Pumping Iron (1977) IMDb

Subject

The future governor of California, among others, train for and attend a global bodybuilding championship. Arnold does ballet like a girly-man, talks about giving competitors harmful advice, describes the sensation of effective training as akin to orgasm and smokes weed.

Commentary

Exaggerated. Schwarzenegger supposedly made up the story about his father’s funeral, Ferrigno (the pre-CGI Hulk) was not really coached so closely by his dad, etc.

The film provides a nice perspective on the political travesty. The throng of Apartheid-era black servants in the background of a scene in South Africa adds to that. No mention of steroids, just a large collection of pill bottles. It reads well as a study of people imitating machines.

moving picture non-fiction