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Saturday May 18th 2024

The Fighter| 2010

Set and filmed in the city of Lowell, on the Merrimack River about 35 miles north of Boston in Massachusetts, where the real events of the story took place in the 90s, David O Russell’s family drama traces the dynamic between half-brothers Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) and Dicky Eklund (Christian Bale).

Dicky, a one-time boxer who achieved a moment of fame facing Sugar Ray Leonard, now trains his younger sibling, seemingly unaware of problems caused by his fondness for illicit substances. The two brothers are introduced goofing about for a TV documentary crew at the opening of the movie on Westford Street at Hastings Street, in downtown Lowell.

The brothers spar in the real gym where Dicky trained his brother Micky Ward, which is Ramalho's West End Fitness Center, 900 Lawrence Street, down toward South Lowell.

Back in the downtown area, the ‘Foxtail Lounge’, where tongue-tied Micky plucks up the nerve to ask out barmaid Charlene Fleming (Amy Adams), is Buck's Bar & Grill, 165 Chelmsford Street.

Micky lives in an apartment at 2 Marshall Street at Grand Street, downtown, where Charlene comes looking for him after he’s stood her up.

Charlene herself lives in a boarding house in Centralville, north of the Merrimack River, at 105 11th Street, between Methuen and Beacon Streets.

Micky takes Charlene to an arthouse cinema out of town, to see Fernando Trueba’s 1992 Belle Epoque. It’s showing at the Lexington Venue, 1794 Massachusetts Avenue, in Lexington, about 20 miles south of Lowell towards Boston. The indie picture house has recently been renovated.

Micky’s training is seriously hampered as the out-of-control Dicky Eklund spends a little too much time smoking crack at a house on the east side of Smith Street at Westford Street (near where the guys were clowning about for the camera earlier).

After a disturbance in the street, in which worryingly Micky gets his hand broken by the police, the two brothers appear at Lowell Superior Court, 360 Gorham Street.

The rest of the family are enjoying a meal at Lowell’s venerable Greek eaterie Olympia Restaurant, 453 Market Street, when they hear about the ruckus.

As the TV documentary is about to be aired, Micky begins to worry about its depiction of his brother’s drug habit; however, he’s reassured by cop Micky O'Keefe at Top Donut, 700 Aiken Street, another location just north of the river, alongside the Ouelette Bridge.

Although the various boxing matches are supposed to be around the USA, they were all filmed in Lowell, at the Tsongas Center, 300 Martin Luther King Jr Way, on the campus of the University of Massachusetts, north toward the river.

But just out of town, the Westford Regency Inn, 219 Littleton Road, in Westford, about eight miles southwest of Lowell, became the ‘Atlantic City’ hotel, where Dicky Ecklund bumps into his old adversary Sugar Ray Leonard (appearing as himself).