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Lipstick & Dynamite, Piss & Vinegar: The First Ladies of Wrestling (2004)

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Ring legends such as The Fabulous Moolah and Gladys "Kill 'Em" Gillem Long provide candid insights into the history of women's professional wrestling.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gladys Gillem ... Herself, Girl Wrestler 1942-1962 (as Gladys 'Killem' Gillem)
... Himself - Host of What's My Line (archive footage)
Mildred Burke ... Herself - World Champion Girl Wrestler (archive footage)
Mae Young ... Herself, Girl Wrestler 1940-Present
Ida May Martinez ... Herself, Girl Wrestling 1952-1959
Penny Banner ... Herself, Girl Wrestler 1952-1971
Ella Waldek ... Herself, Girl Wrestler 1952-1971
Lillian Ellison ... Herself - Girl Wrestler / Manager 1949-Present (as Fabulous Moolah)
... Herself - Panelist of To Tell the Truth (archive footage)
Karl Lauer ... Himself - Wrestling Promoter
Millie Stafford ... Herself - Girl Wrestler
Marie Laverne ... Herself - Girl Wrestler
Maria Bernardi ... Herself - Girl Wrestler
... Himself - WWE Chairman (archive footage)
Jack Pfeffer ... Himself - Wrestling Promoter (archive footage)


Ring legends such as The Fabulous Moolah and Gladys "Kill 'Em" Gillem Long provide candid insights into the history of women's professional wrestling.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Not Rated


Official Sites:

Official site



Release Date:

5 May 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lipstick & Dynamite  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,982, 29 April 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$26,073, 12 June 2005
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


(archive footage)|
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Did You Know?


Features clips of the TV news documentary "Lipstick & Dynamite" with the Mildred Burke vs. Mae Weston match for the Women's Wrestling Championship of the World, on March 20, 1947, included in the DVD digest "Wrasslin' She babes Vol 02" from SWV. See more »


Written and performed by Joyce Brookshire
Published by Gasskill Street Music, BMI
From the record "Whatever Became of Me"
Courtesy of EM World Records
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User Reviews

Talk about strong female role models!
18 April 2005 | by See all my reviews

I enjoyed this film by itself, but kept thinking that I'd love to take kids to it, too. Everyone with a child (son or daughter) aged about 10 or above should put up with the sprinkling of profanity and see this film with their progeny. The film reveals a set of REAL women with opinions, personalities, good sides and ... well, not-so-nice sides. It goes without saying that the women are physically impressive in their prime. Beyond that, they maintain their fighting spirit in their old-age.

While it was not a major flaw, the primary failing in this documentary is its lack of form. Early on, the film reveals that it will culminate with a reunion of female wrestlers, there is no particular flow of events in the days leading up to the reunion. It felt a bit haphazard. Still, this can be expected from any film that lets its content be told by interviews with a group of individual subjects -- and there were definite strives taken to introduce various aspects/people with interviews that gave viewers some background before cutting to a segment that would have left the audience confused.

This is a film that can spark much post-viewing conversation, and leaves you feeling somewhat amazed that its participants found such a unique niche for themselves in a time when women were 'supposed' to be dainty and refined. What a wonderful contrast!

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