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Pumping Iron (1977)

PG  |   |  Documentary, Sport  |  31 March 1978 (Denmark)
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Reviews: 49 user | 36 critic

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?


The term "pumping iron" was coined by bodybuilder-author Charles Gaines to encapsulate the art of weight-lifting. See more »


Arnold Schwarzenegger: What did you say Lou? What did you say?
Lou Ferrigno: I'm training Arnold! Gotta get a good pump!
Arnold Schwarzenegger: You make too much noise! Has to be very quiet in here, like in a Church!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #26.9 (2009) See more »


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

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User Reviews

This movie will get you in the gym
11 August 2003 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

Pumping Iron is one of the best movies I have seen in recent memory. This movie is a documentary about body building in the nineteen seventies, when Arnold Schwarzenegger was just beginning to carve out a name for himself. I just typed his name and spelt it wrong, and sure enough my spell check has Schwarzenegger in it, how's that for fame?

This movie first covers the top amateur body builders at the time through the Mr. Universe contest. The documentary then covers the professional body builders competing for the Mr. Olympia title. The movie is great because not only is it thoroughly entertaining if you pay attention to the details; but it also makes you want to exercise. Perhaps not to the extend of Arnold; but exercise none the less, and physical fitness is good.

In addition to Mr. Schwarzenegger being in the movie, Incredible Hulk star Lou Ferrigno challenging Arnold for the crown. Lou's father is perhaps one of the most incredible characters in the movie and contributes to many humorous moments. One scene in particular stood out in my mind. Lou and his father were at the gym training and Lou was doing some front presses. Prominently in the background was an overweight dope looking man. Lou (a giant at 6'5 275lbs) was doing his exercises and screaming with exertion. Yet the poor dopey man kept on going with the funniest look on his face.

The movie is too good. I highly recommend anyone who enjoys a good mockumentary to watch it. If you enjoy films like Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show, Pumping Iron is for you, only real!

14 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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