From: Steve Novak ( Cinefrog@comcast.net)
Date: 25 Mar 2005

> some time ago we all talked about boxing and new orleans and The Night and The
> City of Jules Dassin...well, hereĀ¹s this review today in NYT of this movies
> about female wrestling...check it out...has anybody seen this...is there
> anything in books about this (novels, bios, crime stories, noir romans...)
> merci in advance for any info...
> Montois in Detroit
> March 25, 2005
> Salty Anecdotes and War Stories From the Early Days of a Sport
> Revisiting the early days of professional women's wrestling, Ruth Leitman's
> documentary "Lipstick and Dynamite" rummages through a corner of sports
> history that ought to reveal a great deal about athletics, gender and sexual
> attitudes in the United States. But this visually stylish work, with its
> vintage glamour photos, film and television clips, and snippets from a 1951
> B-movie, "Racket Girls," is more of a scrapbook than a coherent history of the
> sport during its rough-and-tumble infancy. Salty anecdotes abound, but they
> add up to little beyond reminding us that the female pioneers of any sport
> have been a determined, thick-skinned lot.
> "Lipstick and Dynamite" traces women's wrestling back to 1939, when Gladys
> (Killem) Gillem first grappled with an opponent in a circus sideshow. Her act
> was a big enough hit to establish the sport as a popular novelty attraction.
> Most of the athletes interviewed, now in their 70's and 80's, came to
> wrestling to escape backgrounds of domestic abuse and poverty. Their stories,
> told with the zest of proud, battle-hardened survivors, describe not only the
> thrill of combat, but also their backstage rivalries and exploitation by
> sleazy promoters.
> The most notorious, Billy Wolfe, slept with many of them, while pocketing 50
> percent of their earnings. Any notions that these women thought of themselves
> as a feminist vanguard (then or now) are quickly demolished.
> "Lipstick and Dynamite" doesn't bother to examine women's wrestling as a
> sport with a history and an evolving set of rules and standards. How it
> developed (and then deteriorated) into the televised circus it is today is a
> subject left for others to document.
> The most prominent and formidable wrestler interviewed, the Fabulous Moolah
> (Lillian Ellison), is still active in her 80's as a hard-boiled promoter and
> manager. She lives with Johnnie Mae Young (formerly the Great Mae Young), who
> was famous for fighting dirty, and their surrogate daughter, Diamond Lil, a
> former midget wrestler. A scary creature, the Fabulous Moolah is colorful
> enough to deserve her own movie.
> Among the film's more vivid characters are Ella Waldek, a gravellyvoiced
> wrestler who went on to open her own detective agency, and Penny Banner, who
> trained to be a wrestler after nearly being date-raped at 16 and was later
> marketed as the sport's blond bombshell. The movie ends with the Gulf Coast
> Wrestlers Reunion, in which many of these hard-bitten pioneers gather to share
> their war stories.
> 'Lipstick and Dynamite'
> Opens today in the New York metropolitan area
> Directed by Ruth Leitman; directors of photography, Ms. Leitman and Nancy
> Segler; edited by Ms. Leitman and Connie Diletti; produced by Ms. Leitman and
> Debbie Nightingale; released by Koch Lorber Films. In Manhattan at the
> Angelika Film Center, Mercer and Houston Streets, Greenwich Village. Running
> time: 83 minutes. This film is not rated.
> WITH: Gladys (Killem) Gillem, the Fabulous Moolah, the Great Mae Young, Ida
> May Martinez, Penny Banner and Ella Waldek.
> Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company | Home | Privacy Policy | Search |
> Corrections | RSS | Help | Back to Top

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor --------------------~--> What would our lives be like without music, dance, and theater? Donate or volunteer in the arts today at Network for Good! http://us.click.yahoo.com/pkgkPB/SOnJAA/Zx0JAA/kqIolB/TM

RARA-AVIS home page: http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/
  Yahoo! Groups Links

<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:

<*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:

<*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 25 Mar 2005 EST