You know the documentary film crew "interviewing" boxing brothers Dicky and Micky at the beginning of The Fighter?
SnagFilms, the free online movie site which recently announced that it was expanding its up-to-now non-fiction library to include narrative fiction films, has the real documentary on its hands. It's High On Crack Street: Lost Lives In Lowell. Shot by Mary Ann DeLeo, Rich Farrell and John Alpert in 1998, the hour-long piece profiles three citizens of the Massachusetts mill town who tumbled into crack addiction. One of the three is Dicky Eklund, the ex-prizefighter who went the distance against Sugar Ray Leonard and whose brother, Micky Ward, is the central figure in the the Oscar-nominated The Fighter.
In David O. Russell’s film, Christian Bale plays the strung-out, doped-up Dicky, and Mark Wahlberg is his pugilist sib, “Irish” Micky Ward. Melissa Leo is the boy’s hardscrabble, beehived mom, Alice Ward. The real Alice can also be seen in High On Crack Street, answering the query “What do you think the biggest danger is that’s waiting out there for Dicky?”
“The biggest danger?” she responds. “I don’t think there’s any danger out there, really, for Dicky. Dicky is Dicky and he can do anything he wants to do.” (Like selling his life story to Hollywood.)
And watch and listen to the real Dicky laughing as he cradles his kid. Bale -- the likely winner in the best supporting actor race come February 27 -- has the guy down to a tee (and to a ratty T-shirt, too).
(Eklund and Bale mock spar in the photo.)