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F.I.S.T. (1978)

F.I.S.T (original title)
PG | | Drama | 28 April 1978 (USA)
Johnny Kovak joins the Teamsters trade-union in a local chapter in the 1930s and works his way up in the organization. As he climbs higher and higher his methods become more ruthless and ... See full summary »



(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Senator Madison
Max Graham
Anna Zarinkas
David Huffman ...
Abe Belkin
Vince Doyle
Babe Milano
Peter Donat ...
Arthur St. Clair
John Lehne ...
Mr. Gant
Win Talbot
Mike Monahan
Tony Mockus Jr. ...
Tom Higgins (as Tony Mockus)
Bernie Marr
Elena Karam ...
Mrs. Zerinkas


Johnny Kovak joins the Teamsters trade-union in a local chapter in the 1930s and works his way up in the organization. As he climbs higher and higher his methods become more ruthless and finally senator Madison starts a campaign to find the truth about the alleged connections with the Mob. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A love story between a man, a country, the people he led and the woman he loved. See more »




PG | See all certifications »



Release Date:

28 April 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

F.I.S.T.  »

Box Office


$11,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film's director Norman Jewison once said of this movie in an interview: "Somehow I failed. Maybe it was the casting". See more »


Babe Milano: Nobody's 100%... Nobody.
See more »


Referenced in Neues aus der Anstalt: Episode #2.2 (2008) See more »


Stompin' at the Savoy
Written by Chick Webb, Benny Goodman, Andy Razaf and Edgar M. Sampson
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

One of my personal all-time favorites.
1 December 1999 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Federation of InterState Truckers, or F.I.S.T., is a struggling little labor union in the depths of the Depression. Johnny Kovak signs on as an organizer, and the Cleveland local begins to grow, as Johnny moves up the leadership ladder. But Johnny early on reluctantly makes shady alliances, to get "the push" (his term for influence) for his union, and it returns to haunt him and his men. Unforgettable scenes abound in this masterpiece. The interplay between Johnny and nemesis Babe Milano - Kovak's stumbling efforts at courtship, contrasting with his stony demands at early opponent Consolidated Trucking, and the owners' icy reticence - a violence-torn strike - and then we see Kovak's rise to national union leadership, his growing list of powerful enemies, and his inevitable demise, shrouded in mystery and legend. It's a film to see again and again. The sweeping, epic score by Bill Conti accentuates the ever-unfolding saga, but keeps the audience reminded of the early roots of Johnny Kovak and his colleagues and those he has grown to love and hate. Despite Sylvester Stallone's riveting virtuoso performances in "F.I.S.T." and the following "Paradise Alley", the lukewarm box-office response to this multi-shaded side of his acting abilities soon led to the more commercial, and less-dimensional, roles that he is best known for now. I think his finest work ever is seen in this wonderful film. Highly recommended to all.

12 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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