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The Wrestler (2008)

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

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Writer:

(as Robert Siegel)
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Popularity
2,276 ( 425)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 57 wins & 86 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Randy 'The Ram' Robinson
... Cassidy
... Stephanie
... Lenny
... Wayne
... Nick Volpe
... Scott Brumberg
Ernest Miller ... The Ayatollah
Dylan Keith Summers ... Necro Butcher (as Dylan Summers)
Tommy Farra ... Tommy Rotten
Mike Miller ... Lex Lethal
... Admissions Desk Woman
... Adam
... Medic
... 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:

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

30 January 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El luchador  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$202,714, 21 December 2008, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$26,236,603, 10 May 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Darren Aronofsky revealed that Belgian directors Dardenne brothers (Luc Dardenne and Jean-Pierre Dardenne) were a very strong influence for the style of The Wrestler. And while promoting Black Swan in 2010, Aronofsky told Alistair Harkness from The Scotsman that he changed his entire directing style for The Wrestler after seeing their work for the first time. See more »

Goofs

Pam is a topless dancer at a bar in NJ that serves alcohol. However, in NJ, if a bar serves alcohol, the dancers must be clothed in at least a G-String and pasties and it's called a "Go-Go Bar". If a bar does not serve alcohol, the dancers can be nude. See more »

Quotes

Necro Butcher: Are you cool with the staples?
Randy 'The Ram' Robinson: Staples?
Necro Butcher: Staple gun... Not so bad on the way in, except it's a little scary, you know - you got this metal thing pressed up against you. Gonna leave some marks, have to deal with a little blood loss.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Big Box: The House of the Devil (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Animal Magnetism
Written by Klaus Meine, Herman Rarebell, and Rudolf Schenker
Performed by Scorpions
Courtesy of the Island Def Jam Music Group
By Arrangement with Universal Music Enterprises
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Broken Down Piece of Meat That Doesn't Deserve To Be All Alone
10 December 2008 | by See all my reviews

It's no coincidence that Mickey Rourke is responsible for the comeback performance of the year if not the decade. Rourke's life and tumultuous past parallel Randy "The Ram" Robinson's own life so eerily close it becomes clear that no one else could have ever played this role. Darren Aronofsky's fourth feature is not only his most intimate but also his most accomplished to date. Aronofsky offers his most simplistic film both visually and narratively and ends up creating a film that has more depth and layers to it than any of his previous films.

Everything about Randy's life is in a state of decay. He retains a body that is on the verge of collapse, he hasn't seen his only daughter in years, financially he is exhausted, and the only thing that brings him solace in life is the same thing that threatens to end it. The most effective aspect of Randy's character is that no matter what mistakes he might have made in the past his sense of regret is so strong and genuine that it is impossible not to forgive him. As beaten down and alone as Randy might be he never looses his fighting spirit or sense of hope, no matter how little it may be. Regardless what hardship Randy is confronted with he never retreats and is admirably courageous even if being courageous might not be the smartest settlement.

For the general public who tend to find professional wrestling laughable and are quick to judge as a form of entertainment rather than a sport will find a deadly adversary in Aronofsky. The Wrestler shows that while outcomes of matches may be fixed the physical tolls these men take on their body are often more extreme and long lasting than most other "respectable" sports. The fact that Randy gives so much of himself and is ridiculed from everywhere to the trailer park he lives in to the job he keeps while not in the ring, makes us even more empathetic to the struggle Randy goes through to try and make it back on top. Overall The Wrestler is a constantly engaging and compelling character study with some of the finest acting, writing, directing I have seen in recent years. Oh and I forgot, the last shot will leave you speechless.


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