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'Lipstick & Dynamite,' Grappling with the Truth

Professional wrestler Ella Waldek is among those featured in the documentary.
Professional wrestler Ella Waldek is among those featured in the documentary.

Los Angeles Times critic Kenneth Turan reviews Lipstick & Dynamite, a new documentary about the brash and brassy women wrestlers of the '40s, '50s and '60s.

What makes Lipstick different from the usual worshipful sports documentary is that director Ruth Leitman allows a glimpse of the unvarnished and unsanitized -- how rough, rowdy and raucous these women's world could be. The stories aren't pretty, but they're true to life.

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Kenneth Turan is the film critic for the Los Angeles Times and NPR's Morning Edition, as well as the director of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes. He has been a staff writer for the Washington Post and TV Guide, and served as the Times' book review editor.