7.4/10
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61 user 44 critic

Pumping Iron (1977)

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno face off in a no-holds-barred competition for the title of Mr. Olympia in this critically-acclaimed film that made Schwarzenegger a household name.

Writers:

Charles Gaines (book), George Butler (book) | 1 more credit »
1 win. See more awards »
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Cast

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

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary | Sport

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

Arnold Schwarzenegger: The greatest feeling you can get in a gym, or the most satisfying feeling you can get in the gym is... The Pump. Let's say you train your biceps. Blood is rushing into your muscles and that's what we call The Pump. You muscles get a really tight feeling, like your skin is going to explode any minute, and it's really tight - it's like somebody blowing air into it, into your muscle. It just blows up, and it feels really different. It feels fantastic.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in My Bride Is a Mermaid: Pumping Iron (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

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

User Reviews

 
Still Fascinating, Almost 30 Years Later
2 November 2005 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

This was an extremely well-done "documentary" about men's bodybuilding, and the 1975 Mr. Olympia contest in particular.

The film, of course, features the most famous bodybuilder of all time - Arnold Schwarzenegger. There are also profiles of his handful of competitors, most notably Lou Ferrigno, who gained notoriety by being the green monster in "The Incredible Hulk" TV series.

Anyway, this film really shows the hard work (but not the steroids, by the way), the dedication and the egos of the bodybuilders, particularly Schwarzenegger. Arnold is the defending champion in the field and also has the biggest ego and is pictured as a man obsessed with winning. (To this day, has he ever lost in anything? Like him or not, what this man has accomplished is amazing.)

Ferrigno's story is more about his dad than anything else, a man living out his dreams through his son. However, unlike other driven sports parents (i.e. Jimmy Piersall's father in "Fear Strikes Out"), he gives "Big Louie" nothing but encouragement.

However - please note, because I was fooled for years, too , until the DVD came out - that it turns out that much of the dad's role was made up just for the film, which is why I put "documentary" in quotes. In reality, he had little to do with his son's training, according to a feature on the DVD disc. There is a 25-year reunion with some of the people involved here, and it's very interesting, as they point out what was added for "dramatic effect." (These filmmakers must have inspired Michael Moore).

Also featured in the film were several contestants in another competition, Mr. Universe, which was held at the same venue as the main attraction. In here, we see good guy (Mike Katz) battling bad guy (Ken Waller). Katz was particularly an intriguing study and provides a good example of what motivates many of these guys to build such incredible bodies.

A lot of what these contestants do - and Schwarzenegger was a master at this - was play mind games at these contests, trying to "psych out" their opponents. All of that is pictured.

The physical work, the mental games, the families of these guys, their social life, outlooks on life, and the behind-the-scenes look at a unique sport - all are fascinating. I found it such when I saw it over 25 years ago, and it's still an extremely entertaining film.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 June 1977 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Pumping Iron See more »

Filming Locations:

Sardinia, Italy See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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