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Wrestlers go to the mat in movies

The Rock returns to movie theaters today in "The Rundown." Not surprising since The Rock, a former wrestler, saw his 2002 effort "The Scorpion King" rake in more than $91 million in box office receipts. Which got The Rail thinking -- which is dan...

The Rock returns to movie theaters today in "The Rundown."

Not surprising since The Rock, a former wrestler, saw his 2002 effort "The Scorpion King" rake in more than $91 million in box office receipts.

Which got The Rail thinking -- which is dangerous -- about other wrestlers who have turned their acting abilities in the ring into acting success on the silver screen.

Below is, if you decided to do it, a possible Wrestler Film Festival:

- Jesse Ventura, former wrestler and Minnesota governor, played Blain, one of the commandoes battling an invisible alien hunter in the wilds of a Central American jungle in 1987's "Predator." Of course, the movie stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is trying to follow in Ventura's footsteps in becoming a governor. Weird how that has worked out.

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- Rowdy Piper played Nada (Spanish for "nothing") in John Carpenter's 1988 movie "They Live." Nada discovers a pair of sunglasses that reveal there are aliens living amongst us and subliminal messages tell us to shop, shop, shop so we don't discern their true dasdardly intentions.

- In 1993's "Mr. Nanny," Hulk Hogan plays Sean Armstrong, a former pro wrestler -- there's a stretch -- hired to be a bodyguard/nanny for a couple of bratty children whose inventor father is being stalked by a rival. If you don't want to sit through an entire Hulk Hogan movie, how about the beginning of "Rocky III," in which he plays Thunderlips?

- Andre the Giant played Fizzik in Rob Reiner's 1987 classic "The Princess Bride," which also starred Cary Elwes, Robin Wright Penn and Billy Crystal. This fairy tale movie is still a gem.

Movies about wrestling

Then there are movies about wrestling that don't necessarily star real wrestlers.

Possible titles include:

- "All the Marbles": Peter Falk stars as Harry Sears, who manages The California Dolls, a female wrestling tag team that is endlessly touring America.

- "Barton Fink": The Coen brothers' 1991 effort stars John Turturro as a New York intellectual hired to write a Wallace Berry wrestling picture. However, writer's block prevents him from finishing the 1940s B picture.

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- "The One and Only": Carl Reiner's 1978 movie starred Henry Winkler as Andy Schmidt, who leaves the constrictive confines of acting for the wrestling ring in the early 1950s. This movie pretty much put Winkler's movie aspirations in a sleeper hold.

Source: imdb.com

To contact The Rail, send an e-mail to features editor Dean Rhodes at drhodes@forumcomm.com and he'll forward it, or click on the Valley R&R icon at In-Forum.com.

Today's best bet

Party in the Pumpkin Patch, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., pumpkins and fall activities.

Children's Museum at Yunker's Farm, Fargo

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