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Beyond the Mat Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

In a rare foray into documentary filmmaking, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer's Imagine Entertainment produced this behind-the-scenes look at professional wrestling, shot on digital video by director (Barry W. Blaustein), screenwriter of several hit Eddie Murphy comedies. An unabashed wrestling fan since childhood, Blaustein nevertheless takes an unflinching look at the dark underbelly of the "sport," as he shadows a trio of wrestlers representing three very different aspects of the profession. Mick Foley is a superstar shown to be the complete opposite of "Mankind," his successful wrestling character. At work, Mankind is a bloodthirsty animal, but when his mask is off, he's a loving, doting father clearly worshipped by his two young kids, who are traumatized when they witness Foley being bloodied at an Anaheim, California, event. Terry Funk is a portrait of what Foley could become, a former legend now at the end of his career and in desperate need of knee surgery, but continuing to perform dangerous stunts in the ring. Jake "The Snake" Roberts, on the other hand, travels in second-class wrestling circles, a recovering drug addict who has a painful reconciliation with his daughter. Blaustein also interviews the World Wrestling Federation's boastful bigwig Vince McMahon. McMahon later tried to block the release and promotion of the film. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi

  • Release date:October 22, 1999
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