Down 2,503 this week

Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows (1998)

TV Movie  |  R  |   |  Documentary, Biography, Sport  |  20 December 1998 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.2/10 from 2,836 users  
Reviews: 58 user | 6 critic

Documentary focusing on the career of pro wrestler Bret Hart & his controversial exit from the WWF.



0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

IMDb Picks: May

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in May, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 28 titles
created 21 Feb 2011
a list of 23 titles
created 06 Oct 2013
a list of 42 titles
created 10 Mar 2014
a list of 48 titles
created 4 months ago
a list of 32 titles
created 4 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows (TV Movie 1998)

Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows (TV Movie 1998) on IMDb 8.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows.
7 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Now it can be told. In 1995, two wrestling companies squared off on Monday night television to compete head to head in an unprecedented confrontation. On one side, Vince McMahon, the ... See full summary »

Stars: Charles Ashenoff, Steve Austin, Chris Benoit
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

For nearly twenty years, Chris Jericho has stolen the spotlight, becoming one of the most recognized Superstars in sports-entertainment history. Now fans can learn his entire life story, ... See full summary »

Director: Kevin Dunn
Stars: Chris Jericho, Ted Irvine, Kevin Rumpel
Documentary | Action | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

For one half-century, WWE has carved a permanent niche in Americana. What started in 1963 as a regional promotion is now a global entertainment phenomenon that captivates fans in over 150 ... See full summary »

Director: Kevin Dunn
Stars: Rick Achberger, Lou Albano, Muhammad Ali
ECW One Night Stand (TV Movie 2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

A wrestling show.

Director: Kevin Dunn
Stars: Paul Heyman, Donna Adamo, Bill Alfonso
Documentary | Biography | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Bret portrays in his own words, how he become: The best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be.

Director: Kevin Dunn
Stars: Bret Hart, Brian Adams, Adrian Adonis
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

In this rare match from his earliest days in sports entertainment, the man who would was not yet known as The Game takes on the legendary Ricky Steamboat on WCW Saturday Night.

Director: Kevin Dunn
Stars: Kurt Angle, Ted Arcidi, Steve Austin
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Finally...the Rock has come back to WWE and finally...the Rock's story is being told in its entirety! From growing up in a sports entertainment family to playing Division 1 NCAA football at... See full summary »

Director: Kevin Dunn
Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Brian Adams, Kurt Angle
WrestleMania X (TV Special 1994)
Action | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Three men (WWF Champion Yokozuna, Bret Hart & Lex Luger) battle for the WWF World Championship live from Madison Square Garden.

Director: Kevin Dunn
Stars: Rodney Anoai, Bret Hart, Larry Pfohl
WrestleMania V (TV Special 1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

WWF Champion Randy Savage vs. Hulk Hogan, Intercontinental Champion the Ultimate Warrior vs. Rick Rude, Tag Team Champions Demolition vs. The Powers of Pain and Mr. Fuji, Mr. Perfect vs. ... See full summary »

Stars: Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan, Jim Hellwig
Action | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

For the first time ever, experience the rise of CM Punk with CM Punk: Best in the World! From his early days in the Indy circuit to his explosive transformation into the most unabashed, ... See full summary »

Director: Kevin Dunn
Stars: Mike Adamle, Brent Albright, Ken Anderson
Action | Biography | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Director: Kevin Dunn
Stars: Skandor Akbar, Arn Anderson, Kurt Angle
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

the life and career of Paul Heyman told to you by himself

Director: Kevin Dunn
Stars: Adrian Adonis, André the Giant, Scott Bigelow


Cast overview, first billed only:
Bret Hart ...
Brian Pillman ...
Blade Hart ...
Himself (Bret's Son)
Julie Hart ...
Stu Hart ...
Helen Hart ...
Diana Hart ...
Keith Hart ...
Tammy Sytch ...
Jim Neidhart ...
Georgia Hart ...
Curt Hennig ...
Himself (archive footage)
Vince McMahon ...


The life and career of Bret Hart is recounted from his youth, through the start of his career, his years in the WWF, up to the present day. Bret discusses the high and lows of his career and shows the world of professional wrestling from a wrestler's point of view. Written by A. Stooge

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The story of a man who believes in heroes, in a world where the anti-hero is king. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

20 December 1998 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to'Paul Jay', after the incident in which Bret Hart punched Vince McMahon, McMahon refused to allow any footage or other wrestlers from WWF to appear in the film. WCW, the rival wrestling company, offered Jay a deal to show the film on pay-per-view. Jay was then offered a deal from WWF which would allow the footage and the wrestlers to appear as long as he turned the deal with WCW down. Jay believes that someone in WCW was an informant for McMahon. See more »


Features WrestleMania X (1994) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Screwed on film
18 March 2007 | by ( – See all my reviews

There's quite an amusing bit in Wrestling With Shadows where a man on a TV panel show earnestly likens Bret Hart to Hamlet – he says both are good men stuck in immoral worlds. Only in Canada (and possibly Mexico) could such a discussion be televised and it not be part of a sketch show. After all, as Bret himself points out, for a brief time he was the most famous Canadian in the world.

But although I find it amazing that a programme could use wrestling as a means in which to discuss morals, and although I'm even more amazed that such a show could find its way on the airways, the documentary that features it is superb. Here you have a film that, like the excellent Beyond the Mat, lifts the veil on wrestling and shows the world how the whole crazy enterprise works. It most certainly isn't Shakespeare (and Bret Hart isn't Hamlet), but the story that unfolds is riveting.

As in Beyond the Mat, one of the main themes in this film is the way wrestling blurs lines that are drawn between the real and the unreal. Yes we all know the matches are predetermined and that punches are pulled, but that's beside the point. The reality is in the reactions generated by fans. The reality is the sacrifices performers have to make to succeed in the business – many forsake normal family lives. The reality is in the cruelty of the profession – no pensions and no job security. So although the matches are planned in advance, there are careers and lives on the line.

What the film captures wonderfully is Hart's internal conflict. He wants to be a hero, but people are starting to boo him, and he wants to stay loyal to Vince McMahon (who's almost like a second father), but he has a big money offer from WCW. There are lots of things going on, almost all of them out of his control. And while that may seem crazy, wrestling being almost entirely about control and manipulation of people's emotions, it further illustrates how complicated the business is – while he's worshipped like a god in Canada and across the world (the reaction in India is hardly phoney), he's vilified in America as bland and unfashionable; people want something different.

And that's probably Bret Hart's problem. As great an athlete as he was, he found it hard to adapt to the new attitude that wrestling acquired in the late 90s. He was too emotionally invested in being a hero. If anything, he cared too much about the fans. He probably would have adapted better if he had less scruples. But that's what also makes Hart a wonderful subject for this documentary. He never sells out and he never breaks his word – even in such a scuzzy business as wrestling, he maintains his dignity. He's also at odds with his new position within the company as the number one heel – he doesn't like insulting the fans. But such is Hart's professionalism that he does and does it exceedingly well. Indeed, the whole period of wrestling that the film documents was the most exciting I can remember. Wrestling since has been a pale shadow of what it was back then.

Despite my opinion, though, Hart doesn't like the new direction and openly criticises it. And this is probably what leads to his downfall. His determination to be honest at all times alienates Vince McMahon and may well have inspired the infamous Montreal screw job.

And the section of the film that deals with the events in Montreal make for fascinating viewing. First of all you have the way Bret Hart's wife emotionally says goodbye to what she thinks are her friends. Then you have Blade (Bret's son) sulking in the corner because he'll never see a lot of these people again. And after that you have Bret telling his wife that Earl Hebner, the referee, is straight (he swore on his kids that nothing would happen). It all adds up to betrayal that is like having your family stab you in the back – being the sort of person he is, you can more than understand why Hart is so devastated. However, you can also kind of see McMahon's point of view. He was fighting a bitter fight with WCW and one of his main (expensive) stars had been openly criticising his direction; McMahon wanted to do the best he could to taint the goods Ted Turner had paid handsomely for. But even though from a cold, objective business point of view, I can understand why Vince did it, he does fully deserve the punch in the face that Hart deals out to him. The whole situation could and should have been handled better.

Aside from this, you also have a film about a man and his relationship with his father, and the one here is unique to say the least. One of the funniest sections in the film is when the Hart's recount the way Stu Hart would 'stretch out' aspiring wrestlers. In one instance you can even hear a kid screaming his head off as Stu slaps him, saying 'Have some discipline'. It's here that you understand how and why Bret became the man he is. He was afraid of his father but respected him, too. And because of the strict sense of right and wrong that was fostered in him, he found it hard to accept the shades of grey that crept into wrestling.

But while, in a sense, this moral rigidity hampers Bret's career, it also protects him. Many wrestlers, when they retire, go off the rails, but with Bret (despite everything that's happened since the film) you feel he'll be okay. At least, you hope that will be the case.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
HHH + HBKs involvement? Please Read. nails_s_o_b
Screw Job? Shane2damax
Suspicion of wrestling with shadows sachinsiby
Did Vince take a dive? bluesyxx
Will this ever get put on DVD? SoggieBottomBoy
whats the name of that song fel_bellefeuille

Contribute to This Page