3 user 7 critic

Renée (2011)

During the 1970's, Dr. Richard Raskin was a respected surgeon and a nationally ranked professional tennis player. A Yale graduate, Raskin was married to a Ford model and with whom he had ... See full summary »




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Renée Richards ...
Josephine Von Hipple ...
John Poster ...
Leslie Pollack ...
Yvonne Pollack ...
Barbara Krohn ...
Jack Dodick ...
Himself (as Jack Dodick MD)
Herb Fitzgibbon ...
Donald Rubell ...
Charles Ihlenfeld ...
Himself (as Charles Ihlenfeld MD)
Robert S. Cohen ...
Himself - Friend
Philis Raskind-Anderson ...
Richard C. Granato ...
Himself (as Richard C. Granato MD)
Suzanne Geller ...
Herself - Friend


During the 1970's, Dr. Richard Raskin was a respected surgeon and a nationally ranked professional tennis player. A Yale graduate, Raskin was married to a Ford model and with whom he had recently had a son. In 1976, Raskin underwent permanent, life-altering surgery. Dr. Raskin was no longer - enter Dr. Renee Richards. The Life and Times of Dr. Renee Richards is a documentary that highlights the issues of the modern transgender life with Dr. Richards at the center. Since her time in the tennis spotlight, she has been a hero, villain, roll model and all around controversial figure. With more than 30 hours shot the documentary is a work in progress. Tennis greats are coming out to talk about Dr. Richards and what she meant to the game, including Martina Navratilova, Jimmy Connors. Footage includes US Open tennis coverage, family members including Renee's son, sister and former wife. Written by Anonymous

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The only thing she couldn't change was her desire to compete.





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21 April 2011 (USA)  »

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A Rather Sad and Depressing Look at Renee Richards
10 October 2011 | by See all my reviews

Renee (2011)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

Even though ESPN's "30 for 30" series ended it hasn't stopped the company from delivering some hard hitting stories. This one here takes a look at Dr. Richard Raskin who in the 70s was a highly respected surgeon but after getting married and having a child he had a sex change and became Renee Richards. At first as Renee she wanted to stay out of the limelight but this all changed after she attempted to play professional tennis. I watch quite a bit of tennis and have done so for well over a decade but I had never heard this story so all of the events here were new to me. I guess everyone is going to have an opinion on whether or not it was fair for a former man to be playing in the women's league but in my own personal opinion, just from seeing the clips here, there's no question that Renee had an advantage. However, as the film also points out, she never became a superstar, never won a major title and in the end it really cost her a whole lot more than it ever got her. I think it's fair to say that the only thing she did win was being able to do what she wanted without having to bow down to anyone else. The documentary covers her life as a man, the eventual sex change, the controversy with playing tennis and it also shows where she is now. I will admit that at times I was shocked by the subject matter, at times disgusted but at the end of the film I couldn't help but feel some sympathy for Renee and everything she went through. Of course, there's no way to deny the fact that she hurt a lot of the people around here and this includes her son who was abused by kids at school over his "dad" being a woman and it's had a lasting impact on him to this day. Seeing the two brought together at the end was just downright depressing. Director Eric Drath does a very good job at showing all sides of this story. I thought he did a very good job at not only telling the story but being able to be down the middle and look at it from all directions. The likes of Billie Jean King, Mary Carillo, John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova are all interviewed and share their thoughts about the ordeal and how those in tennis reacted to it. RENEE contains a subject matter that I'm sure is going to turn off many viewers even today but I think fans of the sport should really give this documentary a shot.

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