Tender-Hearted Tiger: Max Baer

By Boxing News on November 30, 2018
Tender-Hearted Tiger: Max Baer
Madcap Maxie's hijinks short-circuited what should have been a long and fruitful reign.

Ron Howard may have given Max Baer a raw deal in his film Cinderella Man, but the “raw deal” was the real deal in the square circle, as this excellent documentary reveals. He was heavyweight champion of the world and as such should be a legendary figure. But his constant hijinks short-circuited what might have been a long and fruitful reign. When asked if he squandered his title on wine, women and song, Baer replied, “Two outta three ain’t bad.” That’s Madcap Maxie in a nutshell…

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Max Baer "Tender Hearted Tiger" Documentary (Restoration)

Discuss this in our forums

Related Articles


This is a place to express and/or debate your boxing views. It is not a place to offend anyone. If we feel comments are offensive, the post will be deleted and continuing offenders will be blocked from the site. Please keep it clean and civil! We want to have fun. We want some salty language and good-natured exchanges. But let's keep our punches above the belt...
  1. The Fight Film Collector 08:37am, 05/28/2014

    Norman, great critique of this film, and notes about Baer.  I found this footage and did the restoration because it was not only rare, but rare to see this kind of profile on a boxer produced locally.  I believe the film dates in the 1960s, as Max didn’t die until 1959, and Max Jr. in the film was already in the Beverly Hillbillies.  And, I agree with you than the fact-checking sucks.  The filmmakers spent a lot of time interviewing the family, but didn’t follow Baer’s record.  Some of the mistakes regarding Baer’s career timeline are inexcusable, as is the inference that Schmeling was a Nazi.  Otherwise, best of luck with your book!

  2. Norm Marcus 03:53am, 05/25/2014

    I have seen this documentary before. Some of the clips and interviews are great and give us a real insight into Max. Now I know this doc. was made by the local CBS station in Sacramento, KPIX in 1956. what amazes me is that they got a lot of the dates and facts wrong in Max’s life.
    The film had him fighting Galento BEFORE Loius. Actually the Louis fight was in 1935 and Max fought Galento at the end of his career in 1940!
    He married Mary Ellen Sullivan right after the Louis fight not before.
    The film states that Schmeling fought Louis and beat him, then Schmeling took on Baer. Again not true. Schmeling LOST to Baer in 1933, 3 years before the German beat Joe in 1936.
    Now these are just dates, I’m not trying to be picky but these mistakes change a lot of the importance of these events.
    No mention is made of the fact that Baer’s father was Jewish and thats why Max wore the Star of David on his trunks for the Schmeling fight. Hitler listened to the Baer/Schmeling fight in Berlin. The Nazis considered Baer a Jew and when he beat the Nazi champion it was world news. The 1933 Ring Magazine - Fight of the Year! No mention was made of this. That fight was the high point of Max’s life. It made him a super star.
    Max led his public life as a Jew. He sometimes attended synagogue on Saturdays. But no mention was made of any of this. He wasn’t religious but secular. Yet he felt a kinship for the Jewish people and what was happening to them in the 1930s and 1940s.
    How do I know all this stuff? Well as many of you know I wrote a book on Baer’s life and spent long hours listening to a lot of the family in Livermore.
    Max has recently been accepted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.
    A great film but the mistakes hurt it. My editor at boxing.com would have my head for such sloppy journalism.
    If you’d like to know more about Max, go and click on my name under Staff Writers here and all my stories will come up for you. Many about Max Baer.
    Look for my first one “Every Punch Was Aimed at Hitler” it’ll get you started for real on Baer.
    By the way still trying to sell my book on Max. If you know of a publisher interested in a best seller let me know!

  3. peter 04:31pm, 11/01/2012

    Loved it. “There will never be another Max Baer, and that’s how it should.”—Jack Dempsey. Well said.

Leave a comment