'The Iron Claw' showcases Von Erich family's wrestling legacy, hits theaters Dec. 22

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Anyone who grew up watching professional wrestling closely in the 1960s through the 1980s likely knew the Von Erich family and the excitement they brought to the sport.

Those who closely followed also knew of the family's tragic tale, which included the deaths of brothers Jack Barton Jr., David, Kerry, Mike and Chris at early ages in their lives.

The Von Erich tale, called 'The Iron Claw,' has come to the big screen, which signifies the family's signature move in the ring. The director is Sean Durkin, and the movie is 2 hours and 10 minutes long.

Kerry (Jeremy Allen White, left) and David Von Erich (Harris Dickinson) exult in the ring after a victory in "The Iron Claw."
Kerry (Jeremy Allen White, left) and David Von Erich (Harris Dickinson) exult in the ring after a victory in "The Iron Claw."

Iron Claw cast

Zac Efron plays Kevin Von Erich, Harris Dickinson plays David Von Erich, Jeremy Allen White plays Kerry Von Erich, Holt McCallany plays Fritz Von Erich and Stanley Simons plays Mike Von Erich.

Iron Claw release date

The movie goes nationwide on Friday, Dec. 22, just before the holiday weekend.

Iron Claw trailer

Movie strengths

  • The family's notoriety is certainly brought to light in some ways. Fritz owned World Class Championship Wrestling, which broadcast live matches from the Sportatorium in Dallas, and the fame of the family was at its height in many ways because of the show on television and a great rivalry with the Fabulous Freebirds.

  • The brothers were fiercely loyal to one another and that showed throughout the film. The brothers clearly were thrilled to see the other achieve greatness.

  • The Von Erichs' celebrity certainly transcended the sport, and the movie gives moviegoers a sense of why the sport meant too much to the father and the sons.

  • The wrestling scenes were choreographed well and certainly added excitement and professionalism to the movie.

  • The acting was strong throughout, and you got a sense the actors studied the main characters well.

Kevin Von Erich (Zac Efron, right) dropkicks a foe in a wrestling match in "The Iron Claw."
Kevin Von Erich (Zac Efron, right) dropkicks a foe in a wrestling match in "The Iron Claw."

Weaknesses of the film

  • I would have liked to see the film concentrate a bit more on the successes of the family.

  • The movie could have added another 30-40 minutes and developed the relationship between father and sons a little more as well as well as the behind the scenes aspect of the sport.

Iron Claw verdict

Overall, the movie is entertaining, and for pro wrestling novices, it's a look into one of the sport's favorite and well-known families. Certainly worth taking in the movie over the holiday period.

The movie 'Iron Claw' features the Von Erich family from Texas. The Von Erich family wrestled a few times in El Paso through the years. The 'Iron Claw' movie begins nationwide on Friday, Dec. 22.
The movie 'Iron Claw' features the Von Erich family from Texas. The Von Erich family wrestled a few times in El Paso through the years. The 'Iron Claw' movie begins nationwide on Friday, Dec. 22.

More: HS Wrestling News Americas wrestler Erica Cobos overcomes adversity to become one of state's best

Felix F. Chavez can be reached at fchavez@elpasotimes.com; @Fchavezeptimes on X (Formerly Twitter)

This article originally appeared on El Paso Times: 'The Iron Claw' delivers entertainment, insight into Von Erich family