‘Andre the Giant’ is not one of the all time great sport docs (that’s become an increasingly hard club to break into the past ten years), but it’s a necessary watch for wrestling fans.
Featuring a ton of new footage and the approval of the WWE, the doc does well telling the story of one of the cornerstones of the pro wrestling industry as we know it. Born in a small village in France, the film (wisely) parallels Andre’s story with the evolution of ‘the Business’. The territory, video tape swapping days were perfect for an act to work for a few months before moving on to be a new attraction somewhere else.
That all changed of course when Vince McMahon came through with his plans for national domination. Along with Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, and Andre’s traveling partner Tim White, we get plenty of funny and not so funny stories that fill out the grey areas of what we didn’t know about the man behind the character.
Sad to hear it said he passed on treatment that would extend his life because he thought it would hurt his wrestling career. There’s surely a very interesting thread there about the frequently short life spans of professional wrestlers. But I also understand there’s no chance in hell WWE is going to co-produce that movie.
Still, worth checking out on HBO if you’re interested.