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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Documenting Arnold was a star before Arnold was a star
You will never get a better chance to see a movie star in embryonic form than watching 28-year old Austrian body builder Arnold Schwarzenegger in this 1976 documentary about bodybuilding. Arnold is "Pumping Iron" to win his sixth straight Mr. Olympia title and the future Terminator steals the spotlight from his competitors (including Lou Ferrigno in his pre-Incredible...
Published on 24 July 2004

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Origins Of Arnie
Not a film, but rather a fascinating documentary, this is the one that gained Arnold Schwarzenegger global recognition thanks to his infectiously arrogant personality coming out on screen as well as his undeniable imposing physical stature and passion for success. The perfect movie star! It also helps show Lou “The Incredible Hulk” Ferrigno, who got the Hulk...
Published 4 months ago by Mr. C. Gelderd


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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Documenting Arnold was a star before Arnold was a star, 24 July 2004
By A Customer
You will never get a better chance to see a movie star in embryonic form than watching 28-year old Austrian body builder Arnold Schwarzenegger in this 1976 documentary about bodybuilding. Arnold is "Pumping Iron" to win his sixth straight Mr. Olympia title and the future Terminator steals the spotlight from his competitors (including Lou Ferrigno in his pre-Incredible Hulk days) with relative ease. Directors George Butler and Robert Fiore capture the world of competitive bodybuilding on film, but it is Arnold who makes it all seem like such a noble effort. With his natural charm and his single-minded determination, it is easy in retrospect to see why he became such a box officer star. This is a man who has always been comfortable with who he is and what he is doing. Even if you find the sight of muscular men covered in oil to be somewhat disquieting (I am pleading guilty here), you will find this look at their world to be both fascinating and insightful.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Motivating and fascinating, 29 July 2003
By 
D. J. Burton (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Pumping Iron [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Enter the crazy world of body building in 1975 with Arnie accompanied by Lou Ferrigno, Mike Katz and Franco Columbo. It's a documentary that focuses on Arnie and his main competitor - Lou Ferrigno. You get to see the crazy workouts that each guy has to endure, but you also see Arnie demotivating and playing mind tricks with Lou.
Overall this is a superb film for any weight training fan, and I can definitely recommend this as a motivational and entertaining film - excellent stuff.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arnold is Numero Uno!, 7 Nov 2005
By 
A. Fraser "ajrf_87" (G-Town, Lincolnshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Pumping Iron [DVD] (DVD)
Pumping Iron is an exceptional 'docudrama,'which explores the sub-culture of bodybuilding in the 1970s, long before its widespread acceptance into today's society.
You don't have to be interested in bodybuilding to enjoy this film.
The film isn't dominated by musclebound men training in the gym, but more the individual personalities of the characters and how they are portrayed.
The main focus is the Mr Olympia showdown battle between the already crowned 5 times Mr Olympia Arnold Schwarzenegger and the dark Prince Louie Ferrigno (The Hulk), who is looking to take the title away from Arnold.
It's a must-have for bodybuilders or potential bodybuilders due to its inspirational qualities, but it's also a good buy for non-bodybuilding fans, who will find the story very interesting.
One of Arnold's best!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pump it up!, 12 Oct 2009
This review is from: Pumping Iron [DVD] (DVD)
All things considered, Arnold Schwarzenegger has had an interesting life. He arrived in America with almost no money and barely able to speak a word of English, then through sheer hard work and determination went on to win bodybuilding's biggest title a record-breaking seven times, became arguably the greatest action movie star of all time and got elected as the governor of California. Clearly you don't achieve all that without having something a little special, and Pumping Iron gives something of an insight into this.

It's 1975 and Arnold Schwarzenegger is preparing to defend his Mr Olympia title for the sixth time in a row. He's been king of the hill for the last five years, but now there's new competition in the shape of Lou Ferrigno - a massive 6'5" bodybuilder who is younger, bigger and hungry for success. The documentary charts their preparations in the run-up to the Mr Olympia contest to be held in Pretoria, South Africa. Along the way, it provides an insight into both men's characters, their personalities and the events that drove them to take up bodybuilding.

The two men couldn't be more different. Ferrigno is quiet, reserved and soft spoken, training mostly with his father in a basement gym, while reigning champion Schwarzenegger is brash, arrogant and charismatic.

The fascinating thing about this movie is the insight it provides into the psychology behind what is for the most part quite a misunderstood sport. Bodybuilding is as much a battle of egos as muscles. In a competition early in the film, one bodybuilder hides another man's clothes and training gear just before he goes on stage, distracting him and breaking his focus, and ultimately causing him to lose.

Likewise, in the run up to the big showdown in Pretoria, Schwarzenegger starts playing mind games with the younger and more impressionable Ferrigno, gradually eroding his confidence. In another telling interview, Schwarzenegger admits that if he finds another competitor who looks like he might be a threat, he'll make sure he spends lots of time with him the night before the competition and basically talk him into losing.

Schwarzenegger is very much portrayed as the villain of this movie, using various underhand ploys to keep Ferrigno from winning. And yet his focus, determination to win and sheer charisma are obvious even at this early stage of his career, and it's easy to see why he went on to greater things.

And the rest as they say is history.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME, 19 Sep 2004
By 
Mr. Sean Maidment "seanmaidment2" (dorset england) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Pumping Iron [DVD] (DVD)
If you like bodybuilding this is for you.It has everything
with a lot of extras.It is totally absorbing and well worth the
money.
When the gym trip seems a little routine and mundane stick this
on.It'll give you a new lease of life.
BUY IT NOW.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lot of fun, 19 Dec 2013
By 
K. Gordon - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Entertaining, well made documentary on the sport of body building (circa mid 1970s) focusing in
particular on then 28 year old Arnold Schwarzenegger, who can be charming, funny, and as when
he's explaining his admiration for dictators in his Germanic accent ("People remember them") or
playing psych-out mind games on his so-called best friend, but also rival, before a competition -
he can be more than a bit creepy and disturbing.

While always enjoyable, and fascinating for where Arnold's life led him after this film made him a
star, it's not a super deep or moving documentary. Its too lightweight,repetitive and self-conciously
funky for that, along with the fact that sections are admittedly semi-staged for the cameras.

But if it's not quite a great film, its certainly a good time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A solid piece of history!!, 5 Aug 2008
This review is from: Pumping Iron [DVD] (DVD)
Pumping Iron is an absolute must see for anyone that is into training, whether that is with weights, sprinting or any other sport for that matter! It is sure to boost your approach to working out and is actually very fun and interesting.

The Anniversary Edition DVD includes some great added extra's which were not avaiable on the VHS version. One of these is an open and frank interview with the man himself, shedding some light on some of the more memorable moments of the film. whether or not you enjoy body building (doing it or looking at it) doesnt matter. I have leant my copy to enough people who dont work out to know that it has a massively inspirational impact on who ever see's it.

Yes there are plenty of steriotype body builders who are clearly on more than popeye spinach, but whats great about this film is the way it portray's the intense work and discipline that goes into this lifestyle. The sub plot is the genuine friendships and comradery between 'atheletes', which remains intact to this day.

In addition to the intrinsic qualities, this film is a brilliant insight into the man, that over 30 years ago said he wanted to be the president of the US. Okay Arnold didnt quite make that but he hasnt done too badly, he is at the healm of the 2nd most powerful state. Love him or Loath him, his approach to his life and training are reflected in this film.

Have a dream and make it happen.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the wait!, 31 Mar 2004
By 
Mr. G. J. May - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Pumping Iron [DVD] (DVD)
I was waiting for this version to come out on Region 2 for the UK as only playback DVD's through my PS2. I found the whole 'film' great, especially the mind games between Arnie and Lou. The extras, especially Raw Iron etc. were worth the purchase price alone, with the whole DVD capturing a great mix of work outs, posing, and scripted storylines - highly motivational in my personal opinion. Never seen the VHS version, but apparently the DVD quality is vastly improved. Definitely a great purchase!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Origins Of Arnie, 7 Aug 2014
By 
Mr. C. Gelderd "aka GelNerd" (Basingstoke, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Not a film, but rather a fascinating documentary, this is the one that gained Arnold Schwarzenegger global recognition thanks to his infectiously arrogant personality coming out on screen as well as his undeniable imposing physical stature and passion for success. The perfect movie star! It also helps show Lou “The Incredible Hulk” Ferrigno, who got the Hulk role after this documentary aired, in a nice light and shows the real people behind the greased up muscles and spotlights of the stage.

It’s very focused on the world of bodybuilding and the stars themselves so may not appeal to everyone as casual viewers of Schwarzenegger himself, but this is a very real and eye-opening world into the man we associate with films such as ‘The Terminator’ and ‘Commando’. There is nothing about his drive for being a film star, so don't expect any pre-movie auditions or interviews. This is all about the bodybuilding. This is where it all started, and we can see the seeds being sown as to why he is one of the greatest success stories in modern US history from coming to America with a dream and not stopping until he had crushed all those who stand before him to get there.

It’s warm funny, emotional and controversial in places like all documentaries should be and a nice look into the world of pumping iron and sweating blood.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic, 22 Mar 2010
By 
Andrew "impulsive gadget buyer" (Wales) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This is a seminal Schwarzenegger classic! Anyone a who is a fan of body building or Arnold or both should watch this. Very inspiring and shows just how ahead of his time Arnold really was. Not only did he become the best, this is how he did it. Ballet lessons to improve his movement is a prime example. He understood it all on a fundamentally different level and changed the game for competitions forever!

It is a very motivating film and you can't help but be inpsired to go out and try to achieve better! A highly recommended watch!
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Pumping Iron [DVD]
Pumping Iron [DVD] by Scott McVeigh (DVD - 2004)
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