(Original Caption) Hollywood: Using typical Three Stooges logic, Columbia Studios has signed a professional wrestler named Samson to play the part of Hercules in their forthcoming release Hercules Meets the Three Stooges. Shown on the set are the stars of the picture (L to R) "Curly" Joe DeRita, "Larry" Fine, Vicki Trickett, Samson Burke, and "Moe" Howard.
10 Notable Wrestling Movies From the Golden Age of Hollywood
Few wrestling films have a talent line-up like this 1932 MGM classic with John Ford directing, and the screenplay by Broadway playwright Moss Hart and an uncredited William Faulkner. Oscar-winner Wallace Beery plays Germany's national wrestling champion, who falls in love with an American ex-convict and realizes the wrestling world is run by gangsters.
Grips, Grunts and Groans
This 1937 comedy short stars the Three Stooges, who are hired by local mobsters to ensure the wrestler that they have bet on doesn't get drunk before his match. The slapstick trio somehow knock him unconscious, so they cut and paste his bushy beard on Curly's chin to pass him off as the ring champion against Ironhead (real-life wrestler Casey Columbo).
Swing Your Lady
This 1938 Warner Bros. slapstick comedy stars Humphrey Bogart and former Olympic wrestler Nat Pendleton, as well as real-life wrestler Daniel Boon Savage and future star Ronald Reagan. Bogart plays a boxing promoter who is attempting to stop the budding romance between his wrestler and the Amazonian blacksmith he’s supposed to fight.
Here Come the Co-Eds
In this 1945 Universal comedy, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello hold a wrestling match to raise money for a financially troubled all-girls school. Abbott makes a deal with the Masked Marvel to throw the bout so the school can win the $1,000 tournament prize, but Marvel is secretly replaced by the pair's hostile supervisor, Mr. Johnson, played by Lon Chaney Jr.
Alias the Champ
The start of the television era sent wrestler Gorgeous George to national stardom, and this 1949 quickie from Republic Pictures was designed to cash in on the popularity that wrestling had with TV viewers of that era. In addition to George, the wrestlers in the film include Bomber Kulkovich, Billy Varga, Bobby Manogoff, George Temple, and Jack "Sockeye" McDonald.