Amateur athletes and bodybuilders at the original Muscle Beach in Santa Monica, California.
1 nomination. See more awards »


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Muscle Beach Then and Now (TV Movie 2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A complete history of Venice, California's famous Muscle Beach complex and the bodybuilders who have made the location famous. First erected in Santa Monica... See full synopsis »

Stars: Samir Bannout, Franco Columbu, Corinna Everson
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Hear it staight from the Legends themselves about their stories of success and heartbreak. EVOLUTION OF BODYBUILDING offers a close look at what it takes to compete in the "Mr. Olympia" and... See full summary »

Director: Patrick Rivera
Stars: Lou Ferrigno, Lee Haney, Frank Zane
Documentary | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

C.T. Fletcher shows you his story, and what he's all about.

Director: Vlad Yudin
Stars: C.T. Fletcher, Stephen Adele, Steve Austin
Why We Train (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

This documentary has as its main purpose to shine a positive light on bodybuilding, power lifting, health and fitness. Also: A Tribute to Reg Park and honoring Muscle beach and all those ... See full summary »

Director: Darin Mangan
Stars: Guile Branco, Barbie Barbell, Dave Bautista
Documentary | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A documentary that follows top bodybuilders as they train to compete in the Mr. Olympia competition.

Director: Vlad Yudin
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mickey Rourke, Lou Ferrigno
Documentary | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An examination of America's win-at-all-cost culture from the perspective of bodybuilding and performance enhancing drugs, as it focuses on a pair of siblings chasing their dream.

Director: Chris Bell
Stars: Chris Bell, Mike Bell, Mark Bell
Stand Tall (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A documentary on Lou ferrigno and his journey to the Olympia 19 years after he had retired from competitive bodybuilding.

Director: Mark Nalley
Stars: Boyer Coe, Carla Ferrigno, Lou Ferrigno


The original Muscle Beach, located south of the Santa Monica Pier, was constructed in 1934 by the Works Progress Administration with the intention of creating a park on a public beach. By the 1940s however, Muscle Beach frequently appeared as a standing joke in trade magazines and was often mentioned with innuendo in Hollywood gossip columns. For filmmaker Joseph Strick, however, the beach scene offered an opportunity to observe and document an emerging subculture of gymnasts, athletes, bodybuilders and exhibitionists. His 1948 short Muscle Beach, made with assistance from fellow filmmaker Irving Lerner, can be considered a carefree and wholesome portrait of a site that was then of questionable reputation. The film would be the first of Strick's early efforts to highlight documentary footage of Los Angeles counterculture. Written by Ulf Kjell Gür

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Documentary | Short





Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

This film blew my mind
28 February 2003 | by See all my reviews

I saw this film many years ago and it blew my mind, and I have never seen film in the same light since. It took a long time for me to realise why. I think every film I had ever seen till then had been narrative, and I didn't know there could be a gripping film that didn't tell a story - that's what films did, tell a story. Muscle Beach is fascinating, but no story. I don't mean it has no structure - it has a very tight structure, but it is like a piece of music, in three movements - allegro, andante, allegro vivace (or something) The film was shot on a beach in ?California, concentrating on a set of (very) amateur athletes and body-builders. The score is written and sung by Earl Robinson, and the words and music complement (and sometimes contradict) the screen action, pithily and wittily (who but Robinson would rhyme 'therapeutical' with 'the body beautiful'?) This film gave me the most influential twenty minutes of my life. Not everybody sees it that way - my friends didn't know what I was on about - but try it and see for yourself.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Muscle Beach (1948) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page