Mystery Science Theater 3000 Ep. 616, Racket Girls, 1951, /w Are You Ready for Marriage? Review

Spread the love


Racket Girls (1951): 2 out of 10: is a niche film that falls under the genre of exploitation cinema. Directed by Robert C. Dertano and produced by George Weiss, the film is known for its unique blend of wrestling, crime, and drama, which were popular themes in B-movies of that era. Despite its low-budget production and limited commercial success, Racket Girls has gained a cult following over the years for its campy charm and depiction of the wrestling subculture.

Racket Girls revolves around a wrestling promoter, Umberto Scalli (Timothy Farrell), who uses his female wrestling stable to cover up his illegal activities. Scalli manipulates the lives of his wrestlers, particularly the naïve and aspiring Peaches Page (herself), who dreams of becoming a star. As the plot unfolds, Peaches becomes entangled in Scalli’s web of deceit and criminality. Alongside Peaches, the film follows the stories of other female wrestlers who grapple with their own personal struggles and addictions within the exploitative world of professional wrestling.

Themes and Analysis

  1. Exploitation: “Racket Girls” epitomizes the exploitation film genre known for sensationalizing taboo subjects to attract audiences. The film exploits the spectacle of female wrestling, using it as a backdrop to explore themes of manipulation, corruption, and power dynamics.
  2. Gender Roles: The film offers a glimpse into the gender dynamics of the 1950s, portraying women primarily as objects of desire and spectacle within the male-dominated world of wrestling. Despite their physical prowess, the female characters are often portrayed as vulnerable and easily manipulated by male authority figures like Scalli.
  3. Corruption: Through Scalli’s character, the film critiques the corrupting influence of power and greed. Scalli’s exploitation of his wrestlers for financial gain underscores the moral decay inherent in his character and the industry he represents.
  4. Aspiration vs. Reality: The character of Peaches Page serves as a symbol of youthful innocence and aspiration. Buxom Peaches has both a lot upstairs and not a lot upstairs, if you know what I mean, and I think you do. Her journey from braindead idealism to braindead disillusionment reflects a common theme in exploitation cinema, where characters confront the harsh realities of their ambitions.

Cinematic Style and Legacy

Racket Girls adopts a typical low-budget B-movie aesthetic, characterized by its simplistic production design, exaggerated performances, and melodramatic storytelling. The film relies on stock footage of wrestling matches and minimal sets.

Despite its initial commercial failure, “Racket Girls” has garnered a cult following among fans of exploitation cinema and B-movies. Its campy charm, combined with its depiction of the wrestling subculture, has contributed to its enduring appeal as a cult classic. The film also serves as a historical artifact, offering insights into women’s undergarments in the 1950s.

The Good

The Good: There is a scene about halfway through where Timothy Farrell convinces a young girl who is addicted to drugs and broke to try prostitution as a career choice. It is surprisingly well written and at least compared to well all the other scenes in Racket Girls; it is well acted.

I didn’t dislike the wrestling match between The Leopard Lady and The Panther Woman. It is good to see 1950’s furries fetishism on display.

The Bad

The Bad: Peaches Page plays herself in the movie. I don’t find her attractive personally. She is a bit of an upright cow. Compared to almost all the other woman in the movie, however, she is Blame it on Rio’s Michelle Johnson.

Normally I would not be so sexist, but A: Racket Girls is an exploitation film. B. The women spend the entire film in thier wrestling outfits/ underwear. C. We are talking women who look like they took a hatchet to the face one too many times. D. It is not as if the ladies are bringing anything else to the table, such as acting skill (See Peaches above).

The main bout in the film is between Clara Mortensen – World Champion and Rita Martinez – Champion of Mexico. They look like Eleanor Roosevelt wrestling Frida Kahlo. I guess the director had a type.

The Ugly

The Ugly: The wrestling bouts are clearly all stock footage. And they go on for a very long time. Endless is the word I am thinking of. Imagine watching a movie and the characters are at a baseball game in the stands and the movie shows three innings of broadcast footage uninterrupted.

In Conclusion

Conclusion: Outside of a couple of pleasant scenes mentioned above, Racket Girls is a drag. The action scenes are filmed in almost complete darkness. The prurient offerings are of the great aunt in her Maidenform variety. The plot is nonsensical. The unseen bad guy is named Mr. Big. And there are endless wrestling bouts that are barely interesting for a minute.

Are You Ready for Marriage?

Are You Ready for Marriage? (1950): 6 out of 10: Are You Ready for Marriage? is a short educational film produced by Coronet Instructional Films in 1950. It is aimed at young adults, particularly high school students. Are You Ready for Marriage? seeks to provide guidance and advice on the topic of marriage readiness. Through a series of vignettes and scenarios, the film explores various aspects of married life and offers insights into the responsibilities and challenges that come with it.

The film begins by introducing the central theme of marriage readiness and the importance of considering one’s preparedness for such a significant commitment. It then presents a series of scenarios involving young couples, each addressing different aspects of marital life. These scenarios cover topics such as communication, financial management, household responsibilities, and conflict resolution.

Themes and Messages:

  1. Communication: One of the central themes of the film is the importance of effective communication in marriage. The vignettes emphasize the need for couples to openly discuss their thoughts, feelings, and concerns with each other in order to build trust and mutual understanding.
  2. Financial Management: The film addresses the practical aspects of marriage, including financial planning and budgeting. It underscores the importance of financial stability and responsible money management in maintaining a healthy relationship.
  3. Domestic Responsibilities: Another key theme explored in the film is the division of household chores and responsibilities. The vignettes depict couples working together to share the workload and support each other in managing household tasks.
  4. Conflict Resolution: The film acknowledges that conflicts are inevitable in any marriage but emphasizes the importance of resolving disputes in a constructive and respectful manner. It encourages couples to listen to each other’s perspectives, compromise, and seek solutions together.
  5. Stick with your own kind: The importance that your spouse has the same background, values and religion as yourself.

“Are You Ready for Marriage?” follows a straightforward and didactic format typical of educational films of its time. The narration provides explanatory commentary throughout the film, offering guidance and insights into the scenarios depicted. The use of dimwitted white people and unrealistic situations helps to engage the audience and reinforce the educational messages.

As a product of its time, “Are You Ready for Marriage?” reflects the social norms and values prevalent in the post-World War II era. While some aspects of the film may seem outdated by contemporary standards, its core messages about communication, responsibility, marrying within your race and religion, and commitment remain relevant to current Hitler youth.


You know I have a bit of a soft spot for the shorts featured on MST3k. Not all of them, of course, but if you want to see The Chicken of Tomorrow or set up a classroom for your elementary classroom, MST3k and RiffTrax have you covered.

Are You Ready for Marriage? offers some solid think about it advice. Are you really compatible or do you just want to “Boing”. And yes, “Are you ready for Marriage?” uses the word “Boing”. The Hitler youth that are our main couple are hilariously naïve with the actress drifting off in her own thoughts during some scenes, and only one of thier parents is allowed to speak in the film.

The actor playing the social scientist/ counselor offers some bizarre dioramas with dolls and very little solid science. So basically the social sciences have changed little since the fifties. As silly as the film is the basic idea of wait and think about what you are doing is good. I also appreciated the glitter chart showing the best ages to get married. That is the sign you are talking to a real scientist.

MST3k Episode 616, Racket Girls

Mystery Science Theater Episode 616, Racket Girls, 1951, /w Are You Ready for Marriage?: 9 out of 10: One of the best episodes of MST3K. the movie is a bit tough to make it through but the boys have your back. Add on an excellent short and some of the best host segments the series has ever seen and you have an entertaining winner.

The Good

The Good: I am usually not a fan of the host segments on Mystery Science Theater 3000. They often feel like something one endures and are rarely as entertaining as the riffed feature. But every rule has an exception and Racket Girls is one the exceptions to this rule.

Bridget Jones

I want to talk about Bridget Jones for a minute. No, not the fictional character portrayed by Renee Zellweger but the writer and occasional actress on MST3K.

Though she never got the recognition that fellow female comic Mary Jo Pehl received, she had some incredible star turns. While she is best known as that sociopathic Roman aristocrat with a touch of sex appeal Flavia and that singing dancing sensation Nuveena, Girl of the Future, it is in the MST3K version of Racket Girls she reaches her thespian pinnacle. She plays Lisa Loeb. Who am I kidding? She is Lisa Loeb. It is a highlight of a very good MST3K episode.

Alas, Bridget Jones is lost to us now. She married a temp by the name of Mike, bore him two sons, and is no doubt singing “Waiting for Wednesday” while toiling in the kitchen of the future.

Back to our Feature Presentation now with Gay Robot Marriage

Director Trace Beaulieu hits more than just Lisa Loeb out of the park. We have tourists that punch buttons, physical violence, and gay robot weddings. All this plus a classic short and a less classic movie.

If the riffing was subpar, the host segments would still carry this episode across the finish line. The riffing is solid throughout with some excellent observations such as “When Ed Wood saw this movie, it’s like when Truffaut saw Citizen Kane!”

There are also a lot of wonderfully obscure riffs (If Russ Meyer had directed Clare Boothe Luce’s The Women.), musical riffs (Hey, Joe!” “Where you going with that gun in your hand?) and obscure musical riffs (Prelude to the Afternoon of a Hot Faun.) as well. Overall, a very good riffing job with a challenging film.

The Bad

The Bad: Even considering the material and the year this was made, there are a lot of gay, trans and sexist jokes in this episode. Part of it may be that you have to talk about something while two hatchet faced gals wrestle in stock footage for ten minutes. But still…

So if you re going to introduce your Columbia University Social Sciences Graduate degreed partner to MST3K, this may not be the episode to do it with.

The Ugly

The Ugly: Frank segues from Wedding Song (There Is Love) into Lemon Tree then Dr. Foresster rudely interrupts him quoting from Prince’s Let’s Go Crazy. We are denied Frank Connif’s version of Lemon Tree on acoustic guitar. The world is a sadder place as a result.

In Conclusion

In Conclusion: I am always amazed when the guys and gals at MST3K can write themselves out of a boring movie that is bringing nothing to the table. I am impressed by the artistry. They don’t always succeed (Starfighters) but when they do; we have a great fun to watch classic.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
temp mail

Normally I do not read article on blogs, however I would like to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do so! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thanks, quite great post.

temp mail

Wonderful web site. Lots of useful info here. I’m sending it to a few friends ans additionally sharing in delicious. And obviously, thanks to your effort!

health massive

This website is amazing. The excellent content demonstrates the creator’s passion. I’m in disbelief and hope to see more of this incredible content.

puravive reviews

This website is amazing. The excellent content demonstrates the creator’s passion. I’m in disbelief and hope to see more of this incredible content.