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Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows [VHS] (1998)

Bret Hart , Owen Hart , Paul Jay  |  R |  VHS Tape
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Brian Pillman, Blade Hart, Julie Hart
  • Directors: Paul Jay
  • Writers: Paul Jay
  • Producers: Paul Jay, David M. Ostriker, Sally Blake
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Vidmark / Trimark
  • VHS Release Date: June 22, 1999
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00000INF5
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #467,377 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"This is one whale of a tale!" --Newsday

Granted unprecedented access, director Paul Jay's Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows goes behind the tightly guarded walls of wrestling's world of grand spectacle and theatre. The film explores the meaning of today's wrestling morality plays, and then, as fantasy crosses into real life, reveals the true story of Bret Hart's struggle with Vince McHahon, the legendary owner of the WWF. The film climaxes with the tale of the biggest, real double cross in the history of pro wrestling.

Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows is a film about good and evil, sacrifice and greed, loyalty and betrayal--and a man in a world of moral uncertainty, fighting to keep a sense of personal dignity and truth.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellently Executed Documentary November 26, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Bret "Hitman" Hart has been my favorite wrestler ever since I first watched this documentary on A&E a few years ago. He had always been a great wrestler, but after having watched this riveting tale of Hart's association with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in 1996-97, he became my hero.
Bret Hart's tale in this video is both happy and sad. In the beginning moments of the film, we see a light-hearted and very accomodating Hitman talking about his family and how he started in wrestling. He talks about growing up a Hart, and how life at the house was not always so wonderful. For the first 20-30 minutes, this film shows us the happier side of Bret Hart. And that's when things get interesting.
World Championship Wrestling (WCW) made Hart an incredible offer that he almost couldn't refuse. But, as a man of integrity and moral values, he inititally declined the WCW's offer out of loyalty to Vince McMahon, the owner of the WWF. Instead of taking a three-year contract worth $9 million from the WCW, he signed a 20-year contract for significantly less with the WWF.
Bret Hart's topsy-turvy road in 1997 is a captivating one to travel on for the audience. Anyone who knows wrestling knows the name Bret Hart and what has happened with him throughout his career. This documentary, so beautifully done by director Paul Jay, gives you the dirt on what Hart's life was like back when wrestling was just starting to come into its more adult nature.
This film gives you the entire scoop on why Bret Hart was turned heel (turned into a bad guy). This film shows you exactly what happened at the now infamous 1997 Survivor Series, which forever changed the direction of WWF programming.
Read more ›
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Documentary I Have Seen February 18, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
This movie is not only the best wrestling documentary I have ever seen, but probably the best documentary on any subject that I have viewed.
It is a real and truthful depiction of former five-time World Wrestling Federation World Champion, Bret `Hitman' Hart, as he was betrayed by fellow wrestlers and his boss, Vince McMahon.
Bret Hart talks about growing up in Calgary, Alberta in a wrestling family. In the process he suffered verbal abuse from classmates and physical abuse from his father, wrestling legend Stu Hart (Order of Canada, 2001).
By the time Bret Hart hit the age of forty he worked his way up the wrestling ladder, to the point where he replaced Hulk Hogan as the WWF's top star.
Though the Federation's biggest name in the 1990s, Hart is forced to leave, and then double-crossed in his final match in order to ruin his name in the wrestling business. Essentially, on 9 November 1997 in Montreal Bret was promised that he would be allowed to leave the WWF on his own terms, but that was a lie by WWF management.
In a match with Shawn Michaels, Hart is embarrassed with an abrupt end to the match as Michaels had Bret in his trademark submission move, the `sharp shooter'. The match ends instantly with Bret Hart, a Canadian hero, being 'cut down' in his own nation.
The picture reaches it's climax with Bret Hart punching-out WWF owner and CEO, Vincent McMahon behind closed doors. Wrestling With Shadows accounts for the fall of Bret Hart in the WWF. It is a sad story of his final days in the very company he helped save, and sacrificed for. Such sacrifice included turning down millions of dollars from World Championship Wrestling, working injured and being subject to slander from WWF creative control (Bret Hart was portrayed as anti-American and a racist).
I recommend this movie, and hope you enjoy it.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most important work on pro wrestling in the 1990s January 10, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
The most important work on pro wrestling in the 1990s.
With Beyond the Mat going into wide-scale release sometime in 2000, Wrestling with Shadows can easily be named the most importance work about wrestling of the 1990s. This excellent documentary follows wrestler Bret "Hitman" Hart during his last few months within the WWF, his home for fifteen years, and the blurry line between real and fictional heroism.
The great strength of Paul Jay's documentary is its ability to legitimize wrestling as a real art form, while at the same time exposing its culture of sleaze and manipulation. A must see for anyone who wants to know more about wrestling.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Documentary July 13, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
This documentary really sheds light on a bunch of things that I'm sure that makes Mr. McMahon feel very uncomfortable. Who should we believe? Well, that really depends on you, the viewer. I really think this is an interesting side of the WWF (now the WWE) that very few have ever seen.
The movie is about the life and career of a very well known and famous wrestler, Bret Hart. It's about his life and his struggles with the WWF. And with Mr. McMahon, of course. Though wrestling is scripted, THIS is not. You also get to see the lighter side of Bret. The family side. You also see the toll his career takes on them.
I was really in awe as I watched "Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows." A very interesting documentary about the dark side of wrestling and the lives it can make....or destroy. Highly recommend this. Even if you don't like wrestling, you still might find this interesting.
In the end, Vince says "Bret screwed Bret." After seeing this, I'm not too sure about that. Don't know what to think. I really do enjoy the WWF, but it's hard to know for sure who was right. This documentary does open you mind to ideas and theories. In the end, it's really YOU who decides is telling the truth.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars must have for all hitman fans
must have for all hitman fans
Published 1 month ago by Traci Lynn
5.0 out of 5 stars A+
Great documentary, just awesome stuff, great look into the world of Bret vs Vince. Wouldn't have bought it if i wasnt a fan, Either way,good documentary
Published 8 months ago by WMKzelis
4.0 out of 5 stars Not to shabby!
Covers the life of a WWE superstar pretty well! It's fun to see behind the scenes of a WWE event.
Published 12 months ago by Greg
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart of Bret Hart
a great inside look at the politics of wrestling along with personal life, locker room, and lots of stuff the average fan never sees. a really fast hour and a half.
Published 12 months ago by Jerry Hardwick II
4.0 out of 5 stars The best there is.....
A really good look into the whole "Montreal Screwjob". Had it on VHS and couldnt find it on DVD till I looked on here. If you are a Hitman fan,I strongly recommend this.
Published 14 months ago by brian80
5.0 out of 5 stars Bret Rules
I watched these WWE and WWF guys back in the 80 and 90's. So sad how they beat up their bodies and dont have much afterwards. Bret was always my favorite. Read more
Published 17 months ago by GRANT M
5.0 out of 5 stars MUST WATCH!
This DVD is a must watch for old and new wrestling fans around the world! This is Bret Hart at his darkest hour.... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Markjay R. Almazan
5.0 out of 5 stars Vince screwed Bret... here's the proof
About 15 years ago one of the most infamous incidents in pro-wrestling history took place, where WWE Champion Bret Hart was involved in a screwjob devised by WWE Chairman Vince... Read more
Published on August 14, 2012 by Jonnathan Ritland
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this
This is an excellent and honest documentary in the life of Bret Hart. It actually proved that Bret was double crossed by Vince McMahon. Really enjoyed this Dvd.
Published on March 5, 2012 by Susan J. O'connor
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Video For Wrestling Fans
I am a 26 year old male, and grew up during the Monday Night Wars era of professional wrestling. I was always a WWF/E fan with the likes of Razor Ramon, Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart,... Read more
Published on February 6, 2012 by P. Sorornejad
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