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."