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.
Did You Know?
To give the film a narrative arc, and thus mainstream appeal, the film was originally meant to follow actor Bud Cort
being trained by Arnold Schwarzenegger
over a year, using his physical development to explore the principles and world of bodybuilding. Cort and Schwarzenegger recorded several hours of footage but ultimately felt he was wrong for the project and amicably parted ways with the production; he forfeited his salary, asking that it go towards the budget of the film. Some of his footage eventually appeared in Raw Iron: The Making of 'Pumping Iron'
(2002). See more
[continuing about The Pump
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.
Our thanks to: Protection by "Chula" See more
Referenced in Bittersweet Motel
Pumping Iron Song
Music and Lyrics by Michael Small
Sung by Joey Ward See more