February 28, 2006
Alias the Champ (1949)
By DAVE HILLHOUSE -- SLAM! Wrestling
Starring: Robert Rockwell, Barbra Fuller, Audrey Long, Gorgeous George, Tor Johnson
Perhaps the wrestling world's first expert in creating a flamboyant spectacle, the character of Gorgeous George (George Wagner) was so big it was a natural step to find it in a motion picture. Alias the Champ had the tagline "Wait'll You See Gorgeous George" splashed across the poster, setting a type of cross-over precedent that would allow future wrestling stars to try their hand in the movies.
Incidentally, many large versions of the movie poster exist because someone had the brainwave along the way to market the posters to wrestling fans in the many magazines that filled newsstands in the day.
This review is by Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide:
"Robert Rockwell, Republic Pictures' resident all-purpose hero, stars in Alias the Champ. This time, Rockwell plays Lt. Ron Peterson, who doubles as a homicide detective and local administrator of the professional wrestling code. When real-life rassler Gorgeous George (that's how he billed himself) is framed for murder by a gang of crooks, Lt. Peterson tries to prove George's innocence. It isn't just the job that motivates Peterson: he's sweet on the wrestler's pretty manager Lorraine (Audrey Long). Fans of the current WWF and WCW TV wrestling extravaganzas might get a kick out of the scenes wherein Gorgeous George, Bomber Kulkavich, Count Billy Varga, Jack "Sockeye" MacDonald, the Super-Swedish Angel (aka Tor Johnson of Abbott & Costello in the Foreign Legion) and their confreres hunker down to business in the ring."
Dave Hillhouse is a screenwriter and teacher, and can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org -- SLAM! Wrestling.