The Beginnings of a Rivalry

Dolls and Tigers:
A Relationship
Built on Brutality

Harry's a tireless trainer, willing to drive all day for the benefit of his wrestlers. Then, in his role as nutritionist, he takes them out for health food.
         Rivalries create heroes. One can't be judged great until an equally great opponent is vanquished.

     Sports is full of famous rivalries, from Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier, to Chris Evert vs. Martina Navratilova, to Jack Nicklaus vs. Arnold Palmer.

​     Wrestling has Bruno Sammartino vs. Larry Zbyszko and Ric Flair vs. Sting on the men's side, June Byers vs. Midred Burke and Wendi Richter vs. the Fabulous Moolah on the women's side. 

   But it goes back further, to Hector vs. Achilles, David vs. Goiliath, and God vs. the Devil. There's a human need to find heroes and villains in any conflict. Wrestling plays upon this need with "faces" and "heels" -- obvious good guys and bad guys.

​      Films do it, too, and "All the Marbles" matches up its dynamic California Dolls against the rough-and-tumble Toledo Tigers. Beach babes vs. city brawlers, whites vs. blacks -- the differences are stark.

    Their matches are highly entertaining, technically proficient, and -- above all -- savage.

    This is their first meeting, in the Tigers's hometown of Toledo, Ohio. And the brutality is very much in evidence already. These women don't like each other, and no rule or ref will stop them from doing what they must do to win. 

    But the ending is controversial, and it will prove to be just the start of the rivalry between the Dolls and the Tigers...
Molly isn't impressed by the burger, as Harry -- in a 1980s flashback -- reads a newspaper and smokes a cigarette.
Speaking of butts, Iris loses her money in a cigarette machine, and treats it like a wrestling opponent. Harry, knowing how important smoking is to her training, grabs his handy baseball bat...
...and *BOOM!* out fly the Marlboros and Merits!
"Wow!" says Molly, and the girls get busy!
Then, puffing away, the happy trio heads for the next match....

 When Iris Met June

We cut to the match, mid-fight, Iris versus June!
Iris looks like a madwoman as she attempts to Irish-whip June into the ropes...
...but June reverses it!
As Iris slams against the turn-buckle, June gets a running start, leaps...
...and mounts her!
`Can't take it, Doll?'
June taunts Iris as she sets up her for a monkey flip. Iris knows what's happening...
...but can do nothing about it.
Hands locked behind Iris's head, June pulls her close -- then throws herself back...
As June falls, she drags Iris with her. Then, hitting the mat, she kicks out her legs... 
...sending Iris flying!
Bottoms up!
`What the fuck?!'
The crowd cheers!
The crowd boos!
Tracy is bursting with, er, joy! But manager
"Big John" is all business...
`Let's finish this off, June!' he exhorts his wrestler. 

Kicking a Girl When She's Down

Molly calls for a tag, but Iris is still seeing stars. In the meantime, June circles...
...and up comes the boot!
And that's why they're called `heels'! 
The ref suddenly decides to get involved... 
...but June ignores him, natch. Up comes the boot again... 
.June sends Iris airborne with a mighty kick to the ribs!
Iris is in pain.
`You can do a lot, ref,' Harry says, `but you can't do that!'
The crowd goes wild!
Iris wonders what could come next...

That's What Hair Is for!

June doesn't let Iris wonder for very long... she sinks two hands into Iris's hair and drags her off the mat.
Iris staggers to her feet, under June's control...
June sets Iris up for her next move...
...and Harry is afraid to find out what it is!
June continues with the kicking theme, this time a vicious knee to Iris's face!
June preens for the crowd as Iris thrashes on the canvas.
Again June ignores the ref and goes for Iris's long locks...
There's simply no better way to get a woman up on her feet, and having Iris's radiantly beautiful hair to work with is quite a perk for lucky June.

The Rally of the Dolls

Molly lets the ref know what she thinks of all that hair-pulling.
Meanwhile, Iris works her feet up into June's mid-section, and kicks!
June loses her hold on Iris's hair and is sent flying backwards...
Bottoms up!
`You can turn this thing around, Iris,' Harry says, as Molly cheers her on!
This time it's Iris with the hair-pulling!
`No hair!'
After being flipped, kicked and hair-pulled, Iris is enjoying her revenge!
June's about to get the Irish whip she escaped earlier...
...and Iris is waiting to greet her on her return with an arm drag!
June is stunned, and Iris grabs once more for the cornrows...
Time for another fling off the ropes for June!
This time Iris drops to her knees as June comes hurtling forward!
June flies head first over Iris and does a complete flip, slamming down on the canvas!
June is in pain!

The Fans Go Home Disappointed

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Iris going airborne!
And what goes up...
...must come down!
Iris goes for the cover!
`She's up!' yells Tracy, as the mood of the hometown fans grows ugly!
June struggles to free herself, but Iris's magnificent breasts will not be moved!
It's a pin!
The crowd boos, Tracy whines...
`Ha, ha!'
...Iris laughs...
...Molly rejoices, and the crowd boos some more!
Iris, in all her glory!
The Dolls fly into each other's arms!
Molly bear-hugs Iris as poor-sport Tracy shows good throwing form...
She's on target, but can't wipe the smile off Iris's face!
And the winners are ... the California Dolls!
Iris, Molly and Harry are one happy team!
Dolls, indeed.

Holy Toledo! Just One Little Problem...

As the Dolls celebrate, Big John gives Harry the evil eye. Harry can just shrug. You see, the managers had a little arrangement. Let the Tigers win in front of their hometown fans, and they'd let the Dolls win out West. Iris apparently didn't get the message. The look on Big John's face says this may not be over...

The After-Fight

`What do you think you were doing?'
When the Dolls enter the dressing room, Tracy confronts Iris.
`Honey, I don't let anyone pin me!'
`You didn't let June pin you!'
And the wrestlers go at it once again! Harry plays peace-maker, until...
...June grabs a wooden stool, and -- aiming at Molly -- busts it on Harry's head!
Ah, girls will be girls!

Watch the wrestling scenes!

The original trailer for the film