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Derby

Charlie O'Connell , Mike Snell , Robert Kaylor    R (Restricted)   DVD

Price: CDN$ 118.71
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Acclaimed 1970 Roller Derby documentary March 20 2009
By Jobla - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
It's great to have this rare documentary look at Roller Derby in the late 1960's finally arrive on DVD. The period of 1969-1973 was the last "golden age" of Roller Derby, and this film does a good job of capturing that world. There's a lot of vintage skating on display featuring the San Francisco Bombers, Northwest Cardinals, Northeast Braves and Midwest Pioneers. The film is also a portrait of a young would-be skater, Mike Snell, whose dream is to enter the Derby. His lifestyle is less than exemplary, and this documentary examines him warts-and-all.

The DVD is full frame, as it was originally photographed. The disc includes two audio commentary tracks, one with director Robert Kaylor and the other with producer William Richert. Both of them are entertaining, although each man makes some mistakes in identifying certain skaters. Kaylor is more interested in the Derby as a microcosm of society, while Richert is more intrigued by the entertainment aspects and the skill of the athletes. The disc's image and color is less bright than the long out-of-print VHS release, but the new DVD shows sharper focus.

The film now survives as a time capsule depiction of the dawning of the 1970's. Sometimes funny, sometimes sad, but surprisingly truthful about the "American Dream."
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Road Warriors March 2 2011
By Best Of All - Published on Amazon.com
Released in April 1971 and directed by Robert Kaylor, the docu-drama proved to be revolutionary since it contains all the elements that has worked masterfully on reality television shows that jump into sports/sports-entertainment.

What appears to be a planned documentary on the Roller Derby league veers into another direction when 23 year old Mike Snell appears on the scene to chase a dream of jamming on the track. The cockiness and midnight rambling of the married father of two young children is juxtaposed with legendary skater Charlie O'Donnell of the San Francisco Bay Bombers, whose drive to the top began as a youngster in a New York City park during matches between neighborhood "teams" on a circuit around a cast-iron railing. O'Donnell has captured a slice of pop culture fame, but a price is paid through the hard bumps and lengthy coast-to-coast tours. Truly, the strong can only survive this grind.

The end of the "documentary" is actually the possible start of Snell's new career, with the cliffhanger fitting the business model of company owner Jerry Seltzer, who placed a premium on live shows over the whole story being easily seen on a screen. There are solid scenes from matches and the flamboyant Ann Calvello proves to be larger-than-life while bending the rules.

The movie tanked at the box office and Seltzer shut down the company in 1973 due to runaway costs caused by oil shortages. But what actually marked the end of one era pointed to another that entertains countless millions on a daily basis.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Time Warp June 24 2010
By A Survivalist - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
The movie is Derby and it has my brothers Mike and Butch ,as well as my sister-in-law Christina and my father ( who was in the hospital at the time recovering from the many ailments he suffered in his later years ). The story is about Mike wanting to join the roller derby and the many trials and tribulations he had to face to get there. If you like to look at what we would now call the "good ol days" and reminice about the early and turbulent 70's , then this movie is a dandy! It also shed light on the situations and travels of the roller derby people like Charlie O'Connell, Ann Calvello and Eddie Krebs. It is a great little documentary and it did win a few regional awards. Get the movie, sit back and enjoy the retro times of yore !!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars derby rolls on July 1 2009
By T. Fox - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Derby is a great documentary. As a derby fan and wannabe skater I loved the action shots of the game. The scenes in the locker rooms with the skaters are very revealing. It appears that the skaters dont know that they are being filmed. The story of Mike Snell wanting to break into the Derby is fascinating but sometimes uncomfortable to watch. You could not write characters that are documented in this movie. Very simple small town people. This was filmed in 1970 but is as fascinating and entertaining today. Highly recommended.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's About Time This DVD Came Out! April 12 2009
By George Gong - Published on Amazon.com
John Black written review pretty much sums it all up! The scenes of Roller Derby really bring back memories to every banked track fan! I read so much about this film that after having to wait almost half my life to get to view it finally, it was well worth the wait! A must for any Roller Derby memorabilia collector. Great adittion to any library with related Roller Derby material be it book or movie.
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