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Brutal Beauty: Tales Of The Rose City Rollers (2010)

Chip Mabry  |  NR |  DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Directors: Chip Mabry
  • Format: Color, Dolby, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: American Toaster Productions
  • DVD Release Date: February 22, 2011
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #233,763 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Brutal Beauty: Tales Of The Rose City Rollers" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Roller derby is an American contact sport that has seen a nationwide revival in recent years. Brutal Beauty: Tales Of The Rose City Rollers tells the story of Portland, Oregon's league, the Rose City Rollers. For more than a year and a half, an embedded film crew documented the thrills and spills of derby life. The Rollers tell how derby saved their souls and changed their lives. Rollicking fun from beginning to end, Brutal Beauty plants you in an exotic, rapidly growing, and oddly empowering world of librarians and regular girls embracing their feminine power.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great look into the world of roller derby May 23, 2010
By DP1972
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The most impressive thing about "Brutal Beauty" is the cinematography. It's a beautifully shot film, and the production values are even more amazing when you consider it was almost certainly shot on a relentlessly tight budget. "Brutal" is full of vivid characters, and the narrative is forward-moving without ever feeling contrived or nudged along by the filmmaker. The "doughnut scene" is one of many highlights. This is a must-see for any derby fan, but it will also appeal to those who simply enjoy great documentary film-making. Highly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
With all the attention roller derby has received in recent years and it's apparent resurgence in mass media (i.e. Whip It, use in credit union commercials,Hollywood references) I wasn't sure what to expect from this film. What I found was an honest, unbiased look into the lives of the women who play this daring blood sport and live to tell about it. We meet all sorts of characters in this tale, the good and bad (but like bad-ass, in a good way), there's action (scenes from the different bouts and gnarley injuries), a breakdown of the sport itself (the donut scene), the drama of team rivalries (Grrrr) and the inspiring family-like structure that the women form with eachother as teammates and friends. This lil film has it all. Think "A League of Their Own" meets the cast of Jersey Shore and get into a knockdown, dragout fight in a sleazy back alley bar. . . .on skates! I highly recommend this film to anyone even remotely interested in Roller Derby, especially anyone who thinks they got the guts to play! But you don't have to take my word for it . . . . Duh Duh Dut! (Children of the 80s need only attempt to decode that last reference)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I have never been a big fan of documentary films, but I grew up watching wrestling and roller derby every Sunday morning. So when I was curious when I received the DVD "Brutal Beauty: Tales of the Rose City Rollers", I was curious. I have seen the Hollywood spin on the sport starring Ellen Page (Whip It) and the early attempt with Raquel Welch (Kansas City Bomber), and let me tell you they can't hold Brutal beauty's jock!

Tales of the Rose City Rollers follows a female roller derby team through a complete season as they travel and compete in the western United States. And what this documentary gives you, the viewer, is an all access pass that takes you into the lives of these women. You get to see how they battle through injury to go to work the following day to earn enough money to play the sport they love! Oh yeah, Roller derby doesn't pay the bills for these girls and they need to raise money to travel to matches! Most of the people around the Rose City Rollers are volunteers so that the girls can make enough money to make it through the season.

Brutal Beauty takes you from the rink to the day job, then to the locker room and even into the operating room! Nothing is off limits in this film. What you won't get in this awesome DVD is a Hollywood starlet, enormous sets and lavish costumes.....THIS IS THE REAL DEAL!

I am Karl, the Flick Fanatic, and with the resurgence of Roller derby in this country "BRUTAL BEAUTY: TALES OF THE ROSE CITY ROLLERS" is a must own DVD! As far as the quality of the documentary it will have you caring about these girls and also on the edge of your seat ready to hit somebody!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brutal aesthetic; a brilliant piece of work. March 21, 2011
I'll admit that Roller Derby -as an entity- was something that I had long viewed from the sidelines; whether intimidated by the brashness of the players, or confused by the game itself, I just never got close enough to appreciate it.

Being a fan of some of the other things that director Chip Mabry has been involved in (RIP CITY, a Portland skateboard documentary) I felt that this might be a good opportunity to look deeper into this colorful sport.

BRUTAL BEAUTY isn't just stroking the vanity of those already interested or involved, but rather it takes the time to explore Portland, Oregon's own unique culture and how it has shaped the Rose City Rollers, as well as their families. Further, it pauses to take a beginner's eye view at Roller Derby - at one point explaining the rules through the creative use of doughnuts.


Fueled by an urgent soundtrack, and featuring some brilliantly aesthetic camera work, BRUTAL BEAUTY gave me an omnipresent feeling that I have somehow been missing out for many years by not getting more involved in this amazing subculture that rolled just below the surface of mainstream sports and entertainment.

I guess it's never too late to fall in love again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyed it! May 16, 2010
By Jay Jay
I've seen Brutal Beauty twice, once via DVD and once on the big screen. Enjoyed it immensely both times and learned a lot! On the big screen it was really awesome--in the true sense of the word. I'm sure I wasn't a target audience, and only remembered roller derby from the "olden days." This movie game me a glimpse into a world I never even knew existed. I enjoyed getting to know the players, and smiled at the description of roller derby using Voodoo doughnuts--actually, it was helpful! If you are a roller derby fan--and even if you aren't--you will enjoy this documentary.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this!
I love this, it's a great showing of the hard work and love that derby can and does bring! Awesome. :)
Published 5 months ago by A.Betz
4.0 out of 5 stars Finding a Home
It is truly a pleasure to watch how much these rough n' tumble women find friendship with each other and nurture a family that would've been otherwise missing from their lives. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Michael H Simpson
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant documentry
Being a derby girl myselof this is true in sight to the sport and the passion these woman feel. Its hardcore and a great glipse into the lives of a derby girl.
Published on March 1, 2012 by dolly
4.0 out of 5 stars Great behind the scenes look
I have been involved with derby for two years with the better half now, and this is a fairly accurate representation of derby life as we know it. Read more
Published on February 1, 2012 by Jared Hayes
5.0 out of 5 stars The WHY WE DO IT video!!!!!!
I LOVE THIS VIDEO. For people who don't understand WHY you love derby....this video captures the true spirit of commitment, determination, sport, sisterhood, family, and... Read more
Published on November 26, 2011 by 1drwoman
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie!!!
I hear what the other review is saying about the packaging, but remember this is an independant film. Someone created this movie outside the traditional process. Read more
Published on April 17, 2010 by Georgia Russell
4.0 out of 5 stars Great doc'; minus 1 star for physical DVD itself (a copy? What?!)
This review is in two parts: packaging and actual documentary.

For the price, I was expecting something more from the packaging. Read more
Published on April 13, 2010 by T. Denyer
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