Category: Sports

“Wrestled Away: The Lee Kemp Story” (2019) / Z-View

Wrestled Away: The Lee Kemp Story (2019)

Director:  Riley Hanlon

Stars: Lee Kemp, William Baldwin (voice), Henry Cejudo, Daniel Cormier, Urijah Faber and Dan Gable.

Tagline: A World Champion Wrestler on the podium of life with one mission despite devastating setbacks; keep WINNING GOLD.

The Plot…

Lee Kemp was arguably the greatest amateur wrestler ever.  He was was a four-time NCAA Division I National finalist.  He was a National Champion his sophomore, junior and senior years.  His freshman year (freshman!) he came in 2nd thanks to a split decision.  He lost just three times during his entire collegiate wrestling career (and all of those losses came his freshman year).

Kemp was America’s first three time World Champion.  He was also America’s youngest World Champion at that time. Kemp was also a four-time World Cup Champion and a 7-time United States Freestyle National Champion.  Olympic Gold Medalist came out of retirement to wrestle Lee Kemp and Kemp won.  Going into the 1980 Olympics, Lee Kemp was favored to win a Gold Medal.

Then Russia invaded Afghanistan.  President Carter decreed that the U.S. would not participate in the Olympics in protest since they were to be held in Moscow.  Kemp’s dream of Olympic Gold was crushed.  Everything he had worked for was taken away with that decision.

Then life got worse.  This is Lee Kemp’s story.  One of a rise to the top and then a hard fall.  But like every true champion, Lee Kemp found a way back.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

When I was in high school the two main amateur wrestlers known to the world were Dan Gable, the 1972 Olympic Gold Medalist and Lee Kemp.  Gable lost just once in his college career.  He was a legend.  Then along came Lee Kemp.  I knew that Gable had gone on to become a great college wrestling coach.  I never knew what became of Lee Kemp.  I’m glad Wrestled Away… The Lee Kemp Story tells us.

On a side note, when I was in tenth grade, I attended a Dan Gable wrestling camp.  Gable was impressive.  The highlight for me was when he picked me out of dozens in attendance to come on the mat with him for the demonstration.

Wrestled Away: The Lee Kemp Story (2019) rates 5 of 5 stars.

“Revolution in the Ring” (2017) / Z-View

Revolution in the Ring (2017)

Director:  Jason Sklaver

Writer: Jason Sklaver

Tagline: None

The Plot…

Teófilo Stevenson was a Cuban amateur boxer who won Gold Medals in the 1972, 1976 and 1980 Olympics.  Because Cuba outlawed professional sports in 1962, Stevenson was never allowed to turn pro.  With Stevenson’s Gold Medal wins, many wondered how he would fare against the best heavyweight boxers in the world.  Several promoters offered Stevenson one million dollars to challenge Muhammad Ali for the title.  The fight never happened.  Revolution in the Ring is that story.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

A couple of times it appeared that the Ali vs Stevenson fight would be made.  Fight aficionados still debate who would have won. Ali fought the best professionals in the world in battles that went 15 rounds.  Stevenson fought the world’s best amateurs in matches that lasted 3 rounds at most.  The edge would go to Ali in a professional fight.  Yet, if the fight was held in 1977, Ali was past his prime and Stevenson was still in his.  So maybe Stevenson would have the edge.  The fight never happened but the debate will never end.

Revolution in the Ring (2017) rates 5 of 5 stars.

RIP: Carl Weathers

Carl Weathers died peacefully in his sleep on February 1, 2024.  He was 76.

Carl Weathers attended St. Augustine High School in New Orleans, Louisiana on an athletic scholarship.  Mr. Weathers was an athlete who excelled in football, boxing, gymnastics, soccer, wrestling and judo.  At San Diego St. University, Carl Weathers played defensive end for the Aztecs football team.  As an undrafted free agent, Mr. Weathers was picked up by the Oakland Raiders in 1970 to play linebacker.  When he was released the following year, he headed to Canada where he played for the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League.  In the off seasons, Carl Weathers returned to the states to earn a earned a bachelor’s degree in drama.  In 1974, Mr. Weathers retired from football to pursue a career in acting.

Carl Weathers’ first feature film role was uncredited.  He played a demonstrator in Magnum Force.  Mr. Weathers’ first television role was as a jealous husband in an episode of Good Times.  Carl Weathers breakout role was as Apollo Creed in Rocky.  He would return to that role three more times.  Other of Carl Weathers’ signature roles include: Fortune Dane in Fortune Dane (1986); Colonel Al Dillon in Predator (1987); Jericho Jackson in Action Jackson (1988); Adam Beaudreaux in Street Justice (1991); Hampton Forbes in In the Heat of the Night (1993); Chubbs in Happy Gilmore (1996); Joe Clark in The Shield (2003); Combat Carl in Toy Story 4 (2019) and Greef Karga in The Mandalorian.  Although he would alternate throughout his career acting in feature films and television roles, Carl Weathers also branched out as a director and producer.

Television appearances of Carl Weathers include: Good Times; Kung Fu; S.W.A.T.; The Six Million Dollar Man; Cannon; Switch; McCloud; Starsky and Hutch; Barnaby Jones; The Streets of San Francisco; The Defiant Ones; Fortune Dane (6 episodes); Tour of Duty (9 episodes); Street Justice (44 episodes); In the Heat of the Night (28 episodes); The Shield (2 episodes); ER; Brothers (13 episodes); Chadam (3 episodes); Psych; Arrested Development (4 episodes); Toy Story of Terror; Regular Show (2 episodes); Colony (7 episodes); Chicago Fire (2 episodes); Chicago PD (4 episodes); Chicago Justice (13 episodes); Magnum PI (2018); Law and Order: Special Victims Unit; Star vs the Forces of Evil (10 episodes) and The Mandalorian (9 episodes).

Feature film appearances of Carl Weathers include: Magnum Force; Friday Foster; Rocky; Close Encounters of the Third Kind; Semi-Tough; Force Ten from Navarone; Rocky II; Death Hunt; Rocky III; Rocky IV; Predator; Action Jackson; Happy Gilmore and Toy Story 4.

Projects that Carl Weathers directed include: Renegade; Silk Stockings (8 episodes); Pensacola: Wings of Gold (2 episodes); 18 Wheels of Justice (3 episodes); Sheena (5 episodes); Hawaii 5-0: The Last O.G. (2 episodes); Law & Order; Chicago Med (2 episodes) and The Mandalorian (2 episodes).

When I think of his career, of course his role as Apollo Creed first comes to mind. Sly Stallone posted a touching tribute to Carl Weathers tonight that spoke to his importance in making Rocky a success.  Part of what Sly Stallone said:  “We lost a legend yesterday. My life was forever changed for the better the day I met Carl Weathers. Rest in power and keeping punching.”  My favorite Carl Weathers story occurred when he auditioned for the role of Apollo Creed.  Mr. Weathers was told that the writer of Rocky would be reading with him.  As the audition continued, Carl Weathers felt he wasn’t doing well.  He told the producers, “I’d do better if I was reading with a real actor.”  Sly said he knew right then Carl Weathers was the choice to play Apollo.

Although it only ran for six episodes, I was a fan of Carl Weathers’ Fortune Dane series.  I’ve been planning to seek it out for a re-watch.  The same could be said for his feature film Action Jackson.  Of course everyone loves his role in Predator and I’m no exception.  Anything that Carl Weathers was in was better because of him.

I was truly surprised by Carl Weathers’ death.  He was always in shape and appeared to be the picture of health. Some celebrity deaths hit harder than others.  Carl Weathers death was like a head-on car crash.  In addition to his acting, directing and producing, Carl Weathers will be remembered for his positive attitude.  He focused on the good in people.  He was humble and appreciative of his fans.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Carl Weather’s family, friends and fans.

“The Prince of Pennsylvania” (2015) / Z-View

The Prince of Pennsylvania (2015)

Director:  Jesse Vile

Stars: Mark Schultz, John du Pont, Robbie Calabrese, Dave Schultz.

Tagline: None

The Plot…

Multimillionaire, John DuPont wanted to create a mecca for US amateur wrestlers. He recruited the best and they were on their way.  Then DuPont killed their best athlete.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

DuPont created a training facility that was state of the art.  He invited the best wrestlers from across the country to live and train there for free.  Using filmed interviews and never-before-seen footage we get access to life there and DuPont’s gradual decline that lead to murder.

The Prince of Pennsylvania (2015) earns 4 of 5 stars.

“Bye Bye Barry” (2023) / Z-View

Bye Bye Barry (2023)

Director:  Paul Monusky, Micaela Powers. Angela Torma

Stars: Barry Sanders, Tim Allen, Jeff Daniels, Eminem, Jemele Hill, Calvin Johnson, Dan Patrick, Rodney Peete, Jalen Rose, Emmitt Smith and Bill Belichick.

Tagline: The Greatest Mystery in Sports History.

The Plot…

Barry Sanders played college football for the Oklahoma State Cowboys.  In his junior year, Sanders rushed for 2,628 yards and 37 touchdowns in just 11 games.  He was a unanimous choice for the All American team and he won the Heisman Trophy.

The following year, Barry Sanders went into the NFL draft and was selected by the Detroit Lions.  Sanders made an immediate impact and was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.  Barry Sanders went on to play ten years for Detroit.  He led the league in rushing four times and in rushing touchdowns once.  Barry Sanders was selected for the Pro Bowl every year that he played.  He was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player (1997), the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year (1994, 1997), and led the league in rushing touchdowns (1991).

Barry Sanders had earned 15,269 rushing yards (the most ever by any NFL player in a 10-year span).  He was just 1,457 rushing yards short of Walter Payton’s career rushing record.  Fans everywhere knew that if Sanders had a healthy year, he would become the new NFL rushing king.  But just one day before the Lions opened their training camp, Barry Sanders announced his retirement.

By a fax.

Barry Sanders was healthy and in the prime of his career.  Yet, he walked away from his multimillion dollar contract and never looked back.


Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

Barry Sanders is arguably the best running back to ever play the game.  He was humble and cared more about the team than individual records.  Although I’m a lifelong Chicago Bears fan, I always enjoyed watching Barry Sanders play.  He was so good.  And so likeable.

After watching Bye Bye Barry, I found reasons to admire him even more.

Bye Bye Barry (2023) earns 5 of 5 stars.

“Bye Bye Barry” – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

Barry Sanders is one of the greatest running backs in NFL history.  Some folks even place him above Jim Brown and Gayle Sayers.  Although a Chicago Bears fan my whole life, I loved watching the Detroit Lions when Barry Sanders played.

Deal me in.

Bye Bye Barry is the long-awaited, feature-length documentary that reveals, in intimate detail, the unprecedented journey of Detroit Lions running back, Barry Sanders. One of the giants of American Football, Sanders displayed a style and flair that has never been replicated. But at the peak of his game, Sanders did the unthinkable. At age 31, he walked away from the game, never to return. Twenty-four years after the decision to retire from the NFL, Bye Bye Barry tackles one of the greatest mysteries in sports history: Why did he retire when he did?

RIP: Dick Butkus

Dick Butkus died yesterday in his sleep.  Mr. Butkus was 80.

Dick Butkus was born in Chicago.  He played his entire football career in Illinois.

Dick Butkus attended Chicago Vocational High School.  On the football team he played fullback, linebacker, punter, and placekicker.  He averaged 5 yards per carry as a fullback, but preferred to play defense.  He became the first junior to earn the Chicago Sun-Time’s high school player of the year award.

Mr. Butkus attended the University of Illinois, where he played center and linebacker.  He had a stellar college career.  In his freshman year, he made the 1962 All-Big Ten Conference football team.  The following year, he was named the team’s most valuable player. Dick Butkus also earned the Chicago Tribune Silver Football as the Big Ten’s most valuable player.  He was also a unanimous choice as center for the 1963 College Football All-America Team,  In 1964, Dick Butkus was named Co-Captain of the team.  UPI named him college football’s Lineman of the Year.  Mr. Butkus was named the Player of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association and The Sporting News. He was also named his college’s most valuable player for the second year in a row. Dick Butkus also earned a spot on the 1964 All-America team.  Although he didn’t win, he was in the running for the Heisman Trophy (as the best college football player) which is extremely rare for a defensive player.

Dick Butkus was the third overall pick in the 1965 NFL draft.  He played his entire 9 year career with the Chicago Bears.  Mr. Butkus was named the AP’s NFL Defensive Player of the Week four times in his career.  He came in 3rd place for the NFL’s Rookie of the Year Award (again, rare for a defensive player).  His rookie year he made the AP’s first-team All-Pro as well as a spot in the Pro Bowl (the first of eight straight).  Dick Butkus was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 1969 and 1970.

Dick Butkus’ pro career was cut short due to knee injuries.  He is credited for redefining the middle linebacker position. Some of his honors include:

  • His college jersey number, 50, was retired by the Illinois Fighting Illini.
  • ESPN named Dick Butkus the 70th greatest athlete of the 20th century
  • Pro Football Hall of Fame voters named Dick Butkus to the NFL’s 1960s All-Decade Team
  • Pro Football Hall of Fame voters named Dick Butkus to the NFL’s 1970s All-Decade Team
  • In his first year of eligibility he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979
  • He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983.
  • The Bears retired Dick Butkus’s No. 51 jersey in 1994
  • NFL Officials & media personnel named Dick Butkus to the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1994
  • Named to the Walter Camp Football Foundation’s All-Century Team in 1999
  • The Sporting News named Dick Butkus the 9th Best Player Ever in the NFL in 1999
  • A sculpture of Dick Butkus premiered at Soldier Field among other Chicago Bear greats in 2004
  • Mr. Butkus was inducted into the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame in 2008
  • Dick Butkus was named the 10th best player ever by the NFL Network in 2010
  • The NY Daily News named Dick Butkus the 8th best NFL player ever in 2014
  • Mr. Butkus was inducted to the Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame in 2016
  • Mr. Butkus was named a laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois in 2018
  • Mr. Butkus was awarded the Order of Lincoln, the state’s highest honor, by the Governor of Illinois in 2018
  • NFL Officials & media personnel named Dick Butkus to the NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team in 2019

Dick Butkus created the Butkus Foundation to support charitable causes.

After retiring from professional football, Dick Butkus became a broadcaster, actor and was in demand by advertisers to endorse many products.

Some of Dick Butkus’ television appearances include: Brian’s Song; Emergency!; McMillan & Wife; Police Story (2 episodes); The Six Million Dollar Man; The Rockford Files; Rich Man, Poor Man; Wonder Woman; Taxi; Fantasy Island (2 episodes); Vegas; Magnum PI; Matt Houston; The Greatest American Hero; Simon & Simon; Blue Thunder (11 episodes); The Love Boat; Murder She Wrote; Half Nelson (7 episodes); Night Court (2 episodes); Matlock; Growing Pains; My Two Dads (27 episodes); MacGuyver (3 episodes); Coach (2 episodes); Hang Time (52 episodes) and The Bernie Mac Show.

Some of Dick Butkus’ feature film appearances include: Mother, Jugs & Speed; Gus; Johnny Dangerously; Gremlins 2; Necessary Roughness; The Last Boy Scout and Any Given Sunday.

Dick Butkus was my favorite football player when I was a kid.  I was a Chicago Bears fan and Mr. Butkus is a big reason for that.  I loved his style of play.  When he retired, I enjoyed seeing him in the broadcast booth or popping up in a movie, television show or commercial.  You can imagine the smile I had when I watched ROCKY for the first time and saw that his dog was named Butkus.  I also appreciate that Mr. Butkus backed several charitable causes.  What a life he lived.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Dick Butkus’ family, friends and fans.

“The League” – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

The League looks awesome.  Deal me in.

Opening exclusively in AMC Theatres the week of July 7
Available on digital July 14

Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Sam Pollard (MLK/FBI), executive produced by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson (Oscar-winning SUMMER OF SOUL), Tariq Trotter (DESCENDANT), and produced by RadicalMedia, THE LEAGUE celebrates the dynamic journey of Negro League baseball’s triumphs and challenges through the first half of the twentieth century. The story is told through previously unearthed archival footage and never-before-seen interviews with legendary players like Satchel Paige and Buck O’Neil – whose early careers paved the way for the Jackie Robinson era – as well as celebrated Hall of Famers Willie Mays and Hank Aaron who started out in the Negro Leagues. From entrepreneurial titans Cumberland Posey and Gus Greenlee, whose intense rivalry fueled the rise of two of the best baseball teams ever to play the game, to Effa Manley, the activist owner of the Newark Eagles and the only woman ever admitted to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, THE LEAGUE explores Black baseball as an economic and social pillar of Black communities and a stage for some of the greatest athletes to ever play the game, while also examining the unintended consequences of integration.

Directed by Sam Pollard
Executive Produced byAhmir “Questlove” Thompson, Tariq Trotter
Produced by RadicalMedia

RIP: The Iron Sheik

Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, better known as The Iron Sheik, died today at the age of 81.

Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri was born in Damghan, Iran.  He was a talented amateur wrestler and represented Iran on the Greco-Roman wrestling team in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.  Following the Olympics, Mr. Vaziri moved to the United States.  In 1971, he was the gold medalist in the Amateur Athletic Union Greco-Roman wrestling championships.  He then served as an assistant wrestling coach for the 1972 US Olympic team.

Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri began his wrestling career in 1972.  Capitalizing on his heritage, Mr. Vaziri shaved his head, grew a thick mustache and wore wrestling boots with toes that curved up.  He wrestled under the names The Great Hossein Arab and “Hussein Arab” before taking on the moniker of The Iron Sheik.  His character, ability in the ring and to work an audience made him a headliner.  Over the course of his career The Iron Sheik wrestled for all of the major wrestling organizations winning multiple championships in each.  The Iron Sheik was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to The Iron Sheik’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: Jim Brown

Jim Brown died on Thursday, May 18, 2023.  He was 87 years old.  Jim Brown was an athlete, civil rights activist and actor.

Jim Brown attended Syracuse University where he excelled at basketball, track and field, lacrosse, and football. Many consider Jim Brown to be one of the best lacrosse players of all time.  While at Syracuse, Jim Brown was a unanimous selection for the All-America team and they retired his number 44.  In 1995, he was inducted in the College Football Hall of Fame.

Jim Brown was a running back for the Cleveland Browns from 1957 – 1965.  He led the league in rushing 8 of the 9 seasons he played.  When he retired (while at the height of his career) he was the all-time leading rusher.  Jim Brown was a named a Pro Bowl player each season that he played.  Three times in the 9 seasons he was named the NFL Most Valuable Player.  He led the Browns to a Championship in 1964.  Jim Brown is the only professional football player to average over 100 yards per game.  He is considered by many to be the greatest player to every take the field.  Mr. Brown retired from football to pursue a career as an actor.

Some of Jim Brown’s television appearances include: I, Spy; Police Story; CHiPs (3 episodes); Knight Rider; TJ Hooker (2 episodes); The A-Team and Soul Food (4 episodes).

Some of Jim Brown’s feature films include: Rio Concho; The Dirty Dozen; Dark of the Sun; Ice Station Zebra; The Split; 100 Rifles; Slaughter; Slaughter’s Big Rip-Off; Three The Hard Way; The Running Man; I’m Gonna Git You Sucka; Mars Attacks and Any Given Sunday.

Jimi Brown was one of the few athletes to speak out about civil rights in the 1950s and he continued to do so throughout his life.  Mr. Brown was the founder of the Negro Industrial Economic Union, later renamed as the Black Economic Union which helped find opportunities and promote minority owned business.

I was a fan of Jim Brown’s football prowess.  My favorite Jim Brown films are The Dirty Dozen and Dark of the Sun.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jim Brown’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: Superstar Billy Graham

Superstar Billy Graham, the Hall of Fame Professional wrestler died yesterday at the age of 79.  He had been on life-support and ill for some time.

Superstar Billy Graham was born Eldridge Wayne Coleman.  He became interested in weightlifting while in fifth grade.  In high school he threw the shot put and participated in the Golden Gloves.  In 1961, Mr. Coleman won the Teenage Body Building Contest West Coast Division. (Frank Zane was the winner of the East Coast Division!).  By 1968, Eldridge Coleman was working out at Gold’s Gym where he became friends with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Franco Columbu and other famous body builders of the era.

In 1970, Mr. Coleman began his career in professional wrestling working for various territories around the country.  In 1972, he took on the moniker Superstar Billy Graham and he became world famous.  Over the course of his career he was a three-time World Champion and inducted in the the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame.  He retired in 1988 and became an author and ringside announcer.

Superstar Billy Graham was the inspiration for the next wave of pro wrestlers that included Ric Flair, Austin Idol, Hulk Hogan and Jesse The Body Ventura.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Superstar Billy Graham’s family, friends and fans.

“Bill Russell: Legend” (2023) / Z-View

Bill Russell: Legend (2023)

Director:  Sam Pollard

Stars: Bill Russell, Larry Bird, Satch Sanders, Bill Walton, Jeannine Russell, Jalen Rose, Karen Russell, Lawrence O’Donnell, Oscar Robertson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Stephen Curry, Bill Bradley, Shaquille O’Neal, Earl Monroe  and Chris Paul.

Tagline:  He Changed More Than the Game

The Plot…

Bill Russell: Legend explores Russell’s life on and off the basketball court. Archival news reports as well as interviews with Bill Russell, his contemporaries, current athletes and sportswriters round out this two part series.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

Bill Russell is considered by many the greatest basketball player of all time.  He made every team he played on the best. Bill Russell led his high school team to two California State High School Championships.  In college his team won two back-to-back NCAA titles.  As an Olympian, the U.S. basketball team won a Gold Medal at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games. When he went into the NBA his team, the Boston Celtics won 11 championships in his thirteen-year career. The last two were won with Bill Russell playing and serving as the coach!  “He has more NBA championship rings than he has fingers.”

Off the court Bill Russell was a man concerned with civil rights and world events.  He was a proud man that felt that the things he did off the court were more important.  I am not the biggest basketball fan in the world, but I give Bill Russell: Legend my highest recommendation.

Bill Russell: Legend (2023) rates 5 of 5 stars.

“It Ain’t Over” – The Trailer is Here!

While I’m not a regular viewer of baseball (by any stretch), I’d like to see It Ain’t Over.

Only in theaters in the New York Tri-State Area and Los Angeles May 12. Coming soon to a theater near you.

Directed By: Sean Mullin

Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra is one of baseball’s greatest. He amassed ten World Series rings, 3 MVP awards and 18 All-Star Game appearances. He caught the only perfect game in World Series history. Yet for many his deserved stature was overshadowed by his simply being himself and being recognized more for his unique personality, TV commercial appearances and unforgettable “Yogi-isms,” initially head-scratching philosophical nuggets that make a lot more sense the more you think about them. In telling the whole story, It Ain’t Over gives Berra his due in following the life of a savvy, commanding, bad-ball hitting catcher with a squat frame but also a D-Day veteran, loving husband and father and, yes, product endorser and originator (mostly) of his own brand of proverbs now ingrained into everyday life. Granddaughter Lindsay Berra tells his story along with his sons, former Yankee teammates, players he managed, writers, broadcasters, and admirers (such as Billy Crystal), plus photos and footage on and off the diamond. Berra famously said, “I’d be pretty dumb if I started being something I’m not,” and It Ain’t Over lovingly makes clear he stayed who he was for the benefit of baseball and everyone else.

“Grips, Grunts and Groans” (1937) starring The Three Stooges / Z-View

Grips, Grunts and Groans (1937)

Director:  Jack White

Writer:  Clyde Bruckman from a story by Searle Kramer, Herman Boxer

Stars: Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Curly Howard

Tagline: None.

The Plot…

The boys become friends with Ivan Bustoff, a professional wrestling champion.  Bustoff has a match that evening, but spends the day drinking/carousing with our guys.  A local mobster has placed a big bet on Bustoff and if he’s unable to wrestle or loses, it’ll be the death of the Stooges. So when Bustoff is unable to compete, Larry and Moe disguise Curly as the champ.  What could go wrong?

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

In Grips, Grunts and Groans when Curly smells Wild Hyacinth perfume, it makes him go crazy. (Much like in Horses’ Collars when the sight of a mouse sets him off.)  They could have made more shorts just of our guys going out drinking with Bustoff – think of the misadventures they could have had!

Grips, Grunts and Groans earns 5 of 5 stars.

“No Holds Barred” (1952) starring The Bowery Boys / Z-View

No Holds Barred (1952)

Director:  William Beaudine

Writer:  Tim Ryan, Bert Lawrence, Jack Crutcher

Stars: Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall, Marjorie Reynolds, Bernard Gorcey, Henry Kulky, David Gorcey, Benny Bartlett, Sandra Gould, Tim Ryan, Murray Alper and Ray Walker

Tagline: None.

The Plot…

When Slip (Gorcey) discovers that Sach (Hall) has different body parts that feel no pain and give him super-strength, he turns Sach into a professional wrestler.  Although the super-strength body part changes from time to time, they are able to take advantage of this.  Sach is winning all his matches and this draws the attention of a crooked manager and the former champ.  Soon Sach will have to face manager’s wrestler in the ring… what could go wrong?

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

No Holds Barred is a fun Bowery Boys outing.  The outfit Sach wears in his final match is actually Klaatu’s  (Michael Rennie) spacesuit from The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951).

Each time the power would move to a different body part (head, elbow, toes, etc.) Slip would change Sach’s wrestling moniker.  When the power moved to the last body part Slip started to give Sach a new wrestling name, but Sach breaks the fourth wall and says, “You say it and we’re out of pictures!”

No Holds Barred earns 3 of 5 stars.