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Beyond the Mat (1999)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 6,279 users   Metascore: 73/100
Reviews: 78 user | 68 critic | 23 from Metacritic.com

A heartfelt documentary focusing on the lives of professional wrestlers and how their sport is not fake.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Barry W. Blaustein ...
Himself - Narrator
Vince McMahon ...
Himself
Jim Ross ...
Himself - Sr. VP of Talent
Jim Bell ...
Himself - Sr. VP of Merchandising
Darren Drozdov ...
Himself
Roland Alexander ...
Himself
Tony Jones ...
Himself - XPW Wrestler
...
Himself
...
Himself
Mick Foley ...
Himself
Danny Zucker ...
Himself - Childhood Friend
Dave Meltzer ...
Himself - Journalist
Jake Roberts ...
Himself
Ed Beckley ...
Himself - Promoter
...
Herself
Edit

Storyline

This documentary focuses on the lives of professional wrestlers Terry Funk, Mick Foley (Mankind), Jake Roberts (Jake the Snake) and Darren Drozdov (Droz). As the film progresses, the story of their lives unfolds, as we also learn how the wrestling industry is not the plastic-weapons fake-slap sideshow that many have perceived it as. We are shown how moves, although not actually injuring anyone, are not fake, and extreme training is required to be able to perform the stunts without being harmed. We are also treated to interviews with the family of Mick Foley and what it is like for them to know their father literally puts his life on the line every week and how it feels to have other children call their father a "fake". Vince McMahon, owner of World Wrestling Entertainment, also makes a few appearances, responding to criticism on various wrestling situations, including, once again, his real athletes, very real organization being called fake by sources such as USA Today and various news... Written by JoJo Mac

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

There's no script for what happens outside the ring. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and violent content | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 March 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Beyond the Mat: Unrated Director's Cut  »

Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$9,532 (USA) (22 October 1999)

Gross:

$2,047,570 (USA) (12 May 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Since the initial release of the film, Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) and World Championship Wrestling (WCW) were closed down and purchased by World Wrestling Entertainment. See more »

Quotes

Jake Roberts: My mother was 13 years old when I was born. Why? Because my dad raped a little girl that was in a room asleep. My dad was going out with my mother's mother. There you go. There's some bones for Jake the Snake.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Closing dedication: This film is dedicated to my wife, Lorrie and our children, Kasey and Corey, who have stood by patiently with love and support as I blabbed about wrestling for the last five years. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Wrestler (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Stand By Me
Written by Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller, Ben E. King
Vocals: Carl Graves
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Finally a movie about wrestling that doesn't insult my intelligence
16 July 2002 | by (Toronto, Ontario) – See all my reviews

I've seen this movie a few times and as a wrestling fan for over 20 years I was glad to see a movie that showed a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes. Blaustien does an amazing job and it was no surprise that it was seriously being considered for an Academy Award nomination (sadly it never ended up being actually nominated).

Wrestling fans have had to defend their love of the art of pro wrestling for many years. When the topic would come up that I am a wrestling fan I would be faced with the same idiotic question, with a tone of disbelief in their voice, "You know it's fake, right?". My response has always been to follow that question with "And what is your favourite TV show?" I usually get an answer like "Friends" or something similar and I then mockingly explain to them that Rachel and Ross never dated and Monica and Chandler are not really married and that that isn't even their real names. Soon they began to see the stupidity of their proclaiming that wrestling is fake. Whew, sorry, kind of went on a rant there.

Blaustien's film allows non wrestling fans to see exactly how "fake" wrestling can be. The blood, sweat and hard work that these athletes and their families endure is vividly shown. We finally see a human side of the often larger than life characters that these men and women of the squared circle portray.

One thing that I found very profound was the drab, dark and gloomy colours Blaustein used in segments showing that human side as opposed to the colourfulness of the slick production of the athletes performing. We go from the glamorous pyro and bright lights of a live Pay per View event to shots of the wrestlers in their concrete, black and white, dirty and sweaty dressing rooms. I don't know if the director did this on purpose but I thought it was quite effective.

Bottom line this movie is a must for any fan of wrestling but I feel it is even more important to the non-wrestling fan interested to see why all these people watch this "fake" form of entertainment.


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