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The Wrestler (2008)

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2:30 | Trailer

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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
Reviews
Popularity
2,526 ( 813)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 58 wins & 86 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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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 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, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$26,236,603, 10 May 2009
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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mickey Rourke was always the first choice for the role, but due to his erratic nature and reputation, the original financing for the film fell through. See more »

Goofs

When Randy wakes up in the hospital he is not on a ventilator machine and is breathing on his own (he is wearing a nasal cannula with oxygen); Yet as the camera pans out in the next scene it can clearly be seen that he has been intubated and is attached to a ventilator machine that is breathing for him. 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.
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Soundtracks

Balls To The Wall
Written by Peter Baltes, Udo Dirkschneider, Gabrielle Hauke, Wolf Hoffman, and Stefan Kaufman
Performed by Accept
Courtesy of Epic Records
By Arrangement with Sony BMG Music Entertainment
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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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