Andre the Giant (2018)

  • Year: 2018
  • Released: 10 Apr 2018
  • Country: United States
  • Adwords: 1 nomination
  • IMDb:
  • Rotten Tomatoes:
  • Available in: 720p, 1080p,
  • Language: English, French, Japanese
  • MPA Rating: TV-14
  • Genre: Documentary, Biography, Sport
  • Runtime: 85 min
  • Writer: N/A
  • Director: Jason Hehir
  • Cast: Robin Wright, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Cary Elwes
  • Keywords: biography, wrestling, pro wrestling,

Andre the Giant Storyline

A look at the life and career of professional wrestler André Roussimoff, who gained notoriety in the 1980s as Andre the Giant.

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Andre the Giant Movie Reviews

very human

HBO Sports does a documentary on the iconic giant wrestling star. He is one of a kind. He is also very human. This is able to show both of him. It marries with the rise of WWF with the new cable TV from the regionalized local wrestling worlds. His pain is the most compelling aspect of this documentary. I know most of the other stuff. Of course, I already knew about his pain but it doesn’t hit me until his suffering is put front and center. He’s a friendly giant but like everyone else, he has his suffering along with his joy. He is a giant and a human being.

The eighth wonder of the world

Andre the Giant is a documentary co-produced by WWE. So a chunk of the documentary is spent on how Vince McMahon sr & jr built up their wrestling empire from the north eastern territory to a national wrestling organisation, gobbling up smaller rivals and joining up with the emerging cable television stations. Andre Roussimoff takes a back seat in his own film.

Andre was a normal child in a French village, he played football and rugby. It was only at the age of 15 he started to grow and grow. Later in his life it was discovered that he suffered from a disorder called acromegaly, which caused his gigantism. I know these were the days without the internet and Google. It does make you wonder that all those medics in wrestling and no one figured why this 7 foot plus person was still growing?

However you get to hear more of Andre Roussimoff, from fellow wrestlers, his friends and more importantly his family that includes his daughter who he did not see often. Andre was a gentle man who could never run away from his size. A legendary drinker, actor Cary Elwes mentions it was to dull the pain in his joints. By the end of his career, he was in immense pain caused by his size.

Andre the Giant is a look at a figure who bridged the gap when US wrestling moved to a new era but it feels superficial when you have scenes of Hulk Hogan in Rocky III.

“Here’s the eighth wonder of the world!”

This is quite the well done documentary on one of pro wrestling’s iconic characters – Andre the Giant. What’s new here, especially for wrestling fans who witnessed Andre’s rise to national prominence in the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), is the profile that takes us all the way back to Andre Roussimoff’s childhood in the 1940’s, where he was pretty much a normal child until the age of fifteen. That’s when he started growing, and growing, and growing…. Athletically inclined as a tall but gangly teenager, Andre was invited to work out at a local gym where he took up the sport and quickly gained notice as a potential attraction. His first ring name was Jean Ferre, loosely translated as The Great Fairy, and modeled on a fabled lumberjack character in French children’s lore. In Japan he wrestled under the name of Monster Roussimoff, until a promoter came up with the best ring name that would fit and still do credit to the man – Andre the Giant.

It wasn’t until some time later in his career that Andre sought medical advice for the pain associated with his enormous growth, and the diagnosis of acromegaly was assigned to his condition. In addition to gigantism, the condition leads to distorted facial features which in Andre’s case, made him an instantly recognizable star. Sharing their reminiscences of Andre in this documentary are former wrestlers like Gino Brito, Jerry Lawler, Ric Flair, and Pat Patterson, along with ringside celebrities like Gene Okerlund, Vince McMahon Jr., Arnold Schwarzenegger and Andre’s brother Jacques. Probably the best tribute offered came from none other than Hulk Hogan, who credited Andre with helping to bring a recognition of pro wrestling to a national level. I wouldn’t have expected someone with Hogan’s ego to consider another wrestler as having an impact as equal to or greater than his own. Hogan’s recollection of their famous Wrestlemania III match on March 29th, 1987 at the Pontiac, Michigan Silver Dome in front of ninety three thousand screaming fans is a highlight of this picture. At the same time, it should remove all doubt from anyone’s mind that pro wrestling is sports entertainment, and not an actual contest between one individual trying to win out over another.

There are any number of humorous quips regarding Andre’s fabled drinking prowess, and remarks about his notorious flatulence gets some well noted comments. However there’s a poignancy to the story of Andre’s life near the end of his wrestling career when his huge body begins to succumb to the effects of rigorous physical demands and the wearying effects of international travel. He found it hard to adjust to his diminished capacity as a headliner while seeking refuge at his home in North Carolina, a setting which reminded him of home in Moliere, France. Andre died of a heart attack at the very early age of forty eight, leaving a legacy that will probably remain unmatched in the annals of pro wrestling. If you ever got to see Andre the Giant wrestle, especially in person, consider yourself lucky to have witnessed the eighth wonder of the world without the slightest hint of exaggeration.