I Fell In Love with the Roller Derby Queen
Demon of the Derby: The Ann Calvello Story
She's not just alive. She's kicking. Head-smacking, body-slamming, hair-pulling Ann Calvello has been the Roller Derby's "Meanest Mama on Skates" since 1948. Six decades and a turn of the century later, Calvello refuses to leave the limelight. At age 71, she is still bashing heads on the banked track. This documentary portrait follows Calvello for two years as she simultaneously grapples with her declining ability to skate and her determination to be the first professional athlete to have competed continuously in her sport for six decades.
Long before there was the World Wrestling Federation, the Roller Derby was the sports spectacle that captured the American public's imagination. In the 1950s and 1960s, it was watched by more than 20 million viewers weekly, across 120 television markets. Live matches sold out arenas like Madison Square Garden and Chicago White Sox Stadium.
The entertaining documentary traces Calvello's colorful career, from ambitious young upstart to the bad girl all fans loved to hate.
Also on KQED.org this week ...
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