Lipstick & Dynamite: The First Ladies of Wrestling
This chronicle shines a spotlight on the forgotten first ladies of the ring who traveled carnivals and sideshows of the 1940s. Gladys 'Killem' Gillem wrestled women, men, alligators and bears. At 18, Ida May Martinez took to the road to flash the only thing she knew -- how to kick, punch, and defend herself. Narrowly escaping date rape at 16, Penny Banner trained for survival. Still kicking butt at age 80, 'The Fabulous Moolah' and 'Johnnie Mae Young' live together with midget wrestler sidekick 'Diamond 'Lil' and continue to take bumps with World Wrestling Entertainment. In the documentary, each woman reflects on her own remarkable life with fond and bitter memories, reconciling a wild, flamboyant youth with the reality of getting older and fading away. It follows Moolah, Johnnie Mae and the girls for 60 years. Many bumps and falls later, we listen in as they discuss the money, the old days and what it's like to be a 'lady' in today's favorite guilty pleasure: spectator sport.
Cast: The Fabulous Moolah, Gladys 'Killem' Gillem, The Great Mae Young, Ida May Martinez, Ella Waldek
Produced by: Ruth Leitman, Anne Hubbell, Debbie Nightingale
Directed by: Ruth Leitman
Written by: Ruth Leitman
Running time: 1hr 15min
Opens: May 05, 2004 Limited
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