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11th Apr 2018

New HBO documentary on Andre the Giant is getting amazing reviews

Paul Moore

Wrestling fans will love this.

It’s fitting that in the week of Wrestlemania, HBO aired their documentary on a man that transcended wrestling to become – quite literally – the biggest celebrity in the world.

André René Roussimoff was born in 1946 in Molien, France. In his early teens, he exhibited signs of gigantism though he was not diagnosed with acromegaly until his twenties. He began his training in Paris at 17 and eventually became known in wrestling circuits around the world. In 1973, André joined the organisation now known as World Wrestling Entertainment, where he became a superstar and rival of WWE legend Hulk Hogan.

Aside from this, he also famously starred in The Princess Bride but fame came at a cost.  Throughout his whole life, he had suffered from gigantism as a result of excess growth hormone, this lead to acromegaly – an enlargement of certain parts of his body. He was regularly taunted for his size and became upset with the attention that he got for his appearance.

The wide-ranging documentary explores André’s upbringing in France, his celebrated wrestling career and his forays into the entertainment world. In terms of the interviews,  Vince McMahon, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Billy Crystal, Rob Reiner, and many more lend their views

Throughout the documentary, we get a clear look at his famous rivalry with Hulk Hogan, his frosty relationship with ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage and hear some great anecdotes – the story Ric Flair shares about André drinking 106 beers in a single night is priceless.

It’s also heartbreaking to see how much he was affected by his acromegaly – the gentle giant refused treatment for it, fearing that it could harm his wrestling career.

Despite these setbacks, André refused to let them hinder his career as he spent years in the WWE being billed as “undefeated.” Without André the Giant, wrestling might not have become the billion-dollar business that it is today.

At present, the documentary has an 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and it has been picking up some impressive reviews.

CNN said that “André the Giant — warm, nostalgic and yes, concise — feels just right” while The Hollywood Reporter described it as “tremendously entertaining.”

These viewers certainly agree.

The documentary aired on HBO last night and while no official confirmation has been made yet, we fully expect it to air on Sky Atlantic in the coming weeks.