really am thankful.

Stop flattering me, sucker.

There's a nice waiting room
for you downstairs.

All right, thank you, champ.

- Good seeing you, Angelo.
- All right, you too, Chuck.

You are in trouble.

Hey, you're in trouble.

What you talking about, Coach?
I'm the prettiest man alive.

Take care of this.

Man, what you talking about,

You know exactly
what I'm talking about.

I'm champ of the world.

- [Al] Ring size?
- [Angelo] 22'.

[door closes]


22', Al.

Don King told me
you already agreed to 20'.

We've been training in 20'.

My guy likes 22'.

What, he's coming to dance or...
or to fight?

Look, he's coming to fight.

If Don wants 20', 20'.

Glove size?

- Eight ounces.
- Ten.

Eight ounces.

You might want
an extra two ounces.

My guy hits pretty hard.


[man] Nice.

[Angelo] Come on, move
your feet more. Let's go!

Yeah, he looks great.

Get in there! Get in there!

Beautiful! Beautiful, champ!

Right. Time!

[crowd applause]

Come on!
You gotta work that off.

- You look tired.
- I'm not tired.

- You're not tired?
- Nobody tired.

Ain't nobody tired.
I'm ready to go.

Hey, Al, did we get everything?

Everything we hoped for.

Al, what about ring size?
Glove size?

24' ring. 10-ounce gloves.

24' ring?

How'd you get Angelo Dundee
to agree to a 24' ring?

I lied.

[Chuck] This fight
was gonna be different.

I was gonna make
a big enough payday

to be able to train full-time.

Believe it or not, the Ali fight
was the first one

I ever got to train
for full-time.

All right,
back-to-back training.

Let him dance.
He wants to dance.

He wants to be a butterfly,
let him be a butterfly.

[Al] Don't try to go
for the knockout.

It's never gonna happen.

- Come on! Come on!
- [Al] He's too fast.

His reach is too far.

- All right, Al.
- Body shot.

- You're all right?
- I'm all right.

[Chuck] For the first time
in my life, I was ready.

I was ready for Ali,

and I was gonna show the world
I belonged on this stage.

Jesus Christ,
keep your hands up!

[Al] That's it.

[trainer] Come on, dish.

Finish with the left hook.

[Al] Keep your hands up, Chuck!

Put it up there.

When you throw your left,
you're always...

you're dropping your right.

Don't drop your right

'cause you throw your left
and then you're open.

You're open, right?

So every time
you throw that left,

make sure you're keeping
this here and then salute.

Go back.
You strike back but salute.

I want you to salute.

Every time you throw
a punch, salute.

Like you're saluting.

Keep that hand up

because I can't hit you
that way.

Are you preparing for Wepner?

Well, I plan on bringing a mop
to the ring

so I can soak up all that blood
he's gonna spill on me.

Cassius, uh, Cassius...

Ain't nobody answering
your question, man.

It's Muhammad Ali.

- Get this guy out of here.
- You gotta go.

[Chuck] Ali wasn't nervous.

He should've been,
but he wasn't.

He was always playing it cool.

He ain't got no chance.
I'm the greatest of all time.

I'm the prettiest.
He can't possibly beat me.

[Chuck] See, Ali thought

he was gonna mop the floor up
with me.

He was out there eating.
Gaining weight.

He thought it was gonna be
a cakewalk,

but I knew different.

That's it.

Always finish strong, baby,
with the left, yes.

You got it.
Finish off with the left hook.

I want to see
that double left hook.

You know, they're calling you
the, the Bleeder.

[Chuck] My brother, Donnie.

Stupid fucking name.

[Chuck] As many times
as I get punched in the head,

I still couldn't be as stupid
as that guy.

Hey, you're a 40-to-1 underdog.

Maybe I should place a bet.

As long as you bet on me,

[calm music]

[upbeat music]

Man, you look nervous.

You never been on national TV?

No, I never have,
but I'm, I'm doing all right.

I just, you know,
maybe just a little...

Ah, well, don't worry about it.

Man, you ain't got nothing
to worry about.

Piece of cake.
Done it a hundred times.

Thanks, champ. I'll do my best.

All right, now, when we get out
on that stage,

now, I'm gonna need you
to call me nigger.

Come on, now, don't act

like you ain't
never said it before.

I'm gonna need you
to call me a nigger.

I don't... I don't think
that's a good idea.

- I mean, I...
- Chuck, we gotta give the press

something to holler about,
all right?

I don't want you to be boring.

Get with the program, now.
Come on.

Let's do it for TV.

Do it for Don King.
Do it for Great White America.

Don't be a big disappointment,

It's good for business.
Come on, sucker.

I mean, I, uh...
Oh, all right, all right.

- It's going to be like that.
- Let's do it for business.

[Angelo] How you doing, Chuck?

I'm doing well, Angelo.
How are you?

[Angelo] Very good, thanks.

You know, this guy wants me to,
you know, say the...

the N-word, you know, on stage,

but I don't know if that's
a very good idea, you know.

Do what the champ tells you.

If he told you to,
would you do it?


Chuck, are you nervous?
You're looking good.

What, are you kidding me?
You think I'm nervous?

I get punched in the face
for a living, all right.

Hey, checking on the dress.

What's going on, Chuck?
What's going on, bud?

- Oh, I'm doing well, Don.
- Okay, all right.

Good, good, good.

Hey, look, give a good show
out there, all right?

All right.

All right,
don't fucking shuffle me, now.

I'll beat
the fucking shit out, boy.

I'll break both your legs.

You'll be crawling
out the studio, okay, boy?

Come on, I thought you were
over that jazz, Don.

Yeah, no, no.

- You have a great show, okay?
- [Chuck] I will.

[Muhammad] Yeah, we don't
get along too good.

I heard about him.

Uh, he's a white fella,
you know,

he don't care too much
about colored people.

Yeah, I... I heard
he called you Cassius Clay.

No, he called me something else.

You ain't heard
what he said last week.

He called me a nigger.

Huh, I guess this is going to be
a real fight.

I, you know, I did not say that.
I did not say that.

It's on the record
to be straight

that I did not say that.

- Here he is, uh, the challenger.
- [audience applause]

Mr. Chuck Wepner,
welcome to the show.

Thanks, it's good to be here.

Oh, okay,
it's gonna be like that.

Okay, so, uh, is there
any truth that you said

- any of these terrible things?
- Absolutely not.

- Yeah, he said it. He said it.
- Not at all. I did not say that.

He said it just to show
his name.

Hey, listen, you're trying
to be in my interview.

This is my after one
interview talks.

- Equal opportunity.
- You're boring.

- You're boring.
- [Chuck] Oh, I'm boring.

Nobody wants to hear you talk.

Yeah, take your jacket off

because everyone's gonna see
how fat you are on the camera.

Oh, you wanna do this now?

Is that what we're doing?

Guys, sit down. Sit down.

Fellas, let's play nice.

- Keep talking.
- Let's play nice.

All right, all right,
I'm here any time you want it.

- Have a seat.
- All right, here we go.

Yeah, we're friends here, right?

Tell me a little bit more
about yourself.

Uh, I was, uh, born and raised
in Bayonne, New Jersey.

- I'm a Golden Gloves champion.
- [yawns]

Champ, come on.

A little respect to this guy.

Can we get a chance to talk

'cause I thought
they want to know.

He knocked out a lot of guys
that knocked you out.

Hey, I've never been
knocked out.

I've been cut.
Never knocked out.

This guy,
I'm gonna knock him out.

That's right, no, you will...
you will try.

You will get your chance.

[Chuck] Oh, I'm gonna be there.
You better be there.

- No, you're gonna be there.
- [Chuck] I'm gonna be there.

I'm gonna whip the floor...

I'm gonna wipe
the floor with you.

I'm gonna wipe
the ring with you.

Ain't no way in the world
you're gonna whip me.

[audience laughing]

Hey, who's that silky bastard?

- What, are you kidding me?
- [Al] Time!

Sorry, Al. I'm on the cover
of Sports Illustrated.

I got another cover for you.

You spread-eagle on the canvas,
knocked out by Ali

because you didn't train
for the fight.

Because you're here entertaining
your idiot brother

when you should be jumping rope.

He's contending for the
heavyweight championship

of the world and you're coming

and putting this shit
into his head!

You need to learn
how to protect my brother.

He's in the...
in the ring getting beat up.

Can you teach him how to move?

You're distracting
my fucking fighter!

Not my job. Maybe you
should learn to protect my...

Donnie, I don't like it
when you're here.

You want a new trainer?

No, no, Al, I'm sorry.

Then get that fucking moron
out of here.

Get out of here, Donnie!
I'm sorry, Al.

You know, he's my brother.

Good, get on the ropes.
Three minutes now!

[Al] This is the heavyweight
championship of the world.

You're not gonna go in there
and knock him out.

This is Muhammad fucking Ali.

You're gonna hit body shots.

You gotta concentrate
on his, on his weaknesses.

And he doesn't have any.

I'm taking this seriously, Al.

I know it's a different
kind of fight for me.

[Al] Yeah, that means
no drinking,

no drugging, no fucking around.

I have a responsibility
to be a leader

and so do you, Don King.

That's right.

That's why I take this serious.

It's not all about fun and games

if you see me on TV laughing

and cracking jokes
with Howard Cosell.

He gets paid
to laugh and crack jokes.

I get paid
to help my people out.

You know, I'm not going to be
a politician for this country

because this country hadn't done
nothing for black folks,

never did nothing
for black folks.

All they did was take us
from our land.

Why would I go over there
to the Viet Cong

and kill all those people?

They ain't never did
nothing to us.

No, you're right.

You the ones...
You the ones that lynched us.

You the ones that robbed us.

You the ones
that went over to, to Africa

where we was kings and queens
and you took us from over there

and you brought us over here
for 400 years of slavery

and now you want me to sit here
and act like I love y'all?

No, I do not love y'all.
I will not fight for you.

I will help my black people out.

It's always gonna be
black people first.

I'm sorry, but that's just
the way it's gonna be.

- You're right. We gotta fight.
- [Belinda] It's true, baby.

We gotta fight for,
for our rights

because that's what we deserve.

We deserve to be
kings and queens.

[Don] That's right, champ.
You're right.

[Muhammad] Maybe someday there
will be a black president.

- Who knows?
- [Don] Oh, yeah.

Maybe because I only helped
this poor white boy

out in this fight and they see
that we can help them out.

Amen to that.

You know what, champ?

You're the smartest fighter
I know.

Well, let's try
to keep it that way.

All right, all right.

Now, we are all here
for the world

heavyweight championship

between Muhammad Ali
and the contender, Chuck Wepner.

Currently ranked eighth
in the world

and they call him
the Great White Hope.

That's it?

- Here.
- This is the one.

We're here at the
Cleveland Coliseum

for the weigh-in
of the heavyweight championship

between the champion
Muhammad Ali and Chuck Wepner.

- Muhammad Ali...
- Yeah, I'm fat.

You heard all about that?
How fat I am?

- All right...
- Don't touch me.

Don't touch me.
Now, you've been wigging...

You've been jawing me
for a long time, now.

One of these days,

I'm gonna take that toupee off
of your forehead.

All right, all right, let's...
let's weigh him.

[Muhammad] I'm on the scale.
I'm on the scale.

All right.

- 227.
- That is the official weight

- of Muhammad...
- I, I am boxing.

He's not fighting
the challenger.

He's challenging boxing.

He's challenging one 227 pounds.

- [Muhammad] Man, I'm sorry, man.
- That is six pounds heavier

than when Ali
fought George Foreman.

[Muhammad] Man, there's
too much soul in here.

[Chuck] Everybody thinks
that the training,

the time in,
that that's the hardest part.


You're too light.
You're lightweight.

- And you're too heavy.
- That ain't enough for me.

You need to eat
some more cookies.

[Chuck] But really, it's the
quiet before fight night.

It's those hours
when you're thinking

about everything
that led up to this.

It's about spending time
with the people you love

and praying
you don't let them down.

[Chuck] Why?
You worried about me?

Of course,
I'm worried about you.

[Chuck sighs]

I mean, you know he's got way
more experience

than you and you know that.

He knocked Sonny Liston

out in one round, baby,
one round.

And what did Sonny
do to you, hmm?

He broke your fucking face
in half.

I think I can beat Ali.

I know you can.

Baby, I got you something.

Hey, darling. How are you?

Hey, how you doing?
Good to see you.

Good to see you, too.

- Champ, good luck on the fight.
- I'm going to.

How you doing, champ?

How you feeling, baby?
How you feeling, baby?

Come on, man, I'm the champ.

- You know how I feel.
- Yeah, I know, baby, I know.

So it's gonna be...
It's gonna be a great fight.

[Don] I just can't wait
for this one.

Well, that's the way
it should be.

You know what I'm saying?

You're gonna give everybody
a good show.

Ain't nobody worried

about nothing in this room
right here.

Absolutely, champ.
You're all good.

All right, Angelo, just make
sure you don't be uptight.

[Chuck] This was the biggest
fight of my life,

where fate would decide
if I became a legend...

or just another kid from Bayonne
who life kicks the shit out of.

[upbeat music]

[audience cheer]

[Muhammad] The champ is here.

Boo for me.

All right, let's go.

[audience cheer]

[bell dings]

[commentator] Round one.

The bell sounds and here we go.

Wepner comes bouncing
across the ring

and looks as though he wants
to be aggressive right away.

Ali known for slow starts,

circling ever so patent
to the left.

He'll try and convert early,
it looks like.

Come on.
Now wipe this honky, Clay.

Let's not forget one thing.

- You're a bunch of turncoats.
- Ali's a smart...

- Turncoats.
- But he does put on a display.

[commentator] Wepner will look
slow and awkward

because he is slow and awkward

but he does
seem to be hanging on.

There we go.

It looks like Tony Perez
has warned the lead

about hitting behind the head.

Ali cruises himself around.

Took him on a flight
before this round's over.

Ali's hands are a little quick.

Yeah, he can counter so fast

that it makes it difficult
for Wepner.

This is a heavyweight
championship fight

slated for 15 rounds.

You had that one. Come on, baby.

Can Ali knock out this man?

Many people say no.

The exhausted factor
as they go to round nine.

Ali slips a punch to his left.

Oh, a vicious shot to the ribs
of Muhammad Ali.

- And what a surprise.
- [thuds]

[commentator] Chuck Wepner gets
to the body of Muhammad Ali.

Let's see what happened here.
We're gonna count.

Six, seven, and now a minute
into the eight count.

[Joey] Yeah! Yeah!

You see that? You see that?
You see him? You see Chuck?

[commentator] Ali's gonna have
to get off his haunches...

I couldn't believe it. Ali fell.

For a second, I thought,
"If it bleeds,

I could kill it
and maybe this guy

isn't as invincible
as he says he is.

[crowd cheering]

[Joey] We got him! We got him!
We got him! We got him!

Start the car, Al.
We're gonna be rich.

[Chuck] I thought that
for a second and then...

Then he got back up.

[commentator] Ali has horsed
around and horsed around

and was warned
by his corner not to do that.

Muhammad Ali went down

from a vicious right hand
thrown by Wepner.

Ali is agitated.

He thinks this is for real.

Nobody worried
about that, chump.

You're the champ of the world.
He's nobody.

I know.

Do like what we worked on, okay?

Use your defense.
Keep your mitts up.

[Al] Use the body shots.

[bell dings]

[Joey] Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

[commentator] It looks like
Wepner's in trouble now.

He's staggering.

Ali goes to work
with the right hand.

Wepner's in trouble.

Ali throws another
right hand right to the eye.

There's a left hook.
Another left hook. Misses.

Wepner continues to come on.

Ali's final 30-second flurry

won't win him the round, though.

What a great round of boxing.

He's in trouble.

He's in big trouble.

[commentator] Ali's not tired.
Wepner is tired.

Ali has scored many more points.

Come on, bro!

I'm surprised knockdown so far
has been the scoring.

That's my husband right there.

Great uppercut by Ali.

Wepner wants Ali so bad
he can taste it,

but he doesn't have
the ability to do it.

Ali does have
the God-given ability.

Ali looked awkward that time.

Wepner has his hands up
and says,

"Is that the best you can do?"

Wepner's a tough kid,
there's no doubt about it.

I have a tremendous respect
for the courage of this man.

Ali has no respect
for his ability.

Ali wants the knockout.

He wants to knock him out
so bad.

Ali trying to keep him
in punching distance now

which tells me he wants
to finish this thing right now.

Ali crosses with a right
to the dome

and tapped the head of Wepner.

Ali definitely wants to finish.

There's a great combination.

Wepner's ready to go.

He's ready to go. Ali comes on.

Wepner is staggering.

He's on his feet right now.

There's the combination.
Ali has his man in trouble.

[all] Oh!

I knew it was too good
to be true.

Come on, baby.
Get up. Get up. You got it.

[commentator] Wepner attempting
to hang on viciously.

Wepner is out on his feet.

A right hand off a left hook.

Chuck Wepner, the count is up.

Four, five, six...

- Ah, get up! Get up!
-, eight.

The referee stops the fight.

It will be scored
as a technical knockout.

Muhammad Ali retains
the heavyweight championship.

[Chuck] In that moment
right there,

I knew that fight with Ali
didn't end up in a loss.

See, people from all over knew
that a nobody from Bayonne

went the distance with the champ

and that meant more to me
than anything.

I'd gone 15 rounds with
the champion of the world.

I wasn't a nobody now.

I was a somebody.

Should I go to his room
or is he coming here?

Very funny.

You fought your ass off.

You really did.


[Chuck] It looks great on you,
by the way.

Who cares?

So you're gonna be a movie star?

A movie star?

He's too ugly
to be a movie star.

Very funny, Donnie.

It was kind of funny.

No, no, no.
Leave, leave Chuckie alone.

Chuckie, tell me
what it's all about.

What's it all about? You?

Well, you know, they say

it's based on my fight with Ali,

but, you know, it's not me.

Some, some actor's
playing the role.

Yeah, but it's some star
nobody knows.

Some "Stallone-y"
or something like that

- that's playing the role.
- Ah.

"Stallone-y" baloney.

[Chuck] Fighting Ali was nothing

compared to what was
coming my way.

One night, I get this call

from some movie producer
in Hollywood.

He starts telling me
that they just made a movie

about a boxer who I was
the inspiration for.

It was a small movie
with an unknown actor in it.

I didn't really care.

I was just flattered
that they even called.

But it turned out that movie
wasn't so small after all.

In case you don't know
what I'm talking about,

I'm talking about Rocky.

It was amazing.
The movie was great.

I did.

Who could've thought my story
would be so interesting?

I know.

[Phyllis] Of course it is.

[Chuck] Hey, yo, Rocky.

[Sylvester] Yo, yo, Chuckie,
how you doing?

- Look who it is, man.
- [Chuck] Doing good.

[Sylvester] The real Rocky.
Here he is.

This is my wife, Phyllis.

- Hey, Phyllis, nice to meet you.
- [Phyllis] Nice to meet you.

[Sylvester] Chuck, good,
thank you for coming out.

- I appreciate it very much.
- Thank you for having me.

Well, you know what, you know,

Chuck is the inspiration
for this.

Oh, thank you.

Oh, Chuck, it's the truth.

You know, I want
to say something.

You know, watching
you fight Ali, you know,

I always had Rocky in mind
but watching you fight

just gave me that little,
you know, push.

[all chuckle]

Well, uh,
whatever I could do to help.

Are you kidding me?
Thanks, Chuck.

- Thanks for coming.
- Thank you for having us.

- It was a pleasure meeting you.
- Thanks for coming.

Hey, you guys
have a good night, okay?

Let's go to Peter Luger's.

- Really?
- Yeah, why not?

- Do we have time?
- Yeah, we got time.


I couldn't believe
how packed the theater was.

Yeah, he's got
a pretty good movie, huh?

Yeah, he does because of you.

And the winner is Rocky.


[Chuck] In true fashion
like a great fighter,

Rocky knocked out
the competition

and took home Best Picture.

In the end, it won three Oscars.

No, it won't happen again.

I have a fucking policy

where people that are
fucking consistently late

get fucking fired.

You're fired.

Get your shit
and get the fuck out now.

Get out of my fucking club now!

Hey, John.

- Hey, how's it going?
- Hey!

[Artie] Hey, Rocky!

[Chuck] Everybody in Jersey knew

I was the guy
that inspired Rocky.

I was like a celebrity
going to all these parties

and nobody threw a party
like Artie Stock.

He runs the whole Boardwalk.

If you need anything,
you just ask, all right?

You want some booze
or some girls?

Anything else?

I want you guys
to have a good time, okay?

Well, we got booze.

Let's see some girls.

Hey, Roger!

You are Chuck Wepner.

Yo, that's Amy and that's Sandy.

You like brunettes? Or redheads?

I like all women.

[Chuck] This was the life
I dreamed about.

As a kid, I never thought
in a million years

that I'd be living it up
like this.

[upbeat music]

Yeah, I heard about
this cocaine shit.

Now it was right in front of me.

So what did I do?

I shoved that shit right up
my nose and I loved it.

It made me feel like
a fucking superhuman.

[Artie] Whoa!

This blow could rock the size
of a fucking, uh, pornographer.

Oh, yeah.

You're a fighter.

You gotta fight
two or three times a year.

There's a lot of guys out there

that you could be
making money with.

[Enzo] And he deserves
more money!

'Cause you know why?

Because he's one
of the best there is, man!

He got Muhammad Ali
down on the canvas!

And if it wasn't for the referee
counting so goddamn slow

on purpose, he would've been
the champion of the world!

And, to me, he definitely is.

I know who you are.

You're the guy
who knocked out Ali.

Where's your brother?

How would I know
where my brother is?

I'm, I'm sure he's training
or something.

Ain't it kind of late
to be training?

He could be anywhere.
He's out there.

I told you I'd go look for him.

So 'cause he's popular
right now,

I don't get to know where he is?

Where the fuck is my husband?

I ain't fucking around anymore.

If you don't tell me right now,
both of you guys

get the fuck out of my house.

Why don't you take this shit up
with your husband

and leave me the fuck alone,
all right?

You guys are both
fucking bullshit.

- [Phyllis] Tsk, unreal.
- Fucking problem

'cause you stick your nose
into every fucking problem,

and you created
this fucking crazy bitch.

What the... What's your problem?

You want to blame me?

Blame your fucking brother.

Fuck this shit. Aye, fucking A.


You gotta slow down
with the chasing the skirts.

Come on, Donnie, don't go
and Quaker on me,

you fucking square.

The fuck are you talking about?

You, you didn't have to deal
with her shit

and my girl's shit last night.
I did.

Well, that's your problem
right there, Donnie.

Your girl's got your impact.

I ain't got problems, bro.
You got problems.

[Donnie] I want you
to be fucking serious

for one time
in your whole fucking life.

Do me a favor.

Just be a little more
fucking discreet, will you?

- [Charlene] Here.
- [Phyllis] Thank you.

All right, what about number 26?


- Theodore Roosevelt.
- Yes.

I think you're gonna ace
this one.

What do you guys want to drink?

[telephone rings]


[Chuck] Hey, baby.

Do you know what time it is?

Sorry. I know it's late.

I won tonight, though.

Where are you?

[Chuck] Uh, a hotel
in North Bergen.

I didn't want to drive home.
I wasn't feeling so good.

Well, then you should be home,


I'm pretty tired.

Good night, honey.

[Chuck] I was in a constant
rotation of fighting, fucking,

and doing blow.

Life after Rocky
was like an endless night out.



Thank you, baby.

Nah, it's just I always
get shit at home.

Everyone's always busting
my balls.

My brother. Phyllis.

I mean, don't get me wrong,
I love my kids, but...

I don't want to break
your balls, Chuckie.

I just want to do drugs
and fuck you all night long.

Well, cheers to the groupies.

Boxers don't have groupies.

Rock stars have groupies.

You ain't no fucking rock star.

I'll fuck you
like you're Jimmy Page,

but you ain't Jimmy Page.


[Chuck] It was a crazy ride.

But like all good things,
it had to come to an end.

[Phyllis] Where have you been?


[Chuck] Out.

Where'd you get that shirt?

I bought it at a store.

I've never seen
that shirt before.

Where you've been shopping?

When did you go shopping?

I don't know,
I went the other day.

I bought some clothes.

The other day? You...
Oh, when you were training?

You're fucking drunk.
Give me that.

[Phyllis] You don't need
to be drinking anymore.

What, now you get to tell me
what I can drink and not drink?

- That's what...
- I've never told you what to do.

'Cause now, 'cause now
you're stuck with a fucking ball

and motherfucking chain

that's gonna make
your motherfucking life

a living motherfucking hell.

You know what,
you need to shut the fuck up

- and we need to go sleep.
- No, I won't shut the fuck up.

We can talk about this tomorrow.

- You go to sleep.
- You're fucking all riled up.

You're fucking insane right now.

You've never been correct.

Then why'd you marry me?

[Phyllis] I was young?

You were beautiful.
You were nice to me.

You think you're nice to me now?
Are you nice to me?

Is this nice?
Coming home to this?

I mean, it would be nice
to come home

and maybe, get,
like, a fucking hug.

You know, maybe give me...

give me a fucking kiss
when I come home.

I did like you,
but you smell like shit.

'Cause I was
at a fucking nightclub!

You came home to what?

Me sitting there waiting
for you?

Can we go to sleep and talk
about this in the morning?

[Chuck] What the fuck, Phyllis?

You're fucking poison.

You fucking piece of shit!

- Close the fucking door!
- Kids, come on down!

[Chuck] Shut the fuck up.

Shut the fuck up
and stop fucking waking them up!

Shut the fuck up
and stop waking up our kids.

You're going crazy in the middle
of the fucking night.

I'm not going crazy.
I'm very calm.

So fucking what if
I fucking broke things?

- I'm fucking pissed...
- Shut the fuck up!

- Yeah?
- Shut the fuck up!

- Yeah, fucking tell me!
- Shut the fuck up!

You want to pack a bag?
Then fucking pack a bag!

They're already all packed up,
up there!

- They're all waiting.
- Shut the fuck up.

- Fuck...
- Fucking...

Do it.

- Do it. Do it.
- Fuck you.

- Chuck Wepner fucking knocked...
- Fuck you.

Fuck you.

You know, maybe you could
wear that for me

every once in awhile.

You know, in fact,
maybe if I came home

and you were wearing that

instead of fucking screaming
at me.


- I'll put this on for you.
- Put it on for me.

And now what?

I'm gonna still
motherfucking walk away.

- You want to walk away from me?
- I don't give a fuck about you

and your fucking stupid
assnasty blue fucking...

Sweetie, please.

- Sweetie.
- Can we just lie down?

- Sweetie.
- You look so beautiful.

I think we got off
on the wrong foot.

Come on.

Did we get off
on the wrong foot?

I'm sorry. I love you so much.

I love you so much, Chuck.

I'm sorry if I fucked this up.

You broke my fucking heart.

My fucking heart is shattered.

You ruined me.

You ruined our marriage.

But you won't ruin my life.

You ruined your own life.

I'm going to sleep.

I am so disappointed in you.


This hurt more than any jab.

I'd rather let Ali beat the shit
out of me for another 15 rounds

than have to see the looks
on my kids' faces

as their mother packed
their bags.

[Phyllis] All right, kids,
come on, let's go.

I'll walk you to the car.

- Bye, Daddy.
- [Phyllis sighs]

All right, Ron, be careful.

Bags and everything, okay?

- Phyllis.
- What?

[Chuck] Phyllis, you don't have
to do this.

You did this!

You don't care.
I don't care. You don't care.

It doesn't matter.

[car engine revs]


Phyllis, please.

Don't worry, bro.

She'll be back.

I don't think so.

[Donnie] You know
what your problem is?

You're too hardheaded.

It's exactly why she left you.

You don't fucking listen
and you never have self-control.


Do me a favor, Don.

Anything for you, bro.

- Shut the fuck up, will you?
- [Donnie chuckles]

I need to get back to work.

I need to get my mind off

those taillights driving away
from the house.

The only thing that could get
my mind right was a match.

To hear those crowds again.

[crowd cheer]

So how do you follow up a fight

against the most famous boxer
who ever lived?

Holy shit.

Well, yeah, the guy's big,
but he's slow as shit.

[Chuck] If you're me,
you fight the largest wrestler

in the world at Shea Stadium.

He body slams you,
we get the money and we go home.

Then it's back to real fighting.

There's no way in hell

I'm letting that fat fuck body
slam me.

He can throw me
through the ropes

or something, but that's it.

I'll talk to Vince.

No, you don't talk to him.

You tell him
that's how it's gonna be, Al.

All right, already.
Take it easy, Chuck.

[commentator] Now, look at
the difference in their size.

Wepner is a big man,

a big man by any stretch
of the imagination.

232 pounds, I believe.

But a midget compared
to Andre the Giant.

Andre's not gonna be able
to move in the ring

against Chuck Wepner.

Pounding away to the kidney now.

Andre has him, but doesn't know
what to do with him.

The ref should get in there
and break it up by all rights.

Oh, baby!

[Chuck] See, you don't know
the true meaning of rock-bottom

till an overweight,

enormous European guy
picks you up

like a baby
and throws you around.

I was broke with no family
and getting tossed around

like a piece of trash.

Got any more of this, baby?

Nah, that's it...

[Chuck] I couldn't help feeling
like I deserved it.

No more party favors,
no more party.

[Chuck] I was just about ready
to tap out.

Give me a Scotch and soda.

You're cut off.

You're cut off.

Just give me, like,
a soda with Scotch, then.

Then she walked into my life.

Come on.

I'll take two waters.

Take it easy, slugger.

You get kicked out of here,
you don't get back in.

I'm Chuck.

I know who you are.

- I'm Linda.
- [glasses clink]

[Chuck] Linda.

I swear,
she was sent from heaven.

That woman came into my life
just when I needed her most.

You know, I think
we're going to be friends

for a long time, Linda.

- Oh, do you?
- Yeah.

- Cheers to friends.
- Cheers to friends.

- Do you like steak?
- I love steak.

Yeah, it's pretty tasty.
With, like, béarnaise sauce.

I don't know, I just like salt
on it and stuff like that.

You only like salt.

- This is me.
- Oh, is it?

Well, I, uh, I had a great time.
I really needed this.

Me, too.


- Good night, Linda.
- All right, good night.


- [rasping]
- [sniffs]

[Chuck] While guys like me
were trying their best

to crawl out of the bottom,
guys like Stallone?

They never left the top.

[Sage] When will you make
another movie?

When am I making another movie?
I'm making one right now.

I'm making Rocky II.
What, you wanna be in it, huh?

- You want to be in it?
- Yes.

You want to be in it?
All right, I'll put you in it.

I want to be Rocky
when I grow up.

Wait a minute. Wait, hey.

You want to be Rocky?
What about me?

What about your dad?

Okay, you want to be Rocky?
Okay, you got it, all right?

Listen, do me a favor.

Daddy gotta make a phone call.

Just be quiet
for a couple of minutes

- and we'll play, okay?
- Okay.

All right, play with your horse.

[telephone rings]

[Chuck] I'd gone 15 rounds
with the champion of the world.

I wasn't a nobody...

Hey, Chuck, how you doing?
It's Sly Stallone.

Sly, how you doing, man?

Congrats on all the success.

Hey, man, thanks a lot, Chuck.
I appreciate it.

Look, Chuck, you know,

I got this role in mind for you
in Rocky II, okay?

It's this experienced fighter.

His name is Chink Weber and,
you know, he spars with Rocky.

Chink Weber?

It sounds a lot like my name.

Yeah, yeah,
it's kind of the point, Chuck.

It was written for you.

Look, all you gotta do
is come in, audition,

and the part's yours, okay?

- Seriously?
- Yeah, come on, Chuck.

You belong in Rocky II.
I wrote this for you.

- I'll be there.
- My secretary will...

[Chuck] Sometimes those guys
at the top

throw a guy like me a line.

This was my fucking line

and I was gonna try my best
not to fuck it up.

Rocky II.

This was a night to celebrate.

I had inspired Rocky

and now I was gonna be in Rocky.

I was more excited
about this role

than any of my fights.

I was going to be
a famous actor.

Ah, it's okay.
It's okay, sweetie.

- Fucking, yeah.
- Can I come?

Yeah, you can all come
to fucking Hollywood.

I'll open up a fucking club
out there.

Hey, Chuck, before we go,
let's get breakfast.

You want breakfast?

- Afternoon.
- What time is it?

I got a fucking watch.

Hey, champ, man.

What's up?

I think that train you're
supposed to catch at 7:45?


I think you missed it.

Oh, shit.

Your boy's late, Sly.

Yeah, I know.

So who's next?


Roy, get that.

- Hey.
- Stallone.

- Hey.
- You're late.

Look, we don't do
late here, Chuck.

Yeah, hey, Chuck. Listen.

- Hey, how you doing?
- Hey.

- You feeling okay?
- Yeah, yeah, it's good.

I just had a crazy night.

Yeah, I know,
it happens to the best of us.

Listen, Chuck.

What we're gonna do is we're
just gonna have you read it

from the script a little bit

before we offer you the role,

- All right, sounds good.
- All right, good.

So listen, why don't you, um,
turn to page five,

and, um, when you're ready.


- really excited about this.
- Take a deep breath.

You can do this.
Come on. Here we go.


Uh, Chink Weber says, um,

"You are fighting all over..."

Wait, wait, wait, Chuck, Chuck,

you, uh, you don't have
to read the character's name.

You just...

Just read the lines.

- Oh, sorry.
- It's all right.

- That was my first time.
- First time, I understand.

It's all right.
Now, from the top.

All right, uh...

"You are fighting
all over the place, Rock."

"Yeah, I know, Chink."

"You know, I don't think
I'm ready for this fight."

"You gotta have some heat...
hea... heart."

- Sorry, sorry, man.
- Take your... Chuck.

[Sylvester] You looked
at these lines before, right?

Yeah, a little bit, yeah.

Well, you got nothing
to worry about.

Come on, man, Chuck,
I wrote this part for you.

You can do this.

- All right, sorry.
- Yeah.

"Come on, Rock.

You gotta have some
fucking heart out there."

Read the lines on the page,

Hey, I can read, asshole.

- This guy.
- Asshole?

- Do you know who I am?
- Excuse me?

Do you know
who you're talking to?

The guy who gets
Stallone's coffee.

I produce motion pictures
for Sylvester Stallone.

[Arthur] You come in here

and you disrespect everything
we do in this business.

Get your act together,
read the lines,

and do me a fucking favor,
all right?

Don't come in here
fucking around

and read off the goddamn script!

I'm gonna knock
this guy's fucking teeth out.

Hey, hey, hey,
Chuck, Chuck, Chuck.

This is that amateur hour
with this guy, Sly.

Arthur, one minute here.
Hold on, Chuck.

This isn't no bars
in Bayonne here.

Come on, man,
I gave you an opportunity

to come in here. This guy...
This is a Hollywood guy.

You gotta do this
in a different way.

It's a different animal.
Robert put him here for me.

You gotta make amends here.
Apologize to this guy.

I ain't apologizing
to this asshole.

Chuck, you gotta do me a favor.

You gotta apologize to him.

I gotta work with this guy.

- Sorry, sorry.
- No, not to me, to him.

I brought you down here.
Come on.



Yeah, Chuck, lis... Listen.

I'll, I'll meet you...
Wait outside.

All right,
I'll be right outside.

We'll do it again, all right?

It's a good read, Chuck.

- You're a very good actor.
- Yeah.

- Very good.
- Thank you.

[door closes]

That was an embarrassment, Sly.

Arthur, I tried to give him
a shot, okay?

I tried to help him.

[telephone rings]


[Julie] Hey, Chuck,
how's it going?

Fine, I guess. Uh, who is this?

I'm with Rocky II.

Hey, look, I'm sorry, Chuck,
they're cutting out your part.

We're taking Chink Weber
out of the script.

I'm sorry, it's just the
audition didn't go well

and the part wasn't really
fitting with the script.

Hey, Arthur from the studio said
he would like to speak to you.

Chuck, we feel bad for you.
We really do.

In all walks of life,
you lose, my friend.

You come this close to the prize
and drop the ball every time.

Winners win and losers lose,
my friend.

So if you do want a job, though,

you can always start
at the bottom, like I did,

and maybe get Stallone
his coffee.

Well, Chuck,
the usual as always,

go fuck yourself.


Oh, fuck!

[Chuck] I already knew
this was coming

but just like a right cross
to the jaw,

you see it but it still hurts
when it lands.



[telephone ringing]


It's, uh, it's Chuck.

Hey, Chuck, how are you?

It's kind of late, huh?

Yeah, sorry about that. I, um...

can't sleep.


[Chuck] I auditioned for
Rocky II today.


I didn't know
they were making a sequel.

Yeah, Stallone
wanted me in it but I, uh...


I blew it.

Yeah, well, take comfort
in knowing if it wasn't for you,

there wouldn't be a Rocky.

Hey, you want to, uh, you know,
go to dinner or something?

Yes, I would.

Now, go to bed, Chuck.

[Chuck] All right,
goodbye, Linda.


- Whoo! Nice one.
- Yeah, see what I can do here.


What's going on with Rocky II?

Stallone hasn't been
returning my calls.

Oh. I wouldn't worry.

I mean, those big
Hollywood actors

can get so busy.

How do you do that?

Do what?

Make me feel better about
everything that's going on.

[Linda] I don't know.

I just call it like I see it.


Oh! Not that one.

Here's your check.

- [Linda] Oh, thank you.
- Oh, nice.

You're welcome.

[Linda] Let's split it.

[Chuck] No, no, I... I insist.

- Let me get it.
- No.

[Chuck] I felt like a prick.

I fought the greatest boxer
of all time,

got one of the most
legendary films of all time

based off me, and I didn't have
a penny to show for it.

Turns out I don't really have
any money, though.

I don't like you anymore.

Well, I still like you.

Well, I'll just be your friend.

What are you doing
with your life?

Bro, your wife left you.

You screwed up
the biggest fucking audition

of your life
with Sylvester Stallone.

What are you doing
with your life now?

What am I doing with my life?

Yeah, what are you doing
with your life, huh?

You're so special?

You're an ironworker
from New Jersey, Donnie.

All right, I'm Chuck Wepner.
People know me.

People respect me.

Nobody knows
who Donnie Wepner is

and you know what?

Nobody cares.

You know...

my wife knows me.

My kids know me.

And that's all
that matters to me.

Yeah, that is that all
that matters to you

but you know what?

But not to me, Donnie.

I'm gonna be somebody.

Hey! Hey! Then be a good father.

Be a good husband to your wife

and stop blowing
alimony money on,

on booze and cocaine and girls.


I am a good father, all right?
My kids love me.

They know that I love them
because I fucking tell them.

And me and Phyllis
are better off now

than we've ever been.

So stop telling me
how to live my life

and how to run my family.

In fact, why don't you
just get the hell out of here?

'Cause you know I'm right?

No, because you're a jerk
who I can't be around right now,

so just get the fuck out!

I'm the jerk?

You're the one out there
fighting wrestlers

and I'm the jerk.

The whole world's laughing
at you like a clown

and I'm the jerk.

I think you're just
a Bayonne jackass.

Fuck you!


You don't talk to me anymore.

You don't tell me
how to live my life.

You don't tell me
how to run my family.

You don't talk to anyone
about me.

You pretend I don't exist
because you know what?

To me, you no longer exist.


I'm out of here, you fuck.

[Chuck] Yeah, get the fuck
out of here, Donnie.

Get the fuck out of here.

[door bangs]

Blow it out. Blow it out. Blow!

Come on, push it, Chuckie!

Push it!

Give it your all.
That's it? That's all you got?

Push it, Chuckie!

A little more.


[heavy breathing]

How do you feel?


- Chuckie?
- [Chuck] What's up, Al?

You ever think about
hanging up the gloves?



I think you should.

You really think it's that time?

[Al] You're overdue.

But you had a hell of a ride.

A lot better than most guys
with your skill set.

You should be proud of yourself.

Better you get out while
you still got all your marbles.

You're doing the right thing.

What's it like?

You know, to...

to stop fighting?

I felt relieved. Most guys do.

No, you're doing
the right thing.

It was a great ride, huh, Al?

[Al exhales]

[Al] Yeah, kid.

I was hanging up the gloves

but I still needed cash.
And I won't lie to you.

I missed the action.

[Artie] I was presented
with the... an opportunity.

- What kind of opportunity?
- A fight.

Well, I mean, uh,
I'm not really fighting, but...

You ever been to the circus?

- Yeah, I've been to the circus.
- Like, a big circus?

Where they got,
like, animals and shit?

The one, you know,
that come around with the...

Yeah, well, they got, like,
uh, bears at the circus.

Big fucking trained bears
that could, like,

walk on balls and shit
and do tricks

and fucking, yeah.

And kids love them.

Anyway, this guy comes
into the club

and he says he wants to put on,
like, a fucking exhibition.

[Artie] He's trying
to set up a fight.

With a bear?

[Artie] Yeah, with a bear.

You want me to fight a bear?

Would you fight a bear?

I mean, like, if want to say no,
I'd completely understand.

It is kind of a fucking
crazy question, I know, but...

How much money you,
uh, you get to fight a bear?

I haven't negotiated with him,

but you'd get a set fee
for the fight,

and then I would give you
a piece of the door.

[Artie] Man, that's
a pretty good fucking deal, man.

What do you say?

I believe in you, Chuck.

I think you can kick
the bear's ass.

- You think I can beat a bear?
- Yeah.

I think you would kick
his ass all over the place.

Come on!

Fight the fucking bear, Chuck!

People paid the money!

Come on, you fucking bear!

Hit him in the fucking balls!

Chuck! Chuck! Chuck!

Chuck! Chuck! Chuck!

Chuck! Chuck! Chuck!

[Chuck] Victor's trainer
finally stopped the fight,

so I guess I won.

My last fight was a victory
against Victor the Bear.

The fight with the bear
was good for laughs,

but now it was time to party.

Coke for the weekend.

- [shushes]
- I, I'm having a big party.

I, I need to really excite
my guests.

Come on, man.

I'm not really
a drug dealer or anything.

[Roger] Really, it's,
it's a lot of money.

You just get me
as much as you can.

I trust you.

You know, Artie tells me
great things about you and I...

You know, I know you
from the past.

Get it to me by Friday?

I'll get you the blow by Friday.

[Roger] By Friday?

I'll get you the coke by Friday.

So Roger needed some coke

and I knew where to get it.

No problem. My connect
could take care of that.

[siren blaring]

Step out of the car!

Get the fuck out of the car!

Get out.

What's going on, officer?

Hands up against the wall.

[police #1] What do we got?
What do we got? What do we got?

- I got a gun.
- [police #2] We got a gun!

- [police #1] Another gun.
- [police #2] We got another gun.

- It's registered.
- That's nice.

- Hard candy. We got candy.
- [police #3] Let me get it.

Ah, look at this.
Hot, it looks to me.

Come on.

Tilt to the side.

Get in.

[Chuck] I made an error
in judgment. Uh, a mistake.

I let down my friends,
my family, my fans,

and most importantly,
my community.

And for that, I truly am sorry.

This is a drug case

and violence and drugs
often go together.

You have indeed committed
a serious offense.

Drugs kill, Mr. Wepner.

So violence is always inherent,

and I believe it's inherent
in you.

You're hereby remanded
to the custody

of the State Department
of Corrections

to serve a prison term
of ten years.

[Chuck] Six-by-eight
and a top bunk.

That's all the room I had
to think about

for the next ten years.

[man] They got me locked up
here with a celebrity.

Ah, I'm not that famous.

Hey, what do you mean?
You fought Ali.

I bet you got one of those
big old houses and everything.


[Chuck] All this for trying
to look like a big shot

that can score some dope
for a bunch of assholes

who couldn't care less about me.

Yeah, prison beat me up

worse than any fighter
could have.

I'd failed.

I'd finally become the man

I thought I fought so hard
to avoid.

I was exactly where a thug
from Bayonne should be.

Locked up.

You know, Stallone
based Rocky off me.

Well, at least that's
what he said in the papers.

You know Stallone?

I auditioned for Rocky II.

He's a cool guy.

[man] Wow.

Damn, you gotta be
making bank from these movies.

[Sylvester] It was bad apples.

You know, sometimes you eat
good apples...

[Chuck] Just like out of some
bizarre dream, there he was.

You make a lot of money, huh?

Well, you know,
a little bit here and there.

How much? How much, man?

- Come on, man, I don't know.
- Come on.

- It cost me a lot of money.
- [all laugh]

[Chuck] No fucking way.

Hey, Chuck.

What are you doing here?

I'm doing time.
What are you doing here?

Doing time?

Oh, go hard.

I'm doing a prison movie, Chuck.
It's called Lock Up.

Hey, you guys, come here,
come here.

You see this guy here?

[Sylvester] This guy
was the inspiration for Rocky.

Yeah, him.

Yeah, this guy right here.

Hey, guys,
you gotta do me a favor.

You gotta take care
of this guy, okay?

- We'll take care of him.
- All right, thanks, Sly.

[Sylvester] Hey, listen, Chuck,
it was good seeing you.

I got to get back to work.
It was good seeing you all.

I'll probably...

Maybe I'll see you all,
I'm sure.

You guys, make sure.

I'm telling you, this is...
This guy's the real guy.

- All right, Sly.
- Good seeing you.

[Sylvester] All right, Chuck.

- All right, I'll see you, okay?
- All right, Sly.

Take care, guys. See you around.

Seeing him in there was hard.

He was doing so well.

The real Rocky here.

And me,
I was trolling the bottom.

I feel like such
a piece of shit.

I mean...

I know I fucked this all up.

I'm willing
to, uh, wait for you.

[Linda] If you think
you can change, then...

you can come live with me
when you get out.

That would be...

the best thing, ever.

I mean, I got nothing anymore
but you and I know it.

I care about you.

It's good to know someone does.

Don't give up.


[Chuck] The only thing
that got me through prison

was knowing that Linda
would be waiting for me

on the other side.

[Linda] Welcome home, Chuck.

[Chuck] I mean, when that fence
opened up,

I knew the true meaning
of a second chance.

I've never been so happy
and so scared at the same time.

Happy to be with her and, uh...

Time to celebrate.

...scared shitless
I'd fuck it up somehow.

What's wrong?

It's... I, um, you know,
I don't deserve all this.

Yes, you do.

I love you, Linda.

Oh, I love you, too, Chuck.

[Chuck] Life was the best
when it was simple.

We didn't have much
and I wasn't a movie star

or a heavyweight champ,

but I didn't need to be
any of that.

I had someone who cared about me
and a place to go home to.

I, uh...

Will you marry me, Linda?

[Linda chuckles]

- [Chuck] Yeah?
- Yes.

- Yes?
- Yes!

Oh, my god!


You want to marry me?


[Chuck] I was back
to selling liquor again.

It wasn't the best job,
but I was making it work.

More importantly,
I was keeping my nose clean.

- Hey, uh, Dave.
- Hey.

What the fuck is this?

It's your paycheck.

I think it's missing
a zero at the end.

Look, things ain't what they
used to be, you know, right?

Nobody's paying top dollar

for the bring
your own booze anymore.

Yeah, it's not my booze,
but, you know, it'd be nice

if I can get a bit bigger
of a check, you know.

I'm surprised here
because, you know,

I sold more liquor
for this company

than any of the salesmen.

Twenty years ago.
It's the 21st century.

The only guys that are famous
from boxing anymore

are Ali, Tyson,
George Foreman, Rocky.

You're a good salesman, Chuck.

Just not as famous
as you once were.

Uh, I went to look for you
on the floor,

but they said
you was up here now.

It's been so many years, Chuck.

I'm an idiot.

I love you, bro.

So, uh, tell me
about prison, bro.



You got a sec?

What's going on?

I got a shop called Ginsberg's
and we do sports memorabilia.

We do all that kind of stuff,
you know?

"Ginsberg Sports Memorabilia."

We deal a lot
of high-end clientele,

and, uh, you know, we want
to talk business with you.

You should come down.

So you do, like,
you know, signings?

All that kind of stuff?

We do everything.

We do everything sports
memorabilia and stuff.

Good money.

You come in.
You sign some stuff.

It's way better than this.

We deal with, like,
Muhammad Ali, you know?

- [Chuck] Oh, you got Muhammad?
- Yeah, Muhammad.

Uh, Jackie Robinson.

Uh, Jake LaMotta.
Like, everybody.

All right.
Well, it was nice meeting you.

Can you... Can you sign this?

I know, I'm sorry.

All right, here you go.

You're the best, champ.
Thank you so much.

I had my doubts about Olson.

He was up to no good
and I fucking knew it,

but the money came so easy.

See, it's hard to make
the right decision

when you know the money's
right there in your face.

- Here you go. Here's a photo.
- I'm so excited to meet you.

- What's your name?
- Theresa.

Theresa, all right.

- There you are.
- Get the next one.

I'll never share.

Oh, my god,
I'll follow you forever.

Thank you. Absolutely.

[Chuck] The more money
I got off Olson,

the more I kept getting
the feeling

that he was up to no good.

I couldn't stop, though.

I mean, 300 bucks
for signing some gloves

and another $200 for a picture?

I knew it was too good
to be true

but it beat busting
my ass selling booze.

[Olson] Chuck.
Hey, man, how you doing?

- Come on in, Come on in.
- Hey, John.

- How you doing?
- Look at this place.

[Olson] Yeah.
Did you see upstairs? Ginsburg?

- It's awesome.
- [Olson] Right.

You gotta get a boxing ring
in the middle.

[Olson] Yeah, yeah, we should.
You're right.

Come on in. Come on in.
Let's hit some balls.

Let's, let's talk.

Oh, you're gonna
make me play baseball?

- [Olson] Yeah, why not?
- All right.

- Right? A guy like you?
- Look at this.

Really smack
the crap out of the ball.

It's been awhile
since I've been in a cage.

Yeah, I'm glad you came back.

I'm sorry I couldn't see you
the other day.

I had a thing.
I was dealing with Muhammad Ali.

Yeah, I came by
and you weren't here.

Yeah, I was in Vegas, you know.

Let me ask you something.

You, uh, you know, with these...

with these signatures
and all that,

what kind of money,
you know, is in that?

We can make
a lot of money, Chuck.

And I'm not talking
about 20 bucks an autograph.

All right, I saw what
you were doing the other day.

- Yeah.
- And that's great, okay?

It's a good little scratch,
a little side thing.

But we think you should be
at the next level.

I can make you a lot more money.

- Yeah?
- Yeah.

- Listen, do me a favor.
- Yeah.

Hit that ball.

- Hit this ball?
- Hit that ball.


You know what you just hit?

[Chuck] No, what'd I just hit?

You just hit a $10,000 baseball.
Is what you just hit.

[Chuck] There's no such thing
as a $10,000 baseball.

It's a Babe Ruth.

Olson was a real fucking weasel.

Slick as they come,
that guy was.

I didn't like him,
but I liked the money.


Holy shit.

Oh, Johnny, Johnny, Johnny.

You done good.

Unbelievable. That's Babe Ruth.

That's fucking Babe Ruth!

I'll just throw it in there.

[Olson] Who could I do today?
Who am I gonna be today?

You gotta love Babe Ruth.

My grandfather saw him
in Philadelphia.

He's so lucky.

I wish I was alive and I wish
I was back then.

What are all these?

Ah, you know, I've been doing
some signings recently.

Trying to make some extra cash.

Getting fan mail.
Look. All these.

[Linda] Since we got
some extra coming in,

I thought maybe
we could go away with a trip.

[Chuck] I love that idea.
Paris. Warren.

[camera shutter clicks]

[Corbin] This is going to be
the biggest raid in FBI history.

It's called Operation Bullpen.

It centers around
certain criminals

who think it's okay
to forge memorabilia autographs.

- Incredible player.
- Oh, my god.

- Did you just hear that?
- Yeah, I did.

- Oh, my god.
- This guy Olson's unbelievable.

[Diamond] Oh, my gosh.

Let's get these fuckers.

[car door bangs close]

Special Agent-in-Charge
John Corbin.

We have an arrest warrant
for John Olson.

- [Palazzo] Where is he?
- He's downstairs.

Oh, shit.

Fuck you!

Olson was a real con man.

He was part of
a multimillion-dollar

memorabilia forgery ring

that was a coast-to-coast

Turn around!

- There's no crying in baseball.
- [Olson] Fuck you.

- [Warfield] Fuck you.
- Come on, man, those are real.

It was called Operation Bullpen

because most of the swag
was baseball stuff.

[Olsen] You see,
the inventory comes in

and I just take it and I just,
you know, I clean it up.

You know what I mean?
I just clean...

I just clean it up.
I take the ball.

I take the autograph. I take...

Now, looking back on it...

...make sure if it's, like,
you know, age and stuff.

And I just...
I do, like, detail work...

[Chuck] ...I'd probably be
better off selling booze. forte is detail lifts.

My part was small potatoes,
but try telling that to Linda.


Chuck Wepner.

Chuck Wepner, I have
a warrant for your arrest.

[Maddox] You have the right
to remain silent.

You have the right
to an attorney.

If you cannot afford one,
one will be provided for you.

Bring enough guys
to arrest an old man?

What's going on?

Ma'am, your husband's
being taken into custody

for his involvement
in a sports memorabilia fraud.

There must be a mistake.
Tell him it's a mistake, Chuck.

Ma'am, if you didn't
see anything,

you will be obstructing
this case. Let's go.

Don't worry, honey.

Call my lawyer.
He'll take care of this.

You tell them it's a mistake!

[door closes]

We got everything
on tape already, Chuck.

What do you got on tape?

Everything. The deals.
The autographs.

The conspiracy
with you and Olson.

What do you do with John Olson?

I sign autographs.

Who wants your autograph?

You're a has-been.
You're washed up.

You fought a bear,
like, 40 years ago.

What have you done since?
Tell me.

In all of these, uh, wiretaps,

all this stuff you've been
talking about,

photographs, all that,

did you ever see me sign
any name

other than Chuck Wepner
or anything?

[Matheson] No.

So can I leave?

[Linda] You had the world
in your hands

and you go and fuck it up!

Why is that, Chuck? Why?

- Sorry, I... I didn't know.
- Bullshit!

You're not sorry and you knew
damn well what you were doing.

This is typical Chuck Wepner.

A guy who thinks
he can do anything he wants

because the world
keeps shitting on him.

You know, Chuck,
we all get shit on!

I don't need
a lecture right now.

Yes, you do need a lecture!

You need a lecture more than
you need anything in your life!

I just hope
it's not too late for you.


[Chuck] Hey, hey, it's not.

Don't you give up on me, Linda.
Don't you do it.

Don't give up on you?

So I can come visit you
in prison the rest of your life?

All I did was sign my name.
I didn't do anything wrong.

How do I know
you're not lying to me?

Why would we be here

if you were just signing
your name?

You look beautiful, by the way.

Fuck you!

[Linda] You're a fucking idiot!

Putting me in this position.

I fucking do nothing

but good things for you,
and you're fucking me.

You're fucking me.

I'm gonna fucking
grow old by myself.

I can't take care of myself.
I have no money coming in.

It's all from you,
so I'm fucked.

I'm fucked. Thanks, Chuck.

Okay, they're ready for you.

Now, Chuck,
we're all disappointed.

We're all fans.

[lawyer] You know, I...

Dealing with a degenerate
like this guy, Olson,

what the hell
was that all about?

I mean, come on, man.

You're getting too old
for this shit.

All right? Turn it over.

[Ferguson] Your client
pleads guilty to one count.

He does one day...

[Chuck] And just like that,

I walk out with a slap
on the wrist.

My so-called participation
in this was a joke

and I was glad to have it
behind me.

Just when I was clear
of the Feds,

the universe decide to take
a dump on me one more time.

Last time I saw you,
you was behind bars.

Well, I'm out now.

Broke as shit,
but I'm a free man.

Oh, kid, that's a shame.

[Chuck] Turns out Stallone was
filming something in Bayonne.

Right in my backyard.

Oh, we're doing this movie
Cop Land.

- Any good?
- Oh, yeah, it's great.

Big kid, De Niro is in it.

No way, Bobby D?
The Raging Bull himself?

- Why, you want to meet him?
- Yeah.

I'll get him.

Mr. Stallone, you're on standby.
They're ready for you on set.

Yeah, sure.

Hey, hey,
do you know who this is?

No, sir, I don't.

This is Chuck Wepner.

Hi, Mr. Wepner,
nice to meet you.

- I'm Maura.
- Hello, hi.

He was a boxer.

Oh, is this the fighter
you saw fight Ali?

- Yeah. Yeah.
- Wow.

This must be something,
standing next to Rocky, right?


Yeah, cute, huh?

You always hire such smart
alecks on these shoots?

Oh, Chuck, she didn't mean
anything by it.

You know what I mean?
She's young.

She don't even know who I am.

Maura, do me a favor, now.
I'll be with you in a minute.

- All right, just tell them.
- Okay.

You see Stallone?

Yeah, I saw him.

I felt like a real outsider
on that set.

Like a...
like a fan or something.

What are you talking about?

I mean, everyone calls me
the Real Rocky

but what do I get for it?

You should get compensated
for what they took from you.

You know?

What Stallone
did to you wasn't right.

[Linda] You've been a fighter
your whole life.

You're gonna throw in
the towel now?

What do you want me to do,

I want you to fight him.

You want me
to kick Stallone's ass?

[Linda] Yeah, I do.

[Chuck] You've lost
your marbles, Linda.

No, I'm serious.

Go kick his ass.

You really want me to kick
Sylvester Stallone's ass?

Yeah, I do,
but not with your fists.

You do it with lawyers.

You sue him.

- For what?
- For ripping off your life.

He didn't rip off my life.

He said I... I inspired Rocky.

Oh, you're a lawyer now?

You know what that means?
No, you don't.

So go talk to a lawyer.

[Linda] They made billions
off you, Chuck.

And what did you get for it?

Nothing but a pat on the back.

Think about it.

It's not so crazy.

I don't know, I mean,
I'm not used to suing people.

Last time I was in court,
they were putting me in jail.

You got nothing to lose.

[Linda] You should.

Get what's yours.

It's the other way around now.

It's your turn.

It's time to lace up them
gloves, honey.

So you want to fight
Sylvester Stallone?

Can I?

You do have a case, Mr. Wepner.

I've been pouring
through the records

as well as the actual
Rocky films.

- So we have a case?
- [Anthony] I'd say so.

I think you got a good one.

Will you represent me?

It'd be our privilege to do so.

But won't he have, like,

big Hollywood lawyers
who are gonna fight this?

[Anthony] Yeah, he will.

- [door opens]
- All right. Buh-bye.

[Linda] Who was that?

It was the lawyers.

What'd they say?

We're suing Stallone.

We are?

Hey, Martin, relax. I got this.

I'm walking to him right now.

Yeah, I got this.





Marty's on the phone.

Tell him I'll call him back
in an hour.

I'm about to shoot a scene.

He says it's important.

I'll call him back in an hour.

Talk to Marty.

Yeah, Marty,
what's so important?

I'm in the middle of shooting
a scene here.


What are you talking about?

No. No, I'm not doing it.

What do you mean
I have to do it?

No, that's ridiculous.

Look, Marty, it's got no merit.
It's ridiculous.

You know what,

Marty, you're the best lawyer
in Hollywood.

Get it thrown out.

[Chuck] I was finally ready
to fight for what was mine.

I didn't want to hurt Stallone,
but I couldn't be broke

while my life was being lived
out by a bunch of guys

who made a fortune off me.

You know, I just want to go
on record here to let you know

that this whole lawsuit
is an insult. Okay?

I'm here only because my lawyer
wants me here,

but I shouldn't even be here.

So go ahead, ask your questions.

- Okay.
- All right.

Let's talk about
what role Chuck Wepner

played in the Rocky movies.

What role?
He didn't have a role.

Rocky was my idea.

I had it long before
I ever heard of Chuck Wepner.

He had no role whatsoever.

He was...
He was inspiration. That's it.

So you admit that my client
was your inspiration

for writing this film?

No, it was inspiring
to watch Wepner fight Ali,

but he didn't inspire Rocky.

That's two entirely
different things.

But you did credit Chuck
publicly on numerous occasions

with being the inspiration
for Rocky, am I correct?

It was a marketing thing
for credibility.

It wasn't a creative thing.

Look, you know what?

I don't even know
why we're even in here.

- You know that?
- Just...

You're a... You know what?

- Just answer his question!
- You're a real phony.

You're a dick.

- Let's take a break.
- All right.

She's typing out everything.

Everything you're saying.

It's on a transcript, all right?


They'll use it against you.
Yes or no.

What do you think...
Wait a minute, Martin.

You don't think they're
using it against me now?

Don't you understand
there's more at stake here?

Don't you understand
I have a reputation?

- I have a reputation.
- I'm a star.

People look at me.

They also...
They see me as Rocky.

They don't just see me as Sly
and what they're gonna do

is they're gonna think
I stole from this guy.

This guy is stealing from us.
He didn't do anything.

We don't need Rocky in there.

- We need me in there.
- It's bigger than that.

How we doing in there?

So far, so good.

He doesn't sound too happy
with me.

Chuck, that's not your problem.

I want you to cancel all
our appointments

for today, all right?

- You all right?
- Yeah.

- All right.
- [coughs]

Let's continue.

Um, you're aware

that Chuck wrestled Andre
the Giant in 1976

- in Shea Stadium, correct?
- Yeah.

Yeah, everybody knows that.
It was a big deal.

Okay, well, didn't Rocky
wrestle a character

you called "Thunderlips" played
by Hulk Hogan in Rocky III?

Oh, you guys
are really bottom feeders.

Is that where you're going
with this? Really?

Look, Chuck Wepner had nothing.

Zero. Not a thing to do
with the creation of Rocky.

And you want to know the truth?

Rocky was more based

on Rocky Marciano,
if you wanna know.

Okay, but you didn't credit
Rocky Marciano

as being the inspiration
for Rocky.

[Sylvester] So what?

You credit
my client, Chuck Wepner.

So what?

Wepner could take a punch.

So could a million
other fighters.

What's the big deal?

But you didn't credit
a million other fighters

for inspiring Rocky.

You credit my client,
Chuck Wepner.

Rocky was my idea!

I came up with it. Nobody else.

You know what, you guys
are really something.

You know that?
You got me in here.

This is nothing more than
a shakedown.

You know that?

Just answer yes.
He's just doing...

Yeah, but you don't see Ali
suing me over Apollo, do you?

Look, you know what,
are we done here?

Are we done? Are you done
with your questions?

- That's great.
- Okay.

Okay, that's it,
we're taking a lunch.

- You know what, I don't want it.
- Okay...

Ali's lawyer might be
coming to you soon.

Sly, nothing personal.

It's no hard feelings.
This is just business.


Chuck, you...


You play a fighter in the movies
but you ain't no fighter.

Why don't you do yourself
a favor and go back inside

before you get hurt?


You know something, Chuck?

This is all a bunch of bullshit
and you know it is.

So I want you to remember this.

You can get your lawyers
and you can sue me.

But in the end,

it ain't gonna matter
'cause nobody...

nobody's going to
remember you, Chuck.

[Sylvester] And me?

They're gonna remember me
and you want to know why?

Because I gave them Rocky.

I gave them a hero.

I gave them somebody
to look up to.

What'd you ever give the world,
Chuck, huh?

What'd you ever give them?


Not a goddamn thing.

- Guess what we just did?
- No, what?

We just won summary judgment

against Sylvester
fucking Stallone!

You're kidding?

No, I ain't kidding.



[imitating punching]
Out! Out!


You the man, Rocco.

Ching, ching.

[Chuck] It was the final round.

Stallone fought hard

but Mango got me off the ropes
and we stood center ring.

It all came down to this.

I needed a knockout to win,
to take my life back.

I heard the judge told them
to come up with a number.

Otherwise, if they lost,

she would and her number
would be a very big one.


And just like that,
down goes Stallone.


[Martin] Well done.


[Chuck] I was never

the heavyweight
champion of the world.

I was never a movie star
or a billionaire.

I was just a regular Joe
from Bayonne

who went the distance
with Ali and Stallone.

And that was good enough for me.

Because in the end,
it's all about the ride

and God knows
I had me one hell of a ride.

[closing music]

Subtitles by explosiveskull