"Pumping Iron," the film that turned the obscure sport of male bodybuilding into an overnight phenomenon and made Arnold Schwarzenegger a star, broke the ground. Now, experience PUMPING ... See full summary »
Lori Bowen Rice
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
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 »
Taking a nostalgic trip down memory lane, Pumping Iron brings a smile to ones face even if you can't understand Schwarzenegger with his thick Austrian accent.
Pumping Iron looks at the world of body building as a competitive sport, an art, a science, and a religion. Despite his modern day success as an actor. Arnold shows us what he was truly about, a man who hungered to win, and win at what ever lengths it took.
Unlike the unrealistic looking body builders of nowadays, these grandfathers of bodybuilding show us just what real muscle men are about. The rivalry, the pranks back stage at tournaments, the reverse psychology and the rumours they would spread to throw their fellow competitors into disarray.
There was scepticism as to whether most of the content of this movie was scripted or performed ad-lib. One get the impression it's a bit of both especially when you see a very young Lou Ferrigno throw a tantrum infront of his father Matty and telling him he's "gonna beat'im" (Arnold that is) to become the next Mr. Olympia.
Overall, it's one film to watch as a motivator, study guide to understand the psyche of iron pumpers and to note how Joe Weider marketed talents such as Arnold, Lou Ferrigno and Franco Columbu, immortalising them into the world of body building. 6.8/10
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