Pumping Iron
Pumping Iron (1976)

Baby oil, bulging biceps and perfect pecs abound in this documentary that takes a fascinating look behind-the-scenes at the Mr. Olympia bodybuilding contest. The story centers on the rigorous training the men undergo to develop those… More

Rated: PG
Running Time:
DVD Release Date: November 11, 2003
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Critic Score: 93% 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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Barbara Shulgasser
Common Sense Media

'70s docu featuring Schwarzenegger has some cursing.

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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.

Clancy Sigel
The Spectator

This kind of sweetly numbskull arrogance is cleverly caught by Pumping Iron which depicts Mr Olympia as a beauty, not body, contest.

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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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Daniel Krauze
El Financiero

More than a documentary about a bodybuilding competition, Pumping Iron is a chilling glance at the brain of a budding politician. [Full review in Spanish]

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Sean Axmaker

The stage show is all about oiled hardbodies and sculpted musculature, but the movie is a portrait of competition as war and Schwarzenegger as the warrior supreme...

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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