Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square


Year: 2004
Country: United States
Language: English
Run Time: 83 minutes

The Fabulous Moolah has thrown her fair share of Flying Mares, but now she fights in the world of women?s wrestling with a checkbook and a sharp tongue. Told through great black-and-white footage from the ?40s and ?50s, and the memories of Penny Banner, The Great Mae Young, Ida May Martinez and Gladys ?Killem? Gillem, this documentary reveals the pioneers in women?s wrestling who crushed the Donna Reed stereotype with drop kicks and short-arm scissor lifts. In their 80s now, these still-flamboyant ?girls? as they call themselves, look back 60 years and vividly recall the ring, the refs, the traveling and the training. Most came from poor families, and weren?t afraid to be tough. Were they exploited? You bet, primarily by promoter Billy Wolfe. They would throw a match for $10 or take a three-day train for a $50 fight. But they had a kind of grace not seen in the steroid spectacle of women?s wrestling today. Many retired into marriage and motherhood, and relish their days in the ring ? except for Gladys, who went on to be a lion trainer.

Ruth Leitman

Ruth Leitman

Ruth Leitman, James Jernigan, Debbie Nightingale, Anne Hubbell

Ruth Leitman, Nancy Segler

Ruth Leitman, Connie Diletti

Principal Cast
Gladys "Killem" Gillem, The Fabulous Moolah, The Great Mae Young, Ida May Martinez, Penny Banner, Ella Waldek

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