The inspirational tale of the grandfathers of fitness as we now know it, Joe and Ben Weider. Facing anti-Semitism and extreme poverty, the brothers beat all odds to build an empire and inspire future generations.
Brothers Joe and Ben Weider were the architects of muscle. Against all odds, they launched an empire. Along the way they discovered Arnold Schwarzenegger, inspired female empowerment, championed diversity, and started a movement that changed the world.Written by
Steve Lee Jones
In an October 2017 article on al.com, columnist Bob Carlton reported that Birmingham filming locations for this movie, included the Alabama Theatre (a restored 1920s movie palace), the Lyric Theatre (a restored 1910s vaudeville theater), and Temple Emanu-El (a Reform Jewish synagogue built in 1889). Another theater used was the historic "Little Theater" at Samford University. See more »
Stock footage of Times Square cites the year as 1970. But a theatre marquee shows "The Possession of Joel Delaney" playing--it was released in 1973. See more »
Excellent, Uplifting True Story that will inspire you.
This movie is a must - see. It is a true story about how the Weider brothers, originally from the "Jewish Ghetto" in Montreal, overcame poverty, antisemitism, ridicule, and a general lack of opportunity to help build the sport of bodybuilding and popularize the principles of physical fitness worldwide. Joe Weider became a legendary figure in bodybuilding, and the brothers created the Mr. Olympia contest and discovered Arnold Schwarzenegger in Austria along the way.
This film isn't just for fitness fanatics or bodybuilders though. It is a film about overcoming obstacles and believing in a dream, with some wonderfully developed characters that you can't help but cheer for (or hate, in the case of bad guy Bill Hauk brilliantly played by Kevin Durand).
What was particularly surprising, is how this film will resonate with women. It is not just a "get pumped" body-building muscle film. One of the most remarkable performances is by Julianne Hough who plays Joe's wife, Betty Weider FKA Betty Brosmer, a gorgeous 1950's pin-up girl (google it). Betty plays a central part in this story, and Joe Weider's reliance on her and obvious respect for her intellect and willingness to treat her as his equal is refreshing to see (esp considering the era in which these events took place and against the backdrop of the current #metoo movement).
The other reviews rave about Australian Calum Von Moger, who is an absolute dead ringer for a young Arnold Schwarzenegger (discovered by Joe Weider in the 1960's) not just physically but with his accent and attitude. All of the praise is well deserved, he nails it.
Joe Weider is played by Tyler Hoechlin, and tbh his voice / inflection is a little hard to get used to at first. But you realize, as the film develops, that the hesitation and stammering reflect his lack of experience and insecurity (fear?) and as he becomes older and more successful, he morphs into a confident man and the stuttering falls away.
The film starts a little slowly, but by the time you get to the scene in Murray's (sp) Restaurant you will be hooked.
Best movie I've seen in a long time, and I plan to see it at least once more.
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