The Great White Hype (1996)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Boxing is more than just a sport -- it's also a business and a con game in this satirical comedy. 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. Jon Lovitz, Cheech Marin, and Corbin Bernsen highlight the supporting cast, while members of the well-regarded alternative rock band Local H appear as Massive Head Wound.
R (adult situations/language)
Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment


Samuel L. Jackson
as Rev. Fred Sultan
Jamie Foxx
as Hassan El Ruk'n
Cheech Marin
as Julio Escobar
Method Man
as Himself
Corbin Bernsen
as Peter Prince
Peter Berg
as Terry Conklin
Damon Wayans
as James `The Grim Reaper' Roper
Jeff Goldblum
as Mitchell Kane
Lamont Johnson
as Palace Guard No. 2
Deezer D
as Roper's Crony No. 2
Anthony Johnson
as Sultan's Valet
John Rhys-Davies
as Johnny Windsor
Michael Fairman
as Chairman Jerry Schwartz
Jarrett Lennon
as Jarrett Kane
Walter Addison
as Michael Katz
Albert Hall
as Roper's Manager
Nedra Volz
as Old Lady
Brian Setzer
as Himself
Art Evans
as Minister
Michael Jace
as Marvin Shabazz
Susan Gibney
as Vivian
Duane Davis
as Palace Guard No. 1
Rocky Carroll
as Artemus St. John Saint
Reno Wilson
as Roper's Crony No. 3
A.J. Johnson
as Sultan's Valet
Phil Buckman
as Lee the Drummer
Brad Blaisdell
as Press Corps No. 1
Sam Whipple
as Artie
Rick Scarry
as White Middle American
Alyson Croft
as Pretty Young Woman No. 2
Lydell M. Cheshier
as Palace Guard No. 3
Leon Frederick
as Roper Cornerman No. 1
Richard Steele
as Referee
Stu Nahan
as Fight Announcer No. 1
James Hardie
as Press Corps No. 2
Al Rodrigo
as Press Member No. 1
G. John Slagle
as Kane's Cameraman
Ferdie Pacheco
as Fight Announcer No. 2
Jonathan P. Hicks
as Sports Writer
Craig Modderno
as Sports Writer
Tim Kawakami
as Himself
Elizabeth LaRou
as Pretty Young Woman No. 1
Cristal L. House
as Pretty Young Woman
Irv L. Dotten
as Roper's Crony No. 1
James H. Hays
as Roper's Cornerman
Randy 'Roughhouse' Harris
as Palace Guard No. 4
Christal L. House
as Pretty Young Woman No. 3
James H. Hayes
as Roper Cornerman No. 2
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Critic Reviews for The Great White Hype

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (5)

As satire, Hype dares to play the race card but folds too soon.

December 31, 1999
USA Today
Top Critic

The joke is often funny and the actors all look like they're having fun, but it's still a one-joke movie that falls short of its potential

September 10, 2005

A knockout comedy...Peter Berg is a trip!

March 10, 2005

Breezy, biting fun.

Full Review… | January 7, 2005

Quote not available.

Full Review… | November 10, 2006
Qwipster's Movie Reviews

Quote not available.

July 28, 2005
Fantastica Daily

Audience Reviews for The Great White Hype


The joke is often funny and the actors all look like they're having fun, but it's still a one-joke movie that falls short of its potential .

Greg Wood
Greg Wood

both hilarious and accurate, this scathing critique of boxing leaves no jaw un-punched - especially Don King's fat mug

Steven Wright
Steven Wright

First off DAMN Salli Richardson looked good. Kind of reminded me of a young Pam Grier. Typical comedy sports movie. Heavy in the racial tones making that about so much. Funny the amount of stars in this thing. I don't get how they ended it like they did when it felt more like the middle of a movie. Complete crap ending. I guess maybe it was interesting in its day but I was failed to be impressed.

Aurelius Duchtius
Aurelius Duchtius

Super Reviewer

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