Three Italian-American brothers, living in the slums of 1940's New York City, try to help each other with one's wrestling career using one brother's promotional skills and another brother's con-artist tactics to thwart a sleazy manager.
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
The original release in theaters ended showing Johnny Kovak getting shot at the top the staircase in his home. Then, in the last scene, the camera pans to show a close-up of a moving truck with a "bumper sticker" that says "Where's Johnny?". The cable release does not show that last scene. Instead, the closing credits are shown over a crowd of truckers with their fists in the air. See more »
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.
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