The Wrestler (2008) Poster

The Wrestler (2008)

  • Rate: 8.1/10 total 148,487 votes 
  • Genre: Drama | Romance | Sport
  • Release Date: 30 January 2009 (USA)
  • Runtime: 109 min
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The Wrestler (2008)


The Wrestler 2008tt1125849.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: The Wrestler (2008)
  • Rate: 8.1/10 total 148,487 votes 
  • Genre: Drama | Romance | Sport
  • Release Date: 30 January 2009 (USA)
  • Runtime: 109 min
  • Filming Location: 1230 East Linden Avenue, Linden, New Jersey, USA
  • Budget: $6,000,000(estimated)
  • Gross: $26,236,603(USA)(10 May 2009)
  • Director: Darren Aronofsky
  • Stars: Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood
  • Original Music By: Clint Mansell   
  • Soundtrack: Black Light
  • Sound Mix: DTS | SDDS | Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: Wrestling | Wrestler | Professional Wrestler | Supermarket | Stripper

Writing Credits By:

  • Robert D. Siegel (written by) (as Robert Siegel)

Known Trivia

  • At one point Nicolas Cage was set to star in the movie. He was seen at a Ring of Honor wrestling event in NYC doing research for the part.
  • The shooting schedule was 35 days.
  • Fox Searchlight bought the North American rights to the film at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival for a reported $4 million.
  • On February 9, 2008, as a part of CZW’s regular February event, filming took place in the New Alhambra Arena for the upcoming movie which included many CZW alumni, along with the Dylan Keith Summers (aka “Necro Butcher”), who will be playing a major part in the film.
  • Reportedly, both Bruce Springsteen and Mickey Rourke were paid no money for their contributions towards the film.
  • Artie Lange, John Ventimiglia, and Dave Attell screen tested for the role of Nick.
  • The main climatic scene featuring the rematch between Randy “The Ram” Robinson and The Ayatollah was taped at two Ring of Honor events on 3/14/08 and 3/15/08. Several Ring of Honor wrestlers also have cameos in the movie.
  • Mark Margolis has appeared in all four of Darren Aronofsky’s films.
  • Darren Aronofsky and Marisa Tomei attended the same high school, Edward R. Murrow High School.
  • World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Famer Afa Anoai (“The Wild Samoan”) trained Mickey Rourke and choreographed the matches. His daughter, Vale Anoai, has a brief role as a pharmacist.

Goofs: Continuity: As the "Ram" is preparing for his first match of the movie, he is seen taping himself up. He is bare chested, but when the mo-hawked wrestler enters the room, the "Ram" suddenly has a blue flannel shirt appear on his back.

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

Story: 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  


Synopsis: Over the credits, we see numerous magazines and newspaper articles from the 80’s, all of which feature Randy "The Ram" Robinson (Mickey Rourke), a major professional wrestling star. We then flash forward twenty years, where Randy "The Ram" is getting ready for a match in a small, local auditorium on the underground circuit. He interacts with the other wrestlers backstage, most of whom are much younger than he is (Randy is acknowledged to be in his 50’s). Ironically, though they are foes inside the ring, outside the wrestlers are all friendly, discussing with each other how they want to perform the "act" that night, and after the show go drinking together. Randy preps for the match and it’s obvious his age has caught up with him; his joints are cracking as he stretches and becomes short-winded easily. After he stretches he puts a small piece of a razor blade in his wrist bandages, in which later he uses to cut himself on the forehead to draw blood, making the match more dramatic for the fans. Afterward, Randy is given a meager payday, as the promoter claims the audience was smaller than expected. Randy’s manager then poses a 20th anniversary rematch with his most notable opponent, the Ayatollah, which sold out Madison Square garden in the 80’s. Randy agrees, hoping this kind of high-profile match could help him get back to the top.

Randy goes home to find he has been locked out of his trailer for not paying his rent. He takes pain medication with a beer and falls asleep in the back of his van. The next day he goes to work to load boxes at a supermarket where he asks his boss if he could have more hours. His boss is very rude to him and makes a snide comment about the cost of tights going up being the reason he needs more hours. Randy laughs it off and continues to ask his boss for more hours but "not on the weekends". Again his boss makes a snide comment about his other ‘profession’ being the reason he can’t work weekends.

That night after work goes to a strip club to visit a stripper named Cassidy (Marisa Tomei). Like Randy, Cassidy is older than her coworkers. She’s only 43 and still very good looking, but her coworkers are under 25 and dance to updated music versus outdated 80’s rock. Randy overhears in another room a few obnoxious young guys calling her an old hag, she is old enough to be their mom and to get away from them. Randy steps in and pushes them around and yells at them that they have no idea how wonderful Cassidy is. She gives him a lap dance before she goes on stage and we switch to the next morning.

We see Randy going through his training rituals. First stop is getting his hair bleached blond at a salon, then going to a tanning salon. Going to a Dollar Store to buy a few items for his upcoming match and then we see him sitting in a locker room at a gym buying $900 worth of steroids and injecting it into his backside before he begins to work out feverishly. After the gym we see him talking to wrestler Dylan Summers, (a.k.a. Necro Butcher) who is explaining to him that the match is going to be particularly brutal "hardcore", in which Randy and his opponent use various weapons on each other, including thumbtacks, staple guns, barbed wire and glass. Randy is asked if he’s ever been in a match that involved staples and Randy says he hasn’t. It is explained they are not bad going in but coming out they may leave a small hole. Randy looks uncertain but continues. We cut to the match and it is exactly as described. Bloody and brutal. Randy suffers numerous gashes, includes a deep cut on his chest from the barbed wire, but wins the match by smashing a glass door over his opponents head. After the match Randy stumbles backstage and is seated in a chair where doctors fervently sew him up and remove the staples. The pain is excruciating and Randy gags a few times from the pain. After the doctors are finished and he is alone in his dressing room, he walks over to his locker, but before he can even open it he stares intently at his left arm, vomits twice and passes out.

Randy wakes up in a hospital to learn that he suffered a heart attack that necessitated a bypass operation. His doctor warns Randy that unless he cuts out the drugs and stops wrestling, his life could be in danger. While signing out of the hospital an envelope is given to him containing his pay for the match. Randy goes to the pharmacy to have his prescriptions from the hospital filled and is very embarrassed to pick them up. Then he goes to pay his back rent and the trailer park manager takes the padlock off his door and says "Welcome Home". Randy immediately falls asleep. The next day, following the doctor’s advice, he takes it easy. He invites a neighbor kid over to play a game of wrestling, featuring Randy himself, on an old Nintendo console. The kid plays one match with him and abruptly leaves complaining about how old and boring the game is, and how he has "Call of Duty 4 at home".. "Call IT what?".. "No, Call OF Duty, it’s about war". Randy goes for a jog and half way has to lean on a tree from exhaustion and starts to cry from the pain in his chest and realizing how alone in life he is.

He goes back to the strip club and tells Cassidy about his heart attack, and she breaks one of her rules by agreeing to meet him outside to talk. He tells her how alone he feels, and she suggests he try to rekindle a relationship with his daughter, Stephanie (Evan Rachel Wood). At first he is hesitant but then Randy agrees.

Randy goes to Stephanie’s home, where she refuses to have anything to do with him. She yells at him for never being there during her childhood and walks away. Randy goes back to the strip club, tells Cassidy what happened, so she offers to help Randy find a present for Stephanie. The next morning Randy is waiting for Cassidy in front of a resale clothes store when she pulls up an old pickup truck. She gets out wearing jeans, winter boots, a heavy winter coat and a winter hat. Opposite of how he usually sees her (half nude) Randy ‘compliments’ her by saying she looks good cleaned up. But she laughed it off knowing what he meant, and thanks him. They go inside the vintage shop and look at clothes to buy Stephanie. Cassidy settles on a black pea-coat but Randy insists on buying a lime green jacket with an "S" on it, "For Stephanie" he says. Cassidy frowns at it but then tells him to do what he thinks is right. Outside of the store he asks her is she wants to go have a beer. She declines. Randy insists and asks her why she can’t. She tells him she doesn’t usually do this but..she has a confession to make. She has a son. He’s 9 years old. Randy asks why she never told him before and she explains it’s just not considered attractive to have a kid. She shows him a picture of her son and he tells her how good looking he is and that he looks just like his mother. Randy then runs to his van and comes back with a old "Randy the Ram" wrestling action figure and tells her to give it to her son. Eventually Randy convinces Cassidy to have that beer. In the bar they talk and reminisce about the 80’s and how lousy things are now, and Randy eventually kisses her. At first she fully embraces him, but then suddenly pushes him away, slams her beer and leaves him.

Randy goes to see Stephanie and gives her the gift. The first one was the shiny lime jacket with the letter ‘S’ embroidered on it. She looks uncertain, so he explains that the next one is the "real" gift. He then gives her the pea-coat Cassidy picked out. She likes this one much better. Stephanie reluctantly agrees to spend the afternoon with him but he insists. They go for a walk by the boardwalk and talk. Randy confesses that he has not been a good father. He breaks down in tears and pleads with her to have the relationship he never had because he was so very wrong before. Stephanie warms to him, thinks he might be trying to be a good father, and agrees to meet him for dinner that weekend.

A few days later Randy goes to a convention to sign memorabilia for fans, only 2 fans showed up to see him. While there he also sees several of the old wrestlers are disabled, one being in wheelchair. Randy leaves and makes a bunch of phone calls telling each person he is now retired and to cancel the 20th anniversary rematch with the Ayatollah. He then goes to work and walks in his bosses office without knocking and sees him watching a porn. The boss yells at him to "try again, this time knock". Randy turns around and closes the door, knocks twice and his boss throws the door open hitting him with it yelling, "what do you want?". Randy again asks him for more hours. His boss says he doesn’t have anymore to give him except for weekends. Randy hesitates and says he’ll take weekend. Stunned the boss turns around and says it’s his. He is to work the deli counter. "You mean with customers?" After donning an apron and a hair net the boss gives him his name tag (with his real full name even after Randy objecting to it) and he goes out to the deli counter and immediately gets into the swing of things. He actually starts to somewhat enjoy himself taking care of the customers and cutting meat and frying chicken.

Later he goes to see Cassidy at the strip club and gives her a ‘Thank You’ card. He asks her if he could get her a drink and she says she doesn’t take drink from "customers". Stunned he says to her, "I thought we were passed that." She became very harsh with him and said NO, all he is is a customer and she should never have went out with him the first time. They argue and Randy insults her and she yells for security for him to be thrown out.

Upset, Randy goes to a wrestling show as a spectator. After the show he goes out with the other wrestlers, gets drunk, and ends up doing cocaine and having sex with a fan. The next morning he gets home and sleeps the day away and when he wakes he realizes that he missed dinner with Stephanie that night. He goes to her home in the middle of the night to apologize, but Stephanie is in tears, throwing things at him, and screaming that she waited two hours for him to show up. She says he has never been and never will be a father to her. Says that he cannot change who he is, and that she never wants to see him again and throws him out of the house.

Randy goes to work the next day. He becomes very agitated while dealing with an finicky elderly lady, and to add insult to injury the next customer says he "thinks" he recognizes him, that he looks just like the Ram except older. Humiliated, Randy accidentally/intentionally cut his thumb in the deli meat slicer. After he cuts himself he yells in pain and blood spatters, with customers screaming. His boss reminds him there are customers, and he screams at his boss for being such an A**hole, and "HOW DARE YOU TALK TO ME LIKE THAT", kicks and punches items around with blood flying everywhere, "You Prick!! I QUIT"..and he later calls up the promoter and tells him he wants to wrestle the last match with the Ayatollah.

Later we see Randy bleaching his hair from a box and spray tanning himself, then packing up his trailer with all of his belongings. Cassidy arrives just as Randy is leaving and apologizes, saying there is something between them but she was afraid to let him get close. Randy seems to have resigned himself to the fact that he is meant to be alone, and drives off, passing her a flyer for the match. Randy drives to the arena and greets the Ayatollah (actually a used car salesman named Bob). They catch up and prepare for the match. As Randy is getting ready to walk out to the ring with the crowd chanting his name, Cassidy arrives. She warns him that his heart could give out if he wrestles, but he shrugs it off. Randy says that the real world doesn’t care about him, and the only place he belongs is in the ring. Cassidy tells him she wants to be with him, but Randy heads to the ring as his music blares.

Before the match, Randy gives a speech thanking the fans, telling them how he’s lived his life burning the candle from both ends. But even though people told him he’d never wrestle again, here he is. The match begins, and the crowd is into it. But as it progresses, Randy starts to deviate from the planned match. Concerned, Ayatollah asks if he alright. We realize that Randy is doing this on purpose, that he wants his heart to give out. Randy goes so far as to steal one of the Ayatollah’s signature moves. As the match winds down, Randy feels his heart giving out, and he can barely stand. Bob/Ayatollah realizes this and tries to end the match to save Randy’s life, but Randy refuses to stop. Randy looks into the crowd, but cannot see Cassidy. Finally Randy climbs to the top rope to deliver his signature "Ram Jam" finisher, his heart ready to burst, Randy salutes the fans, his face covered in tears and sweat. He then leaps off the top rope, and the screen fades to black.


FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Darren Aronofsky known as producer
  • Scott Franklin known as producer
  • Evan Ginzburg known as associate producer
  • Ari Handel known as associate producer
  • Mark Heyman known as co-producer
  • Vincent Maraval known as executive producer
  • Agnès Mentre known as executive producer
  • Jennifer Roth known as executive producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Mickey Rourke known as Randy 'The Ram' Robinson
  • Marisa Tomei known as Cassidy
  • Evan Rachel Wood known as Stephanie
  • Mark Margolis known as Lenny
  • Todd Barry known as Wayne
  • Wass Stevens known as Nick Volpe
  • Judah Friedlander known as Scott Brumberg
  • Ernest Miller known as The Ayatollah
  • Dylan Keith Summers known as Necro Butcher (as Dylan Summers)
  • Tommy Farra known as Tommy Rotten
  • Mike Miller known as Lex Lethal
  • Marcia Jean Kurtz known as Admissions Desk Woman
  • John D'Leo known as Adam
  • Ajay Naidu known as Medic
  • Gregg Bello known as JAPW Promoter Larry Cohen
  • Scott Siegel known as Greg
  • Maurizio Ferrigno known as Spotter
  • Donnetta Lavinia Grays known as Jen
  • Andrea Langi known as Alyssa
  • Armin Amiri known as Dr. Moayedizadeh
  • Vale Anoai known as Pharmacist (as Lynn Tovale Anoa'i)
  • Ryan Lynn known as Strip Club Best Man
  • Michael Drayer known as Strip Club Bachelor
  • Alyssa Bresnahan known as Cheeques Bartender
  • Jeff Chena known as Hotel Bartender
  • Vernon Campbell known as Big Chris (as Vernon W. Campbell)
  • Felice Choi known as Beautician
  • Bernadette Penotti known as Tanning Salon Owner
  • Johnny Valiant known as The Legend Johnny Valiant
  • Ron Killings known as Ron 'The Truth' Killings
  • Giovanni Roselli known as Romeo Roselli
  • Robert D. Siegel known as Autograph Fan #1 (as Robert Siegel)
  • Scott Franklin known as Autograph Fan #2
  • Sylvia Kauders known as Hudson Acres Lady at Deli Counter
  • Alissa Reisler known as Young Housewife at Deli Counter
  • Willy Rosner known as Touchdown Man at Deli Counter
  • Rebecca Darke known as German Potato Salad Lady at Deli Counter
  • E.J. Carroll known as Teamster at Deli Counter
  • Abraham Aronofsky known as Annoyed Man at Deli Counter
  • Charlotte Aronofsky known as Annoyed Woman at Deli Counter
  • T.J. Kedzierski known as Jameson (as T.J. Kedzieerski)
  • Jen Cohn known as Get a Room Lady
  • Maven Bentley known as WXW Announcer
  • Douglas Crosby known as WXW Referee
  • Larry Legend known as CZW Announcer
  • Nick Papagiorgio known as CZW Referee (as Nick Papagerio)
  • Kevin Foote known as ROH Announcer
  • Jon Trosky known as ROH Referee
  • Andrew Anderson known as Wrestler
  • Austin Aries known as Wrestler
  • Brian Heffron known as Wrestler (as Blue Meanie)
  • Nicky Benz known as Wrestler
  • Brolly known as Wrestler
  • Lamar Braxton Porter known as Wrestler
  • Claudio Castagnoli known as Wrestler (as Claudio Castignoli)
  • Cobian known as Wrestler
  • Doc Daniels known as Wrestler
  • Bobby Dempsey known as Wrestler
  • Billy Dream known as Wrestler
  • Rob Eckos known as Wrestler
  • Nate Hatred known as Wrestler
  • Kit Cope known as Wrestler (as Havoc)
  • David John Markland known as Wrestler
  • Danny Gimondo known as Wrestler (as Inferno)
  • Jess Liaudin known as Wrestler (as Joker)
  • Judas known as Wrestler
  • Kid U.S.A. known as Wrestler
  • LA Smooth known as Wrestler
  • Toa Maivia known as Wrestler (as Toa Mairie)
  • Kevin McDonald known as Wrestler
  • Charles Renner known as Wrestler
  • Pete Nixon known as Wrestler
  • Paul E. Normous known as Wrestler
  • Papadon known as Wrestler
  • Darnell Kittiell known as Wrestler (as Sabian)
  • Jay Santana known as Wrestler
  • Sugga known as Wrestler
  • Larry Sweeney known as Wrestler
  • Whacks known as Wrestler
  • Olivia Baseman known as Alyssa's Roommate (uncredited)
  • Sakinah Bingham known as Ring Girl (uncredited)
  • Peter Bond known as Pete Nixon (uncredited)
  • Kevin Cannon known as Strip Club Hood (uncredited)
  • Matt Cannon known as Crazy Fan (uncredited)
  • Peter Conboy known as Fans at Table (uncredited)
  • Mike Coughlin known as Promoter (uncredited)
  • Brandon Dicamillo known as Audience Member (uncredited)
  • Bennett Dunn known as Ringside Fan (uncredited)
  • Anna-Karin Eskilsson known as Girl in Supermarket (uncredited)
  • Evan Ginzburg known as Fan at Convention (uncredited)
  • Richard Graves known as Fan (uncredited)
  • Joe Huu known as Strip Club Patron (uncredited)
  • Piper Kenny known as DJ (uncredited)
  • Henry Kwan known as Strip Club Patron (uncredited)
  • Marca Leigh known as Wrestling Fan (uncredited)
  • Jill Lord known as Autograph Mom (uncredited)
  • Michael Marino known as Medic #2 (uncredited)
  • Helena Mayhem known as Herself (uncredited)
  • Robert Oppel known as Wrestler (uncredited)
  • Arthur E. Pittman Jr. known as Samoan Wrestler in CZW Locker Room (uncredited)
  • Vincent James Russo known as Wrestling Fan (uncredited)
  • Erika Smith known as Dancer (uncredited)
  • Paul Thornton known as Strip Club Patron (uncredited)
  • Ryan Tygh known as Fan (uncredited)
  • Ben Van Bergen known as Deli Customer (uncredited)
  • Bill Walters known as Wrestling Fan (uncredited)
  • Emanuel Yarbrough known as Sumo Wrestler (uncredited)
  • John Zandig known as Wrestler (uncredited)



Supporting Department

Makeup Department:
  • Judy Chin known as key makeup artist
  • Marjorie Durand known as makeup artist
  • Chris Kelly known as prosthetics crew
  • Mandy Lyons known as key hair stylist
  • John Maisano known as prosthetics crew
  • Michael Marino known as prosthetic makeup designer (as Mike Marino)
  • E. Morrow known as assistant makeup artist (as Eve Morrow)
  • Jeffrey Rebelo known as assistant hair stylist
  • Diana Sikes known as assistant hair stylist
  • Hayes Villandry known as prosthetics lab supervisor

Art Department:

  • Pastor Alvarado III known as set dresser
  • Junior Cyrus Baron known as props
  • Junior Cyrus Baron known as set dresser
  • Jeff Butcher known as property master
  • Paul Camarro known as set dresser
  • Travis Child known as camera scenic
  • Dan Fisher known as assistant property master
  • Daniel Fisher known as assistant property master
  • Dennis Franklin known as art assistant
  • David Scott Gagnon known as leadman
  • Craig Hench known as art intern
  • Akeo Ihara known as set dresser
  • Shane Ingersoll known as art production assistant
  • Michael Lee Nirenberg known as lead scenic artist
  • Hollywood Nick Pagani known as picture car wrangler
  • Eric Pastore known as set dresser
  • Tim Rossiter known as leadman
  • Selina van den Brink known as art department coordinator




Production Companies:

  • Wild Bunch
  • Protozoa Pictures
  • Saturn Films
  • Top Rope

Other Companies:

  • AGM Productions  French dubbing
  • Able Equipment  aerial equipment
  • Able Equipment  condors and lifts
  • CSC  camera and lighting equipment provided by
  • Camera Service Center  camera equipment
  • Chapman/Leonard Studio Equipment  camera dollies
  • Creative Artists Agency (CAA)  filmmakers representation
  • David Haddad  transportation equipment
  • Eastern Script Clearance  script clearances (as Eastern Clearance)
  • Film Finances  completion guarantor
  • Grant Wilfley Casting  extras casting
  • Haddad's  transportation equipment
  • Indiepay  payroll services
  • Koch Records  soundtrack
  • P&G Lighting & Sign Service  boom lift
  • Postillion Studios  title design: main and end titles
  • Postworks New York  HD dailies
  • Postworks  dailies telecine
  • Remote Control Productions  score recorded and mixed at (as Remote Control, Santa Monica, CA)
  • ScriptE Systems  script supervision software
  • Sessions Payroll Management  extras payroll services
  • Sound One  post-production sound services
  • Technicolor Creative Services  digital intermediate (as Technicolor New York)


  • Fox Searchlight Pictures (2008) (USA) (all media)
  • Cinema Mondo (2009) (Finland) (theatrical)
  • Nikkatsu (2009) (Japan) (theatrical)
  • 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment (2009) (USA) (DVD)
  • 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment (2009) (USA) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • ACME (2009) (Latvia) (all media)
  • Alliance Films (2009) (Canada) (DVD)
  • Bazuca Films (2009) (Chile) (all media)
  • Bir Film (2009) (Turkey) (all media)
  • CatchPlay (2009) (Taiwan) (all media)
  • Cathay-Keris Films (2009) (Singapore) (all media)
  • Central Partnership (2009) (Russia) (all media)
  • DeA Planeta Home Entertainment (2009) (Spain) (DVD)
  • Distribution Company (2009) (Argentina) (all media)
  • Dutch FilmWorks (DFW) (2009) (Netherlands) (DVD)
  • Dutch FilmWorks (DFW) (2009) (Netherlands) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Front Row Filmed Entertainment (2008) (United Arab Emirates) (all media) (Middle East)
  • Gativideo (2009) (Argentina) (DVD)
  • Happinet Pictures (2010) (Japan) (DVD)
  • Home Box Office (HBO) (2009) (USA) (TV)
  • Hopscotch Films (2009) (Australia) (all media)
  • Kinowelt Filmverleih (2009) (Germany) (all media)
  • Lucky Red (2009) (Italy) (all media)
  • Mars Distribution (2009) (France) (all media)
  • Midget Entertainment (2009) (Denmark) (all media)
  • NonStop Entertainment (2009) (Scandinavia) (all media)
  • Optimum Releasing (2009) (UK) (all media)
  • Pan Vision Oy (2009) (Finland) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Paris Filmes (2009) (Brazil) (all media)
  • Remstar Distribution (2008) (Canada) (all media)
  • SPI International (2009) (Czech Republic) (all media)
  • SPI International (2009) (Poland) (all media)
  • SPI International (2009) (Slovakia) (all media)
  • Spentzos Films (2009) (Greece) (all media)
  • Video Vision Entertainment (2009) (South Africa) (all media)
  • Volga (2009) (Russia) (all media)
  • Wide Pictures (2008) (Spain) (all media)
  • Wild Bunch Benelux (2009) (Belgium) (all media)
  • Wild Bunch Benelux (2009) (Luxembourg) (all media)
  • Wild Bunch Benelux (2009) (Netherlands) (all media)



Other Stuff

Special Effects:

  • LOOK! Effects (visual effects) (as Look FX)

Visual Effects by:

  • Adam Avitabile known as flame artist
  • Chad Buehler known as digital compositor
  • Jessica Elvin known as conform editor
  • Randall Furino known as videogame programmer
  • Kristyn Hume known as main title sequence
  • Kristyn Hume known as videogame imagery
  • Barbara Jean Kearney known as digital intermediate executive producer
  • Eric Leverenz known as digital retouching
  • Morgan Miller known as digital retouching
  • Jesse Morrow known as fire artist
  • Erin L. Nelson known as digital restoration
  • Joseph Ryals known as digital film scanning and recording
  • Chad Schott known as digital compositor
  • Dan Schrecker known as visual effects supervisor
  • Daniel Silverman known as digital film scanning and recording
  • Andy Simonson known as visual effects coordinator
  • Wilson Tang known as digital restoration
  • Niko Tavernise known as visual effects

Release Date:

  • Italy 5 September 2008 (Venice Film Festival)
  • Canada 7 September 2008 (Toronto International Film Festival)
  • USA 12 October 2008 (New York Film Festival)
  • Belgium 17 October 2008 (Gent International Film Festival)
  • USA 17 October 2008 (Chicago International Film Festival)
  • USA 17 October 2008 (Hamptons International Film Festival)
  • Turkey 19 October 2008 (Eurasia Film Festival)
  • UK 26 October 2008 (London Film Festival)
  • USA 6 November 2008 (AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival)
  • Greece 14 November 2008 (Thessaloniki International Film Festival)
  • USA 14 November 2008 (Starz Denver Film Festival)
  • Estonia 29 November 2008 (Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival)
  • USA 8 December 2008 (New York City, New York) (premiere)
  • USA 16 December 2008 (Los Angeles, California) (premiere)
  • USA 17 December 2008 (limited)
  • Australia 8 January 2009 (limited)
  • Latvia 9 January 2009
  • Australia 15 January 2009
  • Finland 16 January 2009
  • Ireland 16 January 2009
  • UK 16 January 2009
  • Estonia 23 January 2009
  • Singapore 29 January 2009 (limited)
  • USA 30 January 2009
  • Greece 5 February 2009
  • Belgium 11 February 2009
  • Israel 12 February 2009
  • Netherlands 12 February 2009
  • Singapore 12 February 2009
  • Brazil 13 February 2009
  • Iceland 13 February 2009
  • Norway 13 February 2009
  • Sweden 13 February 2009
  • France 18 February 2009
  • Switzerland 18 February 2009 (French speaking region)
  • Argentina 19 February 2009
  • Thailand 19 February 2009
  • Spain 20 February 2009
  • Taiwan 20 February 2009
  • Uruguay 21 February 2009
  • Germany 26 February 2009
  • Portugal 26 February 2009
  • Switzerland 26 February 2009 (German speaking region)
  • Austria 27 February 2009
  • Mexico 27 February 2009
  • Kuwait 5 March 2009
  • South Korea 5 March 2009
  • Italy 6 March 2009
  • Poland 20 March 2009
  • New Zealand 26 March 2009
  • Russia 26 March 2009
  • Hong Kong 2 April 2009
  • Kazakhstan 2 April 2009
  • Lithuania 3 April 2009
  • Turkey 10 April 2009
  • Denmark 22 April 2009 (CPHPIX Festival)
  • Hungary 21 May 2009
  • Peru 21 May 2009
  • Slovenia 28 May 2009
  • Denmark 29 May 2009
  • Japan 13 June 2009
  • Czech Republic July 2009 (Karlovy Vary International Film Festival)
  • Czech Republic 9 July 2009
  • Colombia 24 July 2009
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina 20 August 2009 (Sarajevo Film Festival)
  • Slovakia 24 September 2009

MPAA: Rated R for violence, sexuality/nudity, language and some drug use



Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

The Wrestler (2008) Related Movie

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Spicy Mac Project (2009) Movie Poster
The Winning Season (2009) Movie Poster
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Posted on March 30, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , , .


  1. Greg Magne ( from Toronto, ON, Canada
    30 Mar 2012, 5:37 pm

    The Wrestler won the Golden Lion a few days ago in Venice. Obviouslythat's going to build up some high expectations but director DarrenAronofsky introduced it as a "simple little film" and he didn't wantthe movie to get over-hyped. He said it's been a busy week as he onlyfinished the film 6 days ago!!

    Randy "The Ram" Robinson, played brilliantly by Mickey Rourke, was astar professional wrestler in the 1980s. He had a legendarypay-per-view match against the Ayatollah in his prime, his own Nintendogame, posters, "Best of The Ram" VHS series and legions of fans whoworshipped him. The film begins in the present day with The Ramcollecting a paltry sum of money for his latest fight only to discoverhe's been locked out of his trailer home because he's behind on hisrent. He has a good physique for his age – with the aid of steroids andtanning salons – he still has good friends in the local wrestlingbrotherhood and he enjoys hanging out with Cassidy (played by MarisaTomei) at the strip club where she works. He's a likable guy and theneighbourhood kids look up to him as a hero, so it's easy to root forthis washed-up old wrestler as he participates in choreographed, yetamazingly bloody, wrestling matches. He struggles to pay the rent whilealso searching for deeper meaning in his life as he knows that he can'twrestle forever. However, wrestling is the only thing he's good at, andhe lives for those precious moments when he stands on the topturnbuckle and his adoring fans cheer his name – but once he steps outof the ring his life is a mess. He'd like to reconcile with estrangeddaughter Stefanie (played by Evan Rachel Wood) but she hates him afterhe abandoned her in her youth. He's never given her a birthday gift,probably because he doesn't know which day it is.

    There's a parallel story with Cassidy, an aging stripper. She alsoknows that her career is coming to an end, but unlike The Ram she seemsto have plans after she retires, and her finances are in good order.They've obviously known each other for quite some time, and thoughthere seems to be some mutual attraction Cassidy has always followedthe rule "don't get involved with a customer". They have a complexrelationship that changes throughout the film, but you can always feelthat Cassidy cares about his well-being.

    This movie works because it feels so real. All the characters are sonatural in their roles that you'll feel drawn into this world ofwrestling. Mickey Rourke doesn't just play a wrestler, he is awrestling star, he is Randy The Ram in every way. The wrestling sceneswere also amazingly crafted and you can see Randy build off the crowd'sexcitement. The film does a great job of showing why so many fans love"fake" wrestling.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this little film but it's not for all tastes. It'sgritty, raw, sometimes depressing, sometimes funny, and yeah I'll admitthat I cried. A 9.5/10 for me and it's a must-see for wrestling fans(especially from 1980s era) and, obviously, anyone who enjoyed theprevious works of Aranofsky and/or Rourke. Mickey Rourke and MarisaTomei were both outstanding and Evan Rachel Wood also shone in hersupporting role.

  2. nonsequitur247 from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 5:37 pm

    Nicholas Cage? Bruce Willis? Wrong. Never would have worked. No oneelse could have played Randy "The Ram" Robinson with the compassion andenergy he brings to the role–it's painful to see the fadingprofessional wrestler coming to terms with both his mortality and theemptiness of his life outside the ring, and this is largely due toRourke's excellent acting. Twenty years after the defining match of hiscareer, Randy is still a fan favorite and loving his work–until hesuffers a heart attack. The film follows the gentle giant as he triesto adjust to living without wrestling, reconnect with his estrangeddaughter (Evan Rachel Wood), and kindle a bond with a friend who worksin a strip club (Marisa Tomei).

    This isn't just a film about professional wrestling, but Aronofsky getsthat part right. He does a beautiful job showing the sport with realismwithout mocking it: he highlights the humor, but never makes fun of it.He doesn't just deconstruct the mythical image of wrestlers'performances, but he also destroys their apparent rage towards eachother. It's clear that these guys are friends–they care about andrespect each other. These other wrestlers in the film are all played byprofessionals, and they do a great job with the acting. The filmrespects them and their world, and demands the same from the audience.

    The other supporting characters are strong as well. Tomei and Wood'scharacters could easily have fallen into clichés, but they give Randysome of his best moments on screen. Tomei's storyline, especially,serves as a nice parallel and contrast to Randy's. Wood's could use alittle more juice, but her story arc does the same. Both are effective.

    Another notable aspect of the film is its music. The character of Randyis a big '80s rock fan, and for the film, they got the rights to useGuns N' Roses' "Sweet Child o' Mine." A special thanks at the end ofthe film went out to Axl Rose. On the softer side, Bruce Springsteenwrote "The Wrestler" for the credits, and its sweet melancholy servesas the perfect coda for the film.

    Overall, 'The Wrestler' is great. It's a rich, round film that smoothlyweaves together pathos and comedy and soul. It's funny and dramatic,tear-jerking and tough. Definitely a must-see this winter.

  3. Billy_Costigan from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 5:37 pm

    The Wrestler is a drama centered around an aging professional wrestlerpast his prime. It's so much more than that. You don't have to be a fanof wrestling to enjoy this film. The wrestling part of it can be putaside as a back story. Randy "The Ram" could be in any otherprofession, doing any other thing and could be in the same situation.That's what's so great about it. He's just a lonely guy, whose lifeseems to have passed him by. A middle aged man who doesn't have muchgoing for him. Sure, he's a wrestler, but he needs wrestling more thanwrestling needs him. He needs it to feel important, to feel like asomebody. He really has nothing to show for himself, no wife, just adaughter he hasn't been there for his whole life. Missed opportunities.He's sad and alone and we really do feel for him.

    A closer bond seems to be forming between him and his stripper friend,played by Marisa Tomei, who seems to be in a similar situation as heis. The middle aged stripper who seems to have a real connection with"The Ram" is shown in another misunderstood profession. We all may notbe as different as we may think. Health problems compromise hiswrestling career as he tries to deal with the real world and rebuildhis relationship with his abandoned daughter. The scenes with EvanRachel Wood (his daughter) are touching. Beautifully done. Rourke'scharacter portrayal of the Ram is one of the best in a long time. He'snot just acting, he transforms into the character on screen. It'samazing to watch. All the credit he's getting is truly deserved.

    The film is Directed by Darren Aronofsky, who also directed Requiem fora Dream. He does a beautiful job showing the sport with realism. Thefilm respects the wrestlers and their world, and expects the same fromthe audience. This film is done in a style that's so real, so honest,so amazing, in easily one of the best films of the year. All aroundgreat performances and great direction. Definitely worth checking outsometime.

  4. M. J Arocena from New Zealand
    30 Mar 2012, 5:37 pm

    Very rarely an artistic come back is so pointed, so truthful and/or sohonest. Mickey Rourke is extraordinary here and I can assure you, he'llbreak your heart. "It's not over until you (pointing at the audience)tell me its over" Who was saying that? Mickey Rourke himself or hischaracter? Both, I think both. I felt a chill run down my spine, thekind of chill you feel when confronted by an unvarnished truth. DarrenAronofsky is definitely someone to watch and to follow. His charactersface limit situations and he finds torturous paths for them to travel.What makes the whole thing endurable is the unmistakable signs of selfawareness. In "The Wrestler" the painful meeting between Ram and hisdaughter (played by Evan Rachel Wood) have the overwhelming weight ofthe truth without a hint of sentimentality. As we are approaching Oscarseason I imagine already a fight to the finish between Sean Penn for"Milk" and Mickey Rourke for "The Wrestler" They both deserve thehighest accolade. What a year!

  5. Natasha Bishop from Los Angeles, CA
    30 Mar 2012, 5:37 pm

    I caught an advanced screening of The Wrestler starring Mickey Rourkelast night in Hollywood, CA. Following the screening was a Q&A sessionwith Mickey Rourke, Darren Aronofsky, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood,and film composer Clint Mansell.

    Mickey Rourke delivers one of the most honest and heart breakingperformances I've seen from an actor. Very rarely do you see an actorcome back with such a role. He is truly extraordinary in The Wrestler.There are times in this film when I wonder just how much of this isMickey in character as "The Ram" or Mickey reacting as Mickey to asituation similar to what he went through in his "lost years". Theparallels are astounding. There is a scene when Randy "The Ram" is inthe ring and he points to the audience "It is not over until you tellme it's over". Is it Mickey or Randy talking there? As a newly revivedMickey Rourke fan, I can tell you this audience member says it's justbeginning Mickey!

    Marissa Tomei delivers a stellar performance as an aging exotic dancerthe parallel story to Mickey's character "The Ram". Evan Rachel Woodreally brings it as "The Rams" angry, abandoned and emotionallyexhausted daughter. The chemistry between Mickey and Evan is breathtaking!

    Darren Aronofsky delivers this story to us with honesty, realism andartistic skill. I think this young director will be around makingfantastic films for some time to come. At least I hope he is!

    You can't go wrong with this film. It is rock solid to the core!

    Facts from the Q&A

    Only the 3rd American Film to with the Golden Lion at the Venice FilmFestival.

    The film was made for $7 Million.

    The filmscore is more atmospheric as the composer did not want tointerfere with the documentary feel of the film.

    Mickey Rourke trained for 6 months to get to the wrestling weight of235 for the film. Weight training, wrestling training and eating 5,000calories.

    The scenes of Mickey Rourke and Evan Rachel Wood were as real as theycould get. The actors put on music before the scene and just talkedabout their real life and Mickey's parallels to the film. When thedirector felt they were there he would yell action and they would workthrough the scene.

    The scenes back stage with the wrestlers were all real as well. Thecrew would go to wrestling matches and film the wrestlers before/aftermatches. Mickey would walk in and introduce himself (in character) andthe scene was improvised.

    The film was about 20-30% improvisation from the actors.

  6. kurt-haider from Eisenerz, Austria
    30 Mar 2012, 5:37 pm

    I saw the movie at the world premiere in Venice and Mickey Rourke,Darren Aronofsky and other crew members were also in the audience. Whenthe credits began, people were jumping out of their seats (includingme) applauding and cheering for more than 15 minutes. It was reallyamazing. I have been a Rourke fan for 10 years now and to me DarrenAronofsky is one of the greatest directors of the last ten years. Sowhen I entered the cinema my expectations were as high as never before.But this 40 Euro ticket was worth every cent. I never saw such a movingperformance by "Sir Eddie Cook" who played Randy "the Ram" with suchauthenticity that I was paralyzed for almost two hours. And that'sbecause Rourke isn't just playing "Ram", he IS "Ram", at least a partof him (there are many parallels to his real troubled past). Aronofskyreally did a great job and really pushed the actors to their limits. Itis amazing to see how a good director can turn such a simple story intoone of the greatest movies I have ever seen (and I watch hundreds ofmovies). So everybody who grew up in the 80's with wrestling, hard rockand Nintendo or just loves movies should see this – at least ten times.God bless you Darren, Mickey and all the other crew members for thebest cinema experience I have ever had. no doubt about it.

  7. MovieAddict2011 from UK
    30 Mar 2012, 5:37 pm

    Enough has been written already about Mickey Rourke's real-lifeparallels with his fictional character in The Wrestler. Yes, it makesthe story seem even realer, and is perhaps what attracted Rourke to theproject. (Or perhaps not — perhaps, instead, it is what attractedDarren Aronofsky to the actor.) But to focus on such surfacesimilarities seems like an undermining of his work here. Rourke may notbe as out-of-his-comfort-zone as Sean Penn in Milk, the only otherOscar-worthy lead performance this year, but that is merely a testamentto his fundamental understanding of his character: Randy is anunderstated guy with big scars, both literally and figuratively. He'sbeen wrestling for years — now reduced to borderline tribute shows infront of dwindling crowds, scrounging up barely enough cash to buy thevariety of drugs and steroids he needs to maintain his weight. He livesin a trailer park and gets locked out for not being able to keep uprent. He works part-time at a grocery store and visits strip clubsregularly, because it's the only place where he seemingly has anymeaningful connections with another human being — namely the dancerCassidy (played by Marisa Tomei), who is similarly a bit older thanmost peers in her "profession," yet doesn't really know any other wayto live.

    The Wrestler draws immediate comparison to the classics of workingclass cinema, including Rocky and On the Waterfront. Sylvester Stallonereturned to his iconic character two years to bring resolution to thelife of Rocky Balboa, the Philly boxer who got back in the ring for onefinal match . It was a good film and touched on similar themes — a niceguy stuck in a mean world, an estranged child– and ultimately bothfilms present us with the dilemma these men find themselves in: too oldto continue doing what they know best, and too old to learn how to doanything else.

    Whereas Rocky Balboa was a trip down memory lane, it was hardly asbleak or frank as The Wrestler, which is a vastly superior film. DarrenAronofsky has established himself with this picture as one of the mostimportant of modern American filmmakers; to acknowledge that this workis from the same man who directed The Fountain is astonishing, becausethey couldn't be farther apart on a sylistic level. The Wrestler isgrainy, low-key and rough. It isn't polished, fantastical or elaborate.And that suits the material perfectly. The fact that Aronofsky waswilling to almost entirely reinvent his approach for the benefit of thestory is more than admirable. He deserves a nomination.

    Tomei is wonderful in her supporting role, fleshing out her character(again, both literally and figuratively) with greater competence thanmost actresses would probably be able to manage, because it's a fairlyobvious role — the "stripper with a heart of gold" who is the object ofdesire for the gruff guy with a tortured soul. Yet she manages tostrike a balance in the film as one of two female roles, the otherbelonging to Evan Rachel Wood as Randy's emotionally severed daughter.

    The Wrestler is impressive for all its smaller parts as well as thelarger ones. When Randy goes to visit his daughter, the reaction isfleeting; it's not overly dramatic and revelatory, like most films ofthis nature often create such scenes to be. We can tell by her reactionthat it's not the first time Randy has attempted to reconcile with her,as she seems unfazed by his appearance on her doorstep. It is in thisfashion that the film jumps through all the mandatory hoops of itsgenre (think, of all things, The Royal Tenenbaums), yet still managesto seem fresh and realistic.

    And then there's Rourke. As aforementioned, he deserves the Oscar nomhe's likely to receive. And he should probably win. This is one of thebest performances of the decade, perhaps even of all time, if we reallywant to get down to it. It's the best work of his career, at once themost fully developed of his characters and the most imperfect. Randyisn't airbrushed to make him seem more appealing to the audience;Aronofsky and Rourke exploit his faults and present him as a normalman, tempted by vices and haunted by his past. Yet we recognize thatthe drugs, the empty sex and the generally self-destructive behaviorRandy partakes in is rooted in the same emotional enguish that theactor himself seems to carry with him; Aronofsky spotted this qualityin Rourke, and he fought the producers for Rourke over their firstchoice (Nicolas Cage), and his dedication paid off — you'll behard-pressed to find a more convincing, moving or memorable leadperformance this year.

    Ultimately, The Wrestler is one of the year's very best films — acharacter study that is at once timeless and powerful. And it's helmedby a director who has managed to bounce back from an aestheticallypleasing but shallow art-house film to produce one of the great worksof American cinema in the 21st century.

  8. BandofInsiders from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 5:37 pm

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

    Everything about Randy's life is in a state of decay. He retains a bodythat is on the verge of collapse, he hasn't seen his only daughter inyears, financially he is exhausted, and the only thing that brings himsolace in life is the same thing that threatens to end it. The mosteffective aspect of Randy's character is that no matter what mistakeshe might have made in the past his sense of regret is so strong andgenuine that it is impossible not to forgive him. As beaten down andalone as Randy might be he never looses his fighting spirit or sense ofhope, no matter how little it may be. Regardless what hardship Randy isconfronted with he never retreats and is admirably courageous even ifbeing courageous might not be the smartest settlement.

    For the general public who tend to find professional wrestlinglaughable and are quick to judge as a form of entertainment rather thana sport will find a deadly adversary in Aronofsky. The Wrestler showsthat while outcomes of matches may be fixed the physical tolls thesemen take on their body are often more extreme and long lasting thanmost other "respectable" sports. The fact that Randy gives so much ofhimself and is ridiculed from everywhere to the trailer park he livesin to the job he keeps while not in the ring, makes us even moreempathetic to the struggle Randy goes through to try and make it backon top. Overall The Wrestler is a constantly engaging and compellingcharacter study with some of the finest acting, writing, directing Ihave seen in recent years. Oh and I forgot, the last shot will leaveyou speechless.

  9. Ludypro1 ( from Washington
    30 Mar 2012, 5:37 pm

    Mickey Rourke returns to the big screen in Darren Aronofsky's brilliantcharacter study, The Wrestler. Mickey Rourke gained about 35 pounds ofmuscle to play Randy 'The Ram' Robinson and looks the part of an oldbeaten down wrestler. Aronofsky creates a cold atmosphere that leavesthe audience feeling as old and depressed as Rourke's character. TheWrestler doesn't have the look or feel of any previous Aronofsky film,it is mainly hand-held and has a gritty look to it that gives it adocumentary feel. This film sucked me in. I really felt for the maincharacter. I felt his pain and anger throughout the film. I felt hisdesperation. When a film has you reflecting the emotions expressed onthe screen then it has accomplished something. I also appreciated thatthe story focused on two professions that are frowned upon in society,that being professional wrestling and stripping. Both professions arelinked in the film and has the audience realize how similar they are.We also see the hardship of carrying out such a profession. I reallyenjoyed this film and had the pleasure of meeting the director afterthe showing. I was most impressed with him and can't wait till thisfilm gets released.

  10. preda01 from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 5:37 pm

    The authenticity is the hallmark of this movie combined with vividcinematography and set design. An amazing career-best performance fromMickey Rourke and outstanding work by Marisa Tomei and Evan RachelWood, the film is very powerful and emotional. Again, an exceptionalachievement by a true artist-Rourke. His performance is so penetrating,wise, and authentic that it deserves the Oscar. Randy "The Ram"Robinson was the biggest wrestler in the world, back in the 80s. Nowit's 2008 and while things have changed, in his head he's stuck back ingood old days. He's still wrestling, even though the money and hisaudiences are long gone. His aging body can no longer take thepunishment. Aronofsky really captures the magic in Mickey'sperformance. It is the true essence of method acting. He is "The Ram".

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