The One and Only (1978)
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For those who love American wrestling this film is a must, but be ready to see Henry Winkler as you have never seen him before. Also look out for a very well known actor whose trademark wrestling move is a head-but!
If you get a chance watch this movie and it is family comedy entertainment at its best!
In 1998, I started training as a wrestler after the Air Force and would always go back to watching this to see how it was a very accurate portrayal of people that are involved with wrestling ( families and friends that wouldn't understand us, the travel, the heartbreak, etc. ). Henry Winkler is funny and sometimes sad to watch as nobody else can understand what a genius he is creatively. A great way to separate himself The Fonz character he played on Happy Days at the time. Plus, look at the cast...William Daniels ( Knight Rider ), Polly Holiday ( Alice ), and wrestlers Roddy Piper and Chavo Guerrero Sr. If you get a chance, watch it.
I saw One and Only when it first came out; I am a fan of Henry Winkler but this film almost turned me into an ex-fan; Winkler plays an obnoxious, self-absorbed acting student about to graduate with no job prospects. He does things like ruin his college play so his minor character can get a standing ovation, and try to rewrite scripts at auditions. Winkler tries to play the character as "brash", but it comes across as overbearing and obnoxious in the extreme. This movie came early in his career, and I don't think he would make the same acting choices now. He can't seem to get a job acting, and falls into professional wrestling as a way to fame. This is not developed to be as much fun as it sounds. His personality seems to fit the field, but success does not mellow out his character; towards the end he makes a charming statement to his fiance (who he stole with his winning personality from a pipe-smoking "nice guy" - big surprise): "If you don't stop thinking like that you're going to wind up an old single woman with a picture of JESUS on the wall!" said in absolute disgust. Even to an athiest this was an offensive moment in the film; it made one want to pour a bucket of water over this girl's head for being with this ass; and this is supposed to be a love story, with Winkler at the "hero". Creeps like this don't change; and girls keeping falling for them; though that's not the point of the film. If you can find the point, good luck. But there are 99.9% better films at Blockbuster, and all of Winkler's other films are better. Avoid - unless you like watching Herve Vellachez humping furniture. (Don't ask.)
Three out of ten stars.
I chuckled maybe twice during the whole movie. The rest of the time I was wondering how anyone could fall in love with someone who cares about no one on earth except themselves and how Carl Reiner got mixed up in this mess.
I was embarrassed to admit to my wife that in the late 70's I actually paid to sit through this tripe... three times! Foolish youth.
DURING THIS PERIOD and for some years to follow, the mere mention of the Pro Wrestling game would never fail to bring a smile to the face of whomever one was conversing. The appeal of the medium where sport & athleticism intersected the dramatic & theatrical had a very wide degree of aficionados from the blue collar to professional, from the laborer to the MD.
SO JUST WHO are these guys who get into the "business"? As in most rackets, there is no one single answer. There is not one single slot in which the "typical" grappler fits. Any attempt to pigeon hole the pro wrestler will find himself unhappily frustrated.
THE STORY LOOKS at how guys with disparate backgrounds are united in their interest and pursuit of success as a performer. Some are athletic, some are not. Some were football players, others dancers. Bodybuilders and the physically unusual all join with some who have no obvious outstanding bodily attributes. Some were even the products of a solid background in Amateur Wrestling!
OUR MOVIE UNITES Henry Winkler (Andy Schmidt) with Miss Kim Darby (Mary Crawford). The two do indeed make for an interesting couple; and it is a pleasure to see Kim Darby in any film; as she has done precious few ever since TRUE GRIT (1969).
IN THE PARTICULAR case of the Winkler character, he's an out of work actor and not much of an athlete. He is certainly not a subject who fits the 'ruffian' mode that so many exponents of the pro game.
ULTIMATELY, AT FILM'S end, we are all smiling-if not belly laughing; for in spite of some great and truly funny situations & gags tailored to the storyline, it is a call for inclusion o everyone in the family of man.
AND, MY DEAR friend, Schultz, that includes even people who wrestle for a living!