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Pumping Iron (1977)

PG  |   |  Documentary, Sport  |  31 March 1978 (Denmark)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 13,966 users  
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From Gold's Gym in Venice Beach California to the showdown in Pretoria, amateur and professional bodybuilders prepare for the 1975 Mr. Olympia and Mr. Universe contests in this ... See full summary »


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A documentary on the making of "Pumping Iron" to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Aired on Cinemax.

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Himself (as Louis Ferrigno)
Matty Ferrigno ...
Victoria Ferrigno ...
Mike Katz ...
Ed Corney ...
Ken Waller ...
Serge Nubret ...
Robbie Robinson ...
Himself (as Robin Robinson)
Marianne Claire ...
Frank Zane ...
David DuPree ...
Eddie Giuliani ...
Himself (as Eddie Juliani)
Danny Padilla ...


From Gold's Gym in Venice Beach California to the showdown in Pretoria, amateur and professional bodybuilders prepare for the 1975 Mr. Olympia and Mr. Universe contests in this part-scripted, part-documentary film. Five-time champion Arnold Schwarzenegger defends his Mr. Olympia title against Serge Nubret and the shy young deaf Lou Ferrigno, whose father is his coach; the ruthless champ psyches out the young lion. Sardinian Franco Columbu competes in the lightweight class; at home in Italy he solves a tight parking problem by lifting the car into place. Joe Weider is the marketer; Mike Katz and Ken Waller go for the title of Mr. Universe. Bodybuilding and a celebrity-to-be go mainstream. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Documentary | Sport


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

31 March 1978 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

O Homem dos Músculos de Aço  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Arnold Schwarzenegger admitted that he had made up several stories in the movie for attention because the producers told him that without drama it would be boring. One of the stories made up was the fact that he did not attend his father's funeral because of a body building competition that was going to happen in a couple of months. Arnold did actually attend his father's funeral and spoke to him shortly before he passed. See more »


[continuing about The Pump]
Arnold Schwarzenegger: It's as satisfying to me as, uh, coming is, you know? As, ah, having sex with a woman and coming. And so can you believe how much I am in heaven? I am like, uh, getting the feeling of coming in a gym, I'm getting the feeling of coming at home, I'm getting the feeling of coming backstage when I pump up, when I pose in front of 5,000 people, I get the same feeling, so I am coming day and night. I mean, it's terrific. Right? So you know, I am in heaven.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Our thanks to: Protection by "Chula" See more »


Featured in 20 to 1: Crazy Customs (2008) See more »


Pumping Iron Song
Music and Lyrics by Michael Small
Sung by Joey Ward
See more »

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User Reviews

4 July 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Wow.Big men with big personalities. Humor, drama,passion, camaraderie. In my opinion, this is a great guy flick. Especially, if you're a gym fiend like me. I didn't have too much knowledge about Arnold's bodybuilding past,as I'm from the generation of his movie period, just like kids today are part of his political period. I grew up on Arnie, Stallone and Bruce Lee. Discovering this movie was one of the best things that happened.Thanks , IMDb :) To take a close look at the inside world of bodybuilding the way it should be, Pumping Iron delivers big time. With the Mr.Olympia contest as the center stage event, and what happens around it is the premise for this docu drama.

Lots of inspiring moments when the champs are working out-- Arnold's massive barrel chest, Lou's young turk on the rise, Columbo's strongest man in the world angle, the modelling, the charity (Arnold kissing a jail bird and saying "Heyy, she might not have been kissed for a long time yooo knowww..").. It also shows how these Kings bonded....sharing tips (even "bad advices"), lazing on the beach, Arnie showing "little men" how to pose,spotting each, reminds me of when I'm with my gym buddies. Even if you're a girl or a layman who's not into working out,this movie is good entertainment. Lots of funny quips from Arnie--my favorite being "Franco is good..but he's a the day of the competition.. I am his father!" and " When I get the pump I feel like I am coming day and night, I'm in Heaven.."

On a serious note, the anxieties, the passion, the fear and the mental armory these guys possess varies. On one side there's Lou (a big softy) and on the other end, there's good ol' Arnie; acting out the part of likable rogue to perfection.When he talks about immortality and mentions his admiration for dictators and Jesus.."yooo know, people who will be remembered for thhhouuusands of yeaars.." you know you've got a winner on your hands. Some of his quotes are outrageously funny but they also make you think. Maybe that's the true mindset of champions.

At the end of the day, the message is that everyone is friends. And that's the bottomline. Play hard, work hard, party hard. But stay firm friends. That's how it is and that's my belief as well.Male bonding will always be something women can never understand. I love women, and I know how much a part my physique plays in it ;) but when it comes to getting "pumped" or needing a good testosterone boost(without the homosexual overtones), I prefer good solid male company to truly make me feel alive. The competition, the fun, the bonding is something only we the male of the species can share. Great stuff.Inspiring, funny and immensely entertaining. A movie with muscle, if there was one. 10 on 10.

41 of 49 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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