Documentary Review: Lipstick and Dynamite, Piss and Vinegar: The First Ladies of Wrestling (2004)

Release Date: May 4th, 2004 (Tribeca Film Festival)
Directed by: Ruth Leitman
Music by: The Corn Sisters

Ruthless Films, Nightingale Company, 75 Minutes


*originally written in 2014.

I really enjoyed this documentary. It covered the history of women’s wrestling in America. It went into its origins, how it was perceived and the hardships that these women had to go through throughout the years.

The highlight of the film for me was that it gave an intimate look into the lives of several legends but most notably the Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young, two women who wrestled well into their final years; both passed away recently.

In it’s short running time, this documentary covered a lot. It allowed many of the women featured to tell stories that no one would have heard otherwise and it also allowed them to vent some frustrations with the wrestling business and some of the people within it.

Many women in the film were very critical of the fact that Moolah and Mae Young were still wrestling in their old age, as they felt it was disrespectful. I’m not exactly sure how and as a fan, I enjoyed seeing them still hang in the ring and put on a good show. I think between many of the female stars, there was a lot of professional jealousy that they never really got over or let go of.

The movie was well-structured and the director did a great job of bringing it all together and giving the audience a lot to digest and reflect on. Watching this made me realize how much I miss seeing the Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young pop up on television every now and again.

Rest in peace, ladies.

Rating: 7/10

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