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Be Kind Rewind – Put Someone in a Sleeper Hold

By Michael Nazarewycz

The first thing I ever wrote for this website was a nostalgia piece on Hulk Hogan. Hulk’s been in the news recently for things that no one will probably be nostalgic for ... you know, ever ... but his return to the spotlight (for better or worse) reminded me of that column, this site, the ‘80s and the birth of modern day professional wrestling, and the films it inspired.

 

All the Marbles (1981)...All the Marbles
1981
Starring Peter Falk, Vicki Frederick, Laurene Landon, and Burt Young
Directed by Robert Aldrich

Harry Sears (Falk) manages the California Dolls, a professional female wrestling tag-team comprised of Iris and Molly (Frederick and Landon). Their arch nemeses are the Toledo Tigers. They follow a Rocky-esque climb toward the top of wrestling mountain. This was director Aldrich’s last film, and it’s hard to believe the man responsible for this also gave us such legends as The Dirty Dozen (1967), The Flight of the Phoenix (1965), and What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962).

Body Slam (1986)Body Slam
1986
Starring Dirk Benedict and Tanya Roberts
Directed by Hal Needham

Dirk Benedict plays a band manager who accidentally hires a wrestler to be in a band, and thus the 1980s hybrid of wrestling and rock-and-roll is born. This film is full of real wrestlers (which sounds somewhat oxymoronic), including Rowdy Roddy Piper, Captain Lou Albano, The Samoans, Classy Freddie Blassie, Rick Flair, and Bruno Sammartino.

 

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