Five must-watch films about wrestling and where to stream them - including Foxcatcher

Mickey Rourke stars in The Wrestler.Mickey Rourke stars in The Wrestler.
Mickey Rourke stars in The Wrestler. | Contributed
The wrestling ring has provided a fertile ground for filmmakers over the years.

The Iron Claw hit cinema screens this week, telling the remarkable and tragic true story of the Von Erich brothers who took professional wrestling by storm in the 1980s.

Starring Zac Effron, Lily James and Jeremy Allen White, it's the latest example of a director successfully transferring the cinematic sport to celluloid.

Here are five more that are well worth a watch.

Fighting With My Family (Filmbox+)

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Based on the true story of an English brother and sister obsessed with wrestling and seeking their fortune in the glitzy world of the WWE in America, Stephen Merchant's funny and warm comedy drama is elevated further by great performances from Scotland's Jack Lowden and Florence Pugh in her first lead role.

The Wrestler (Apple TV)

Mickey Rourke bagged a BAFTA and a Golden Globe for best actor for his part in Darren Aronofsky's typically tough watch about an ageing wrestler ignoring health warnings to cling onto sporting success. Marisa Tomei is equally good as the stripper he falls in love with. If you don't cry at the closing shot you should pop in to see your GP about a missing heart.

Nacho Libre (Paramount+)

Very loosely based on the story of a Mexican priest who moonlighted as a masked wrestler to support an orphanage, there's very little subtlety to this Jack Black vehicle made by husband-and-wife team Jared and Jerusha Hess of Napolean Dynamite fame. Despite mixed reviews it was a success thanks to Black's brand of bolshy comedy.

Foxcatcher (rent from Amazon for £2.49)

Nominated for pretty much every award going in 2014 - from the Palme d'Or to five Oscar nods - Foxcatcher is another wrestling film based on a true tale. Steve Carell dials down his usual shtick to play a tycoon who hires a famous wrester to move to his sprawling estate and train a team for the 1988 Olympics, in a story that inexorably leads to tragedy.

Paradise Alley (rent from Amazon for £2.49)

Inevitably labelled 'Rocky with wrestling' on its release, Sylvester Stallone wrote, directed and starred in this sports drama about three Italian American brothers in 1940s New York getting involved in professional wrestling. Widely panned on its release, it's nowhere near as bad as the reviews would suggest, offering a fascinating insight into Stallone as auteur.



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