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The 500 Pound Jerk (1973)

TV Movie  -   -  Comedy | Sport  -  2 January 1973 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 51 users  
Reviews: 1 user

An advertising man's dream of turning a huge hillbilly into a weightlifting champion is blocked when the hillbilly falls for a Russian gymnast.

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Title: The 500 Pound Jerk (TV Movie 1973)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Gil Davenport
...
Hughie Rae Feather
...
Karen Walsh
Howard Cosell ...
Himself
...
Martin Bloore
Claudia Butenuth ...
Natalya
Rick Parsé ...
Mickey
Heinz Viertaler ...
Lermontov
Ralf Wolter ...
Glabov (as Ralph Wolter)
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Storyline

A sports agent/promoter is looking for some new talent. When he has car trouble in the middle of nowhere, he discovers a country bumpkin who is REALLY strong. (This guy picked up his car!) Figuring this bumpkin is a natural for the weight lifting events in the Olympics, the agent brings him back to the city to compete. Only there finds out that his weight lifting techniques don't meet Olympics standards. This bumpkin is going to need intensive training while avoiding the distractions of the big city, and a cute little Russian ballerina. Written by Brian W Martz <B.Martz@Genie.com>

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Genres:

Comedy | Sport

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Release Date:

2 January 1973 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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The wrestling set is from the 1972 Summer Olympics held in Munich. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good-hearted story set at the Olympics
10 December 2005 | by (Redondo Beach, CA) – See all my reviews

It's too bad this movie has fallen into obscurity; it was a sweet romance story intertwined with sports competition and even political intrigue. Former football player Alex Karras stars as Hugh Ray Feather, a kindhearted, naive good ol' boy from Tennessee who competes as a weightlifter in the 1972 Olympics.

Some actual footage of the real athletes in competition who made history (Olga Korvut and Mark Spitz, among others) is used, and is fun to see. Sportscaster Howard Cosell plays a caricature of himself, as the zealous announcer at the weightlifting competition. His colorful dialog with flowery, multi-syllabic soap-box gibberish was perfect for the situations where it was used. (No mention is made of the shooting tragedy that occurred at the actual '72 Olympics, wisely, it had no place in this story.)

Feather meets a gentle, soft spoken gymnast from the Soviet Union and a romance quickly develops. The chemistry between the two is very tender and genuine. One of the greatest moments in the story is when each speaks a single sentence in the other's language. However, political bullies from both countries interfere with their relationship. Not only that, but some Madison Ave. types are foaming at the mouth for a chance to exploit Feather, and they butt in too.

All of the above evolve until the final scene, where all reach a surprising twist ending together. Great acting by all, but the best line goes to Cosell: "It's an international standoff!!!!!"


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I've remembered this sweet movie my entire life. pschroeter
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