6.3/10
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Tyson (1995)

Unrated | | Biography, Drama, Sport | TV Movie 29 April 1995
The story of Mike Tyson. From his early days as a 12 year old amateur with a powerful punch, to the undisputed title of "Heavyweight Champion of the World", and ultimately to his conviction... See full summary »

Director:

Uli Edel

Writers:

José Torres (novel), Robert Johnson
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George C. Scott ... Cus D'Amato
Paul Winfield ... Don King
Michael Jai White ... Mike Tyson
James Sikking ... Bill Clayton
Malcolm-Jamal Warner ... Rory Holloway
Tony Lo Bianco ... Jim Jacobs
Clark Gregg ... Kevin Rooney
Holt McCallany ... Teddy Atlas
Kristen Wilson ... Robin Givens
Sheila Wills Sheila Wills ... Ruth Roper
Regal Hanley Regal Hanley ... Young Mike Tyson
Lilyan Chauvin ... Camille Ewald
Rebekah Johnson ... Desiree Washington
George Murdock ... Baranski
Mane Rich Andrew ... Young Rodney Tyson (as Mane Andrew)
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Storyline

The story of Mike Tyson. From his early days as a 12 year old amateur with a powerful punch, to the undisputed title of "Heavyweight Champion of the World", and ultimately to his conviction for rape. The story of his turbulent life moves quickly, never focusing for long on anything in particular. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Sport

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 April 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tyson See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Former Boxing Referee Mills Lane has a quick cameo as himself in this movie. He was the same referee that worked the fight between Mike Tyson and Evander Hollyfield. The same fight that was made famous when Tyson bit off a portion of Hollyfield's ear during the fight. See more »

Goofs

When Cus D'Amato admonishes his live-in tenant trainees for eating his ice cream, a Nutrition Facts label is visible on the side of the box. These were used by the the U.S.D.A. and F.D.A. after 1993, but this was still in the 1980s. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Mike Tyson: I was just a kid when I first got to see Muhammad Ali. I saw the way people looked up to him, saw their smiling faces. And I said to myself 'That's what I wanna be, I wanna be champ of the world'.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Let's Not Feel Sorry For A Convicted Rapist
20 March 2014 | by Theo RobertsonSee all my reviews

I'll be totally honest and say when Tyson beat Trevor Berbick to become the youngest world heavyweight champion I was mesmerised by this boxer . Lightning hand speed , power and someone who livened up the rather staid and fractured heavyweight division that was being left behind in a golden age of boxing that featured Leonard , Hagler , Hearns .Perhaps the most sympathetic thing about him was his tale of why he took up boxing , of the older kids beating him up and learning how to fight to merely survive the human jungle of New York's mean streets . This however turned out to be a fairy tale and the reality was Tyson learned boxing in a reform school where he was sent to having carried a series of street robberies and where he met Cus D'Amato who effectively adopted the thug . It was D'Amato who steered Tyson from crime . As well as being a mentor he was also something a spin doctor and the myth of " poor unfortunate victim of bullying " was just that - a myth but it makes for a nice story . After all a violent sociopath is no role model , especially and ironically in the world of boxing where an audience in general and an American audience in particular like their heroes to be good guys . When D'Amato died in 1985 not long before Tyson became world champion the only calming force in Tyson's life was gone and the boxer was heading for the rocks . Before his loss to Buster Douglas there were stories of street brawls outside the ring and his fights inside the ring were often farcical . The division lacked depth and his victories were either against fighters who were past their sell by date like Larry Holmes or against opponents who'd go out of their way to merely last the distance like Bonecrusher Smith or against opponents who'd be in awe and freeze such as Frank Bruno or Carl Williams . All this was before he was convicted of rape of course

To be fair this HBO bio-pic doesn't sugar coat the boxer as much as I remember . It does point out that Tyson the child was disturbingly street wise and was heavily involved in crime " Forty convictions ? Not even Al Capone had forty convictions ! " . It also makes a point that even in his teen years Tyson had a run in over a girl and that he contracted venereal disease . Not much of a role model is he ? but at least it doesn't paint him as a victim - well until later . Enter Paul Winfield who gives an all too realistic performance as Don King , a man so greedy and exploitative that he's a walking advert for Stalinism .Winfield has a lot of fun in the role and while you might say the performance is a little too obvious it'd be impossible to play King in a subtle manner as he's one of the most flamboyant , larger than life

characters in the world today . He goes out of his way to grasp the milk cow of Tyson in his talons . This is where things start falling apart to a degree . King exploits Tyson when he's at his most vulnerable but remember Tyson is a street smart thug who one would expect to know all about King . Heck I was a skinny Scottish teenager in the 1980s living on an obscure Island and I knew all about Don King so why not Tyson ? Total greed on Tyson's part wouldn't have everything to do with it ? No of course not . . It also insinuates that Tyson fell in love with the wrong woman - Robin Givens - and this contributed to his downfall . Well if you beat up your wife you can't blame her for walking out on you . Interesting this domestic abuse seems to be played down . Oh don't tell me she was just interested in Tyson's money . None of us are privy to the marriage between Givens and Tyson but if she was after Tyson's money wouldn't she have signed a pre nuptial agreement ? The amount of negative press against Givens from this period was disgraceful and it's not like Tyson had a glittering reputation where violence outside the ring was concerned .

Disgracefully when the rape case was done and dusted there were those commentators who were quite happy to fling more innuendo about the rape victim crying rape due to Tyson's wealth etc . The bio-pic does seem to suggest that we're supposed to make up our own mind if Tyson was guilty or not but the fact that a jury who sat in court all day everyday and listened to all the evidence from all sides found Tyson guilty of rape so there's no ambiguity involved - Tyson is a rapist and to suggest otherwise is a disgrace to both the victim and the rule of law


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