Can someone please help me identify this?

I hope to be able to provide sufficiently detailed information about this movie I'm looking for (I'm guessing it's a psychological drama). I have been trying to find out what movie it was ever since. This is one of my last hopes of identifying it.


I think I've seen it on May, 2011 on TV, and it's about a man (English or French, in his 30s) who started fist fighting as a job (in some underground entertainment business, I think), in order to support his wife and daughter (they were having it rough, living in a small apartment, having some basic needs met).

He had a brother named Charlie (unfortunately, this the only name I can remember ... I feel stupid for this), who always took the easiest options (and risky deals) in order to get money, drugs and sex. I think he might even be the one who recommended his brother for this job.

The fights were taking place in large, dark rooms, with low ceilings (and some pillars I suppose), which looked like the basement of a building. There was no ring, only a crowd of people surrounding the fight scene. (I am not sure about those details)

He was discovered to be surprisingly good at this, which brought him money and reputation (even though he was feeling somewhat guilty for beating up other people, leading to an inner conflict). His last, biggest and most anticipated match was against a tall, mighty guy (which I think had some Hispanic traits), who was the current champion.

He won the fight, leaving his opponent unconscious while the crowd picked him up in joy. He wondered whatever happened to that guy. He later found him hospitalized and blind, for which he felt guilty like never before. Also, he discovered that this was a very nice man (adding up to his guilt) and learned from him what the fights and tournaments were all about:

His boss and his opponent's boss were two old, rich, grumpy, alienated brothers, whose only satisfaction was to have his fighter defeat his brother's, in an occasional event that was held once every two years. The fights and tournaments were just his boss's way of selecting the best fighter.

In an attempt to set things straight, he confronts/attacks his boss (who was happy to finally win a battle against his brother in 8 years or so), stealing money from him. He gave some money to the blind guy and brought some for his wife who turned him down because "there's blood on that money".

Towards the end of the movie, his boss (and a hired killer) come after him to get his money back and threaten to kill him (and possibly his family as well) for the theft.

At this point, a group of people from his small town (or village) led by his wife, stood by him to protect him, while she questioned his boss's morality in front of everybody, who now chickened out, knowing he was guilty of what she was saying. He retreated from this confrontation (taking his money back) but leaving the main character alive.

  • Sounds like a Van Damme film. – coleopterist Dec 23 '13 at 4:59
  • The main character looked more like Liam Neeson rather than Van Damme. He wasn't the muscular type. His strength was average, but he was agile and used his brain in battle. Only later he started working out as the fights were getting more and more difficult. – Jay Lorn Dec 23 '13 at 8:53

That sounds like the film, The Big Man (Crossing the Line in the US), starring Liam Neeson, Joanne Whalley-Kilmer and Billy Connolly.

An unemployed Scottish miner (Liam Neeson) is forced into bare-knuckle boxing to make ends meet.

It's set in Scotland. It's a pretty good film. The fighting scenes are quite brutal, plus there is a very brief post credits scene at the end that vaguely hints that it doesn't end happily after all.

  • That looks like a winner. Well done. – coleopterist Dec 25 '13 at 5:01
  • Thank you so much! I see now that a few things were incorrect about my description of the movie. – Jay Lorn Dec 28 '13 at 12:31

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