Pumping Iron
Pumping Iron (1976)

Arnold Schwarzenegger gained his first real notoriety outside body-building circles with this documentary about a group of men training for the Mr. Olympia contest. Arnold had already won the title six times before, and was training for his… More

Rated: PG
Running Time:
Release Date: November 11, 2003
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Critic Score: 96% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: In addition to offering an enlightening early look into the world of future star/politician Arnold Schwarzenegger, Pumping Iron provides a witty and insightful overview of competitive bodybuilding.

Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine

A very good film, beautifully shot and edited, intelligently structured and -- to risk what will surely seem at first a highly inappropriate term -- charming.

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Richard Eder
New York Times

An interesting, rather slick and excessively long documentary about the small but intensely competitive world of body-building.

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Lori Hoffman
Atlantic City Weekly

Arnold's "reality" debut


The most fascinating aspect of this film is the dedicated training that turns average-built young men (frequently they refer to themselves as weaklings in their early youth) into superbly-created physical edifices.

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Glenn Abel
Hollywood Reporter

Its in-your-face images of the bodybuilding subculture's well-oiled narcissism both startled and fascinated viewers, making for an unlikely boxoffice hit.

Empire Magazine

Fascinating stuff when viewed in the context of Arnie's now notorious political career.

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Derek Adams
Time Out

The movie is a very shrewd mixture of documentary and realistic fiction, put together with both eyes and ears on entertainment value.

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Louise Keller
Urban Cinefile

Pumping iron is as satisfying as having sex with a woman and reaching orgasm, says Arnold Schwarzenegger in this fascinating1977 documentary

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TV Guide's Movie Guide

Directors George Butler and Robert Fiore never allow their film to turn into a freak show, but neither do they illuminate the appeal of body building, either to those who participate or those who watch.

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More reviews for Pumping Iron

Flixster Audience Score: 84% Flixster User Reviews
Spencer S.
This is a very early look into the career of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Before becoming a big name action star and the Governor of California, Arnold was a very… More
Lenny Muggsy
Whoooo yes sir.
Dan Schultz
An interesting, superbly well made documentary about the bodybuilding lifestyle and those heavily involved with it, notably Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou… More
xGary Xx
Docu-drama about bodybuilders featuring a very young arnie. Sound entertaining? Thought not...
Alex roy
Pumping Iron is the classic documentary about the sport of body building and follows Arnold Schwarzenegger as he competes for the title of Mr. Olympia. Aside… More
Eduardo C
Part documentary, part mockumentary the film manags to both portray the (then) underground bodybuilding culture of the 1970s and slyly mock it. Smarter than… More