THE IRON CLAW – A Review by John Strange

THE IRON CLAW – A Review by John Strange

Those of us who grew up in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas in the early 80s knew about the Von Erich family and Fritz Von Erich’s “Iron Claw”.  The family wrestled at the Dallas Sportatorium in Dallas, TX. The dynasty led by Fritz, real name Jack Barton Adkisson Sr., became world famous for their athletic ability and prowess. 

Sean Durkin’s script gives us a glimpse of the lives and Fritz (Holt McCallany) and his sons, their lives and challenges, as they reached for the champion’s belt.  Brothers Kevin Von Erich (Zac Ephron), Kerry Von Erich (Jeremy Allen White), and David Von Erich (Harris Dickinson) were raised to consider wrestling the only path for them. 

Their story is presented in all its gritty reality, though there is a bit of dramatic license added (as happens with all films that are based on reality).  We see the good, the bad, and the ugly of the wrestling business.

Young love, marriages, kids, and family told against a background of practice bouts and wrestling matches complete with all of the pain and joys these engendered.  The family’s life behind the scenes was not “I Love Lucy” but had tones of “Father Knows Best” as Fritz indoctrinated his boys in the life wrestling could bring them.

Supporting cast members Maura Tierney (as family matriarch Doris) and Lily James (as Kevin’s bride, Pam) were what we needed to see the home life of the family while Michael Harney played Bill Mercer, the announcer who was a part of the weekly bouts and the family business.

As someone who sat in the barn-like Sportatorium watching the weekly wrestling matches, I feel like this film is a good view of the lives of this family.  I thoroughly enjoyed this film!

 

Director: Sean Durkin

Cast: Zac Efron, Jeremy Allen White, Harris Dickinson, Stanley Simons, Maura Tierney, Holt McCallany, Lily James

MPAA Rating: R (for language, suicide, some sexuality, and drug use)

Selig Rating: 5 Stars

Runtime: 130 Min.

Release Date: 12/22/2023

Language: English

Movie Site: THE IRON CLAW Official Site

Trailer: THE IRON CLAW Official Trailer

 

The Selig Rating Scale:

5 Stars – Excellent movie/show, well worth the time and price.

4 Stars – Good movie/show

3 Stars – OK movie/show

2 Stars – Well, there was nothing else…

1 Star – Total waste of time.

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