Derby is a fascinating look at the world of 1970s professional Roller Derby. Features lots of on-track action, as well as an off-track behind the scenes look at the lives of the Roller ... See full summary »
Derby is a fascinating look at the world of 1970s professional Roller Derby. Features lots of on-track action, as well as an off-track behind the scenes look at the lives of the Roller Derby pros featured in the film. Written by
As a kid I was obsessed with the roller derby. I went to games at Madison Square Garden and watched it every Sunday morning on WOR/Channel 9 in NY. I even remember a triple header at Shea Stadium. For awhile, it was a big deal and I got very caught up in it.
I made my wicked, drunken step-father take me to the movie, cause it was him that got me hooked in the first place. I remember it was on a double bill with "Straw Dogs."
The movie actually took place before I was a fan but I know all the skaters, they had just moved around a lot by the time I was into it. I believe the league just re-did everything, created new teams, etc.
The actual roller derby footage is pretty good, not great. The lighting is horrible, everything looks like its lit by a votive candle. But at times it seems as though the camera is actually on the track, following the skaters.
Mike Snell, his life, his wife, his whoring, didn't interest me that much. I was just waiting for another Margie Laszlo/Lydia Clay fight, or to see what color Anne Calvello dyed her hair. You do get some insight from some players, namely Charlie O'Connell, Eddie Krebs, Lydia and Janet Earp. The biggest female star, Joan Weston, is only mentioned in passing.
The movie ends just as Snell is going to Alameda (or was it Anaheim) to the training school to begin what he hopes is a career as a skater. So in some ways, the movie ends just as it begins. 7/10.
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