Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows (1998)

TV Movie  |  R  |   |  Documentary, Biography, Sport  |  20 December 1998 (USA)
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Documentary focusing on the career of pro wrestler Bret Hart & his controversial exit from the WWF.



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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 ...
Curt Hennig (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


An Unprecedented Look Behind The Scenes Of The WWF. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

20 December 1998 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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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 WWF WrestleMania: The Arcade Game (1995) See more »


Pacing The Cage
Performed by Colin Cripps with special guest vocalist Tara MacLean
Words and Music by Bruce Cockburn
©1997 Golden Mountain Music Corp. (SOCAN)
Used by permission
Tara MacLean appears courtesy of Nettwerk Productions/Capitol Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Shakespeare meets Pro Wrestling
9 September 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Good guys. Bad guys. Betrayal. Tragedy. Men in tights.

Hit-man Hart: Wrestling With Shadows is a documentary focusing on the legendary Bret "Hitman" Hart and his last year with the WWE (1997). The veil of professional wrestling is removed and we get a behind the scenes glimpse of what it was like to be a wrestler in the WWE. What makes this documentary great is that it is about how "fake" wrestling is, while showing us how "real" it can be.

Bret Hart narrates, as well as leads us through, his hectic life as WWE champion. The film's main narrative is his battle with WWE owner, Vince McMahon. Their relationship drives most of the documentary and ultimately becomes that of a Shakespearian tragedy. Once great friends and co-workers, these two men eventually clash over several things which leads to Bret considering a departure from the WWE. What Vince McMahon does to Bret Hart at the end is utterly heartbreaking (no pun intended).

The camera crew did a superb job of capturing the raw moments backstage and in Bret's own home. Characters in the film act as if there is no camera around most of the time. Director Paul Jay is virtually non-existent in this documentary. He lets Bret take center stage. The point of view is obviously from Bret's corner, but the filmmakers lay everything out like a crime scene investigation and allow the viewer to form their own opinion as to the film's main ethical dilemma (Bret and McMahon's personal decisions at the end). Bret Hart speaks candidly about his decisions and his belief in them, and we see clips of Vince McMahon sharing his point of view as well.

This film does not require you to be a fan of professional wrestling, but it would not hurt either. Bret explains the intricacies of wrestling and how things work in a very simplistic manner which will make anyone knowledgeable in the world of wrestling and able to enjoy this classic morality tale.

Bret Hart comes off as extremely likable and noble. I find it hard to believe anyone not admiring his honesty, courage, and belief in himself. He believes in heroes, and doing what is right. He has loyalty and that loyalty is betrayed. This ultimately ends up becoming what the movie is about. Is Bret Hart a hero? Is Vince McMahon a villain? Is there right and wrong?

This documentary is a must see, and not just for wrestling fans.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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