Last week, I received an e mail from one of the representatives of the Eyesoda.com website, which specializes in posting independent films and also giving creators of independent films a place to market their work via the Internet with people being able to watch the films right from their computer. I was asked if I’d be willing to screen and write a review of the new wrestling documentary Gentleman’s Choice: The Chris Adams Story, which focuses in on the unstable career and life of World Class star, Chris Adams. At first, I was skeptical about viewing the film because while I enjoy watching wrestling documentaries, often times they are hit or miss and with Chris Adams being the subject, I didn’t know just how intriguing the film could be considering Adams’ well documented troubles during his life. Finally, I decided I would at least screen the film because I truly appreciate Eye Soda’s interest in me reviewing the film and I’m thankful for the opportunity to do so. When I replied to Eye Soda’s request, I informed them that I’d be happy to review the film but that they should expect a completely honest and unbiased review. Basically, if the film sucked then that’s what I would say in a review and Eye Soda responded by saying that they have no problem with any negative criticism, which really sold me on wanting to view “Gentleman’s Choice.”
The director of the film is Mickey Grant, who was a producer for the famous World Class T.V. show, which was one of the first wrestling shows to have international exposure and was also known for it’s innovative production style. Following the trend of World Class, Gentleman’s Choice has very good production value and features some great vintage footage of Chris Adams as well as World Class. I don’t want to give away too much of the actual content of the film so that people can enjoy it for themselves but in the early minutes, some very interesting footage of Adams training in judo is shown, which is followed by interviews with his family. Besides the production value, one of the other impressive elements to me was the time that seemed to be invested into getting the complete story of the England native’s life as his family is shown many times during the early parts of the film to explain Adam’s early life in the UK. British wrestling is relatively nonexistent and the film proves that considering that while Adam’s early wrestling years are discussed, not much is actually explained about the British aspect of the sport, which is simply because especially at that time, in England itself that there’s much of a wrestling scene. It was that very lack of opportunity in his home country that brought Chris Adams to America to pursue a famous wrestling career and as is shown in the documentary, Adams’ move to America was the start of his wrestling fame but also the start of his down fall.
One of the major criticisms I have of the film is that it seems to lack any sort of timeline and jumps around a lot when covering Adams’ life which can leave you wondering what year is being talked about during certain points in the film. Also, in many ways, “Gentleman’s Choice” is the typical wrestling 80’s story that consist of a talented performer that was overtaken by substance abuse so as long as you don’t mind hearing a story you’ve probably heard before under different circumstances than you will probably enjoy this deeply investigative piece on the life of a truly troubled competitor. Great detail is provided in explaining all of Adams’ triumphs and tribulations but because there were so many tribulations in Adams’ life time, it can get tiresome at times. However, if you are a Chris Adams, World Class, or even just an old school fan in general, I’m sure you will enjoy the vivid details about some of the stories of the wrestling scene from back in the day.
One of the major highlights of the film is the continuous input of legendary booker and manger, Gary Hart, who I really don’t think gets the credit he deserves for how good of a talent he was, which I think is mainly due to the fact that he didn’t have a big run in the WWE like so many other managers did in the 80s. Hart’s insight and contribution to the film is more than worth the price alone, which is very affordable at just $5 to watch the film. Hey in this day and age of the economic down turn of the country, you have to appreciate being able to watch a good wrestling documentary for only $5. Another one of the other major contributors to the film is Kevin Von Erich, who tells many stories of Chris Adams and World Class. I have to mention that I think Kevin Von Erich deserves a lot of credit for being a good in ring performer and also for how he’s handled being the sole surviving Von Erich as well as representing the World Class legacy very well.
The film doesn’t shy away from covering the turbulent times of Adams’ life including his problems with substance abuse, a trail about involuntary manslaughter, and also his death. One of the most intriguing scenes of the film showed the person that shot Adams reenact and explain the circumstances that led to the death of Chris Adams. In conclusion, I’d defiantly recommend the film to any Chris Adams, World Class, or old school wrestling fan and I think it’s more than worth the $5 it costs to watch the film. If you want to view the film, you can do so at