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The Wrestler (2008)

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2:30 | Trailer
A faded professional wrestler must retire, but finds his quest for a new life outside the ring a dispiriting struggle.

Director:

Darren Aronofsky

Writer:

Robert Siegel
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Popularity
2,379 ( 186)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 58 wins & 87 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mickey Rourke ... Randy 'The Ram' Robinson
Marisa Tomei ... Cassidy
Evan Rachel Wood ... Stephanie
Mark Margolis ... Lenny
Todd Barry ... Wayne
Wass Stevens ... Nick Volpe
Judah Friedlander ... Scott Brumberg
Ernest Miller Ernest Miller ... The Ayatollah
Dylan Keith Summers ... Necro Butcher (as Dylan Summers)
Tommy Farra Tommy Farra ... Tommy Rotten
Mike Miller Mike Miller ... Lex Lethal
Marcia Jean Kurtz ... Admissions Desk Woman
John D'Leo ... Adam
Ajay Naidu ... Medic
Gregg Bello ... JAPW Promoter Larry Cohen
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Storyline

This is a drama about an aging professional wrestler, decades past his prime, who now barely gets by working small wrestling shows in VFW halls and as a part-time grocery store employee. As he faces health problems that may end his wrestling career for good he attempts to come to terms with his life outside the ring: by working full time at the grocery store, trying to reconcile with the daughter he abandoned in childhood and forming a closer bond with a stripper he has romantic feelings for. He struggles with his new life and an offer of a high-profile rematch with his 1980s arch-nemesis, The Ayatollah, which may be his ticket back to stardom. Written by Matlock-6

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Love. Pain. Glory.

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, sexuality/nudity, language and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 January 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El luchador See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$202,714, 21 December 2008

Gross USA:

$26,238,243

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$44,703,995
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | SDDS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39:1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Fox Searchlight bought the North American rights to the film at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival for a reported $4 million. See more »

Goofs

When the kids wake up Randy, he goes out of the van, the door closes without anyone closing it. See more »

Quotes

Randy 'The Ram' Robinson: I just want to say to you all tonight I'm very grateful to be here. A lot of people told me that I'd never wrestle again and that's all I do. You know, if you live hard and play hard and you burn the candle at both ends, you pay the price for it. You know in this life you can loose everything you love, everything that loves you. Now I don't hear as good as I used to and I forget stuff and I aint as pretty as I used to be but god damn it I'm still standing here and I'm The Ram. As times goes by,...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mike & Mike: Episode dated 26 February 2016 (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Just Let Your Freak Out
Written by Eben Jones and Deesha Sarai
Performed by Deesha Sarai featuring Critical Child
Courtesy of Critical Child Productions
By Arrangement with Fine Gold Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The role Mickey Rourke was born to play
27 February 2009 | by SuperunknovvnSee all my reviews

"The Wrestler" is a beautiful movie, but it wouldn't be half as good if Mickey Rourke hadn't given the main character a face and a heart. There's virtually no other Hollywood actor that could have embodied Randy "The Ram" Robinson as perfectly as Rourke, and it's shocking to think how the movie could have turned out had someone else, say Bruce Willis or - as originally planned - Nicolas Cage played the part. With Rourke it's not so much an actor memorizing lines and delivering them convincingly, it's like watching a guy having gone through hell and now showing his scars. Rourke's performance even lets one overlook some rather clichéd elements in the story (the exotic dancer with a golden heart, the neglected daughter, a dance in a romantic dilapidated ballroom). It's all good, because one look at Randy's face reminds us of all the hits and punches he must have taken in the past, and it all becomes real again.

So, Rourke obviously makes the movie, but that's not the only remarkable thing. Besides a very good performance by the beautiful Marisa Tomei, "The Wrestler" is also worth mentioning because it marks the first time Darren Aronofsky has made a straight forward drama that's not heavy headed or laden with too much symbolism. After the highly pretentious "The Fountain" such a movie was more than due. "The Wrestler" proves that Aronofsky is not only capable of stylistic extravaganza, but can also handle the art of "plain" storytelling.

The fine title song by Bruce Springsteen must not be forgotten, either. After "Streets Of Philadelphia" and "Dead Man Walking" this is his third soundtrack contribution that captures the feel of a movie beautifully. Props to Aronofsky for putting an emphasis on that song by letting it play over a black screen for a couple of seconds before the closing credits start to roll.

In the end, "The Wrestler" is such a huge success because Aronofsky made the right choice by insisting on Rourke to play the main role, and because Rourke more than lived up to the director's expectations. Sean Penn may have been very good in "Milk", but the character of The Wrestler is a thousand times more interesting and memorable, and considering that fact that Rourke will forever be remembered for this great performance, he would really have deserved the Oscar.


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