Lords of Dogtown
is a 2005 film based on the true story
of the Zephyr Skate Team or "The Z-Boys"
, a young group of surfers turned skateboarders from 1970's Venice Beach, California that revolutionized the sport of skateboarding. The movie focuses on three young skateboarders, Tony Alva, Stacy Peralta, and Jay Adams. The film turns the story into a combination of Coming of Age
and Rags to Riches
story, as the team is torn apart by the temptations of fame and money, with all three skateboarders taking different routes.
This film provides examples of:
- Age Lift: The film portrays Tony, Stacy and Jay as relatively the same age, when in reality, Tony and Stacy are four years older than Jay.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Kathy leaves Stacy for Jay.
- Bittersweet Ending: After learning that Sid is dying with brain cancer, Tony, Stacy, and Jay reunite, make peace and skate in Sid's empty swimming pool.
- Butt Monkey: Sid. His inner-ear equilibrium problem is commonly messed with by the other characters. His problem was actually caused by a fatal brain tumor.
- The Cameo: The real Z-Boys and Tony Hawk make appearances.
- Chekhov's News: The news report about drought in California, leading to water restrictions and empty pools, where the Z-Boys developed their signature skating style.
- Chick Magnet: Tony and Jay, mostly.
- Defeat Means Friendship: Stacy with The Z-Boys originally. Skip rejected him from the team at first, due to not being a "pirate" (read: had responsibilities, job, etc.) and didn't bring him on the team until Stacy won in a competition against them.
- Ironically, Stacy is the last to leave The Z-Boys after the others are signed to sponsorships.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Jay and his mother. He only competes so she could one day stop working at her factory job.
- Harsher in Hindsight: One of the first scenes of the film involved a salesman, played by Mitch Hedberg, selling urethane wheels to Skip Engblom, played by Heath Ledger. This was Hedburg's final role, as he died of a drug overdose the same year. Ledger also died of an accidental overdose three years later.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Heath Ledger forms a skateboarding team consisting of Christopher McCandless, Cam Calderon, John Robinson, and Will Stronghold.
- Hippie Mom: Jay's mom.
- It's All About Me: Tony gets this attitude when he starts his own skateboard company.
- My Sister Is Off Limits: Subverted by Tony Alva, with his sister Kathy. She starts as Stacy's girlfriend, but ends up with Jay.
- The Svengali: Skip Engblom
- We Used To Be Friends: After the Zephyr Skate Team broke up, the friendship between Stacy, Jay and Tony become very frosty.
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue