Andre the Giant

Synopsis: A look at the life and career of professional wrestler André Roussimoff, who gained notoriety in the 1980s as Andre the Giant.
Director(s): Jason Hehir
Production: HBO Sports
Rotten Tomatoes:
85 min



Most of us,

when we're children,

your parents

read fairytales to you.

There are knights,

there are dragons,

there are sorcerers,

there are giants.

He was those drawings

come to life.

He was a living manifestation

of our childhood dreams.

Ring Announcer:

And from Grenoble

in the French Alps,

weighing 477 pounds,

the eighth wonder

of the world,

Andr the Giant!


Everybody remembers

that moment

where they first saw

Andr the Giant.

We're all intrigued

by Andr the Giant

the human,

but the reason

we're intrigued by that

is because he seems

like so much more.

He was a god.

Ring Announcer:

The crowd goes wild.

This is the one

we've all been waiting for.

Andr the Giant.

Ring Announcer:

Holy mackerel!

Andr the Giant,

off the top turnbuckle!

Ring Announcer:

Andr cleaning house!

Announcer 2:

This is one man you

do not want to get riled up.

Ring Announcer:

Look at the size

of the Giant!

Andr still undefeated.

Ring Announcer:

Oh, slam!

Andr picked him up with ease!

Andr is unbelievable!

( crowd cheering )

( birds singing )

( man speaking French )

( camera clicks )

( clicks )

( clicks )

( clicks )

( man #2 speaking French )

( Andr "The Giant" Roussimoff

speaking )

( Andr continues speaking )

( grunting )

Patric Laprade:

He was just starting.

He was at the time

maybe 6'9, 6'10

when he was wrestling

in France.

He hadn't fully grown yet

'cause he started around

19, 20 years old.

He was leaner than what

North American people

remember of him.

So he would do a much more

athletic style than what

we saw in North America.

( grunting )

( both speaking French )

The first name that they used

in France was Jean Ferr.

The name come from

a folk hero from France

that was named Grand Ferr,

which means Great Fairy.

The backstory for

the Jean Ferr character

was that he was

a lumberjack.

That he was, you know,


in the middle of the woods

chopping wood.

( Andr, man speaking French )

You have to sell

a background story

to your character,

and he had the size

to be believable

that he was a lumberjack.

Thank you, Monsieur.


Andr was wrestling in many

venues all over Paris.

He was also working a lot

on the south coast of France,

and during the summer

was working in a lot

of festivals

all over the country.

( speaking French )


The first country

outside of France

where Andr wrestled

was Monaco.

And then he went

to Japan,

and he was called there

"Monster Roussimoff."

In June of 1971,

that was the first match

he ever had

in North America,

that was in Verdun,

just a suburb of Montreal,

and he was working

for a promotion

called Grand Prix Wrestling.

The very first ad said

that he was a giant

of 7'4", 390 pounds,

from the French Alps.

Being a giant from

the French Alps,

it's a much better story

than just being, you know,

a guy from a town

that nobody have heard of.

From the French Alps,

7'4", 415 pounds,

the friendly French Giant,

Jean Ferr!

( crowd cheering )

( man groans )


And there's a shot

to the top of the head.

And he's going into

the figure-four.

- Well...

- Commentator #2: Oh!

First thing, I said,

"There's money to be made

with the guy."

And they did draw money,

they sold out all over,

and the Giant

became a household name.

We'd get into a little town

and they'd come from all over.

You'd draw

3, 4, 5, 6 thousand people

at least 5 nights a week.


There's a shot

to the top

of the head.

Commentator #2:

Maurice is in very bad shape.

David Shoemaker:

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Simon Pummell

Simon Pummell is a British filmmaker currently based in Amsterdam in The Netherlands, best known for directing Bodysong (2003) a documentary feature film that portrays the human life-cycle through archive footage from across a century of moving image creation.He studied Film & Television in the animation department at the Royal College of Art. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Andre the Giant" STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 9 Aug. 2022. <>.

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