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The Great White Hype

Release Date: May 3, 1996 (US)
Director: Reginald Hudlin
Writters: Tony Hendra, Ron Shelton
Jamie Foxx as: Hassan El Ruk’n
Co-Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum, Damon Wayans
Runtime: 91 min
Genre: Comedy
Rated: R for language and brief sexuality
Box office: $7.8 million
Links: Imdb


Plot Summary

Rev. Fred Sultan (Samuel L. Jackson) is a shrewd boxing promoter and manager whose meal ticket is heavyweight champion James “The Grim Reaper” Roper (Damon Wayans), a fighter whose skill and confidence significantly outstrips his intelligence. While the top-ranked contender for Roper’s title is Marvin Shabazz (Michael Jace), Sultan isn’t too keen on the idea of Shabazz fighting Roper — it seems that both fighters are black, and Sultan’s figures show that mixed race matches stir up a lot more media attention and pay-per-view customers. Eager to find a white challenger for Roper, Sultan digs up Terry Conklin (Peter Berg), who won a Golden Gloves fight against Roper many years ago but is now out of the game and fronting a rock band called Massive Head Wound. Thanks to a few bribes and a couple of fixed fights, Sultan is able to arrange for Conklin to be next in line to battle “The Grim Reaper.” However, Conklin is taking his renewed career as a boxer quite seriously, while Roper, convinced that Conklin doesn’t stand a chance, has let himself go and gained a lot of weight. Suddenly Sultan realizes that Roper might just lose the piece-of-cake fight he’s so carefully arranged, while journalist Mitchell Kane (Jeff Goldblum) smells a rat in Conklin’s sudden rise to ranking status.


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  • Jamie Foxx performed a song called “Knocked Nekked (From the Waist Down)”,  which appeared on the original motion picture soundtrack for The Great White Hype.