“The greatest feeling you can get in a gym, or the most satisfying feeling you can get in the gym is… The Pump.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger has spoken! And here is when he first burst onto the scene and “pumped up” Hollywood!
Arnold Schwarzenegger was the world’s most renowned bodybuilder, and a great documentary captured his rise to stardom!
This 1977 documentary shows amateur and professional bodybuilders preparing for the 1975 Mr. Olympia and Mr. Universe contests. This is where you can really see how impressive five-time champion Arnold Schwarzenegger was, as he defends his Mr. Olympia title against Serge Nubret and the shy young deaf Lou Ferrigno!
“Pumping Up” The Facts!
There is an updated “special edition” of this documentary that offers a ton of fascinating material! According to IMDB, Arnold Schwarzenegger admitted that he had made up several stories in the movie for attention because the producers told him that without drama it would be boring!
One of the stories made up was the fact that he did not attend his father’s funeral because of a body building competition that was going to happen in a couple of months. Arnold did actually attend his father’s funeral and spoke to him shortly before he passed away.
This is not only a fascinating look at the sport of bodybuilding, but a great look at a young Schwarzenegger! And speaking of that, at an early age he wrote a book all about his life as a bodybuilder!
“The Education Of A Bodybuilder!”
This best-seller from the same year helped make Arnold Schwarzenegger a household name. The book is his story, with a ton of great personal photos, like this one with his parent…
The book is a fascinating, honest look at how this young Austrian became a world champion…here is the opening to the book:
I can still hear them, the voices of my friends, the lifeguards, bodybuilders, the weight lifters, booming up from the lake where they were working out in the grass and trees.
“Arnold — come on!” cried Karl, the young doctor who had become my friend at the gym…
It was the summer I turned fifteen, a magical season for me because that year I’d discovered exactly what I wanted to do with my life. It was more than a young boy’s mere pipe dream of a distant, hazy future — confused fantasies of being a fireman, detective, sailor, test pilot, or spy. I knew I was going to be a bodybuilder. It wasn’t simply that either. I would be the best bodybuilder in the world, the greatest, the best-built man.
I’m not exactly sure why I chose bodybuilding, except that I loved it. I loved it from the first moment my fingers closed around a barbell and I felt the challenge and exhilaration of hoisting the heavy steel plates above my head.”
I have a signed copy of the book…when I was very young I was fascinated by his story, and so I bought a copy only to discover that Arnold had signed it during a store visit!
I still read the book at times – again, this was a young Arnold, before movies, politics…a much more innocent time that was also captured in an obscure cult film from the 70’s:
The world of competitive bodybuilding was used as a backdrop for this gritty tale of Mobsters…with Arnold playing a big supporting role…
This 1976 film starred Jeff Bridges and Sally Field, and it gave Schwarzenegger his first taste of acting…in fact, Arnold won a Golden Globe Award for “Best Acting Debut in a Motion Picture”, even though his true film debut was in the obscure camp movie “Hercules in New York” in 1969!
Here is the trailer for “Stay Hungry”:
Here is the plot: a syndicate buys up an entire neighborhood – except for the small gym known as “Olympic”, so they bring in Jeff Bridges as a “cover” to buy the gym cheap.
As the athletes train for the championship, Bridges falls for one of the employees, Sally Field…and also strikes up a friendship with a young bodybuilder…Arnold is great in the role, really doing a great job acting, especially when he plays an impromptu duet on violin…
The movie is perhaps best known for a great visual – when the mob and the gym go at it, the bodybuilders decide to take advantage of the mayhem for a very public showing!
“Stay Hungry” has a few gritty scenes, so it’s not for everyone, but it’s a great cast in a neglected 70’s movie…
When I worked at E!, I got to hang out with Arnold many times…
Arnold Schwarzenegger In Cannes!
My Host Michael Castner had the chance to interview Arnold when he was in Cannes to promote the new chain of Planet Hollywood restaurants! Here is that story:
I travelled all over the world covering Planet Hollywood openings with Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis, but my favorite was this one!
Yes, I went to the Planet Hollywood openings in Singapore and Bangkok, and my host was Jenna Jameson! You can click here to read all about that adventure:
Let me know what you think – leave a comment about Arnold’s book, documentary, movie debut – or our Planet Hollywood adventures!
Categories: 70's Cinema, Academy Awards, Action Films, Awards, Books / Media, Cannes Film Festival, Cult Movies, documentary films, Exotic Travel, Exploitation films, Film Noir, Great Films, Grindhouse, Hollywood, Independent Cinema, Los Angeles, Memoirs, Movies, Obscure Movies, Restaurants, Revenge Movies, Sports, Sports Movies, Talent/Celebrities, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir, TV Show, Uncategorized