April 13, 2018
By: Steve Degler
You never know what you might come across when you have a TV remote in your hand. While channel surfing late at night earlier this week, I stumbled upon the HBO documentary "Andre the Giant." I immediately put the remote down. Surfing time was over.
As a kid, I would venture to the Hamburg Field House every third Wednesday to watch professional wrestling. It was not uncommon on the walk home from school to see the wrestlers driving around town. Andre the Giant was well over seven feet tall and weighed more than 500 pounds. You couldn't miss him.
The HBO show was very entertaining and informative. Andre did not live an easy life. Because of his size, traveling was extremely difficult. And he was on the road a lot. The interviews used in the documentary shed a lot of light into the life of the beloved wrestler. WWE boss Vince McMahon is prominently featured as are Hulk Hogan and Andre's assistant, Timmy White. I found the content from Hogan and White to be totally compelling.
You don't have to be a wrestling fan to enjoy this program. At times it is slanted much more toward human interest than wrestling. I had read about many of the legendary Andre the Giant stories but I learned so much more about the man in this documentary. You couldn't help but feel sorry for the man as his health deteriorated.
If you are a fan of the motion picture "The Princess Bride," there is a long segment dealing with Andre's appearance as Fezzik. Rob Reiner, Robin Wright and Billy Crystal are among those reminiscing about the film.
Andre the Giant dealt with so many physical issues and could barely move at the end of his career. He died in 1993 at the age of 46. "Andre the Giant" does an excellent job telling his story.