Pumping Iron is a 1977 docudrama about the world of bodybuilding, focusing on the 1975 IFBB Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia competitions. Inspired by a book of the same name by Charles Gaines and George Butler, the film nominally focuses on the competition between Arnold Schwarzenegger and one of his primary competitors for the title of Mr. Olympia, Lou Ferrigno. The film also features brief segments focusing on bodybuilders Franco Columbu and Mike Katz, in addition to appearances by Ken Waller, Ed Corney, Serge Nubret, and other famous bodybuilders of the era. Shot during the 100 days leading up to the Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia competitions and during the competitions themselves, the filmmakers ran out of funds to finish production, and it stalled for two years. Ultimately, Schwarzenegger and other bodybuilders featured in the film helped to raise funds to complete production, and it was released in 1977. The film became a box office success, making Schwarzenegger a household name. The film also served to popularize the then somewhat niche culture of bodybuilding, helping to inspire the fitness craze of the 1980s; following the film's release, there was a marked increase in the number of commercial gyms in the United States. The film was released on CED, VHS, and then re-released on DVD in 2003 for the 25th Anniversary of the theatrical debut. The film inspired three sequels: George Butler's Pumping Iron II: The Women in 1985, a documentary about the world of female bodybuilding; and David and Scott McVeigh's Raw Iron in 2002, a documentary about the making of Pumping Iron and how the film affected the lives of those who appeared in it; and Vlad Yudin's 2013 documentary Generation Iron—Pumping Iron producer Jerome Gary also served as executive producer on Generation Iron.
|Lou Ferrigno||Himself (as Louis Ferrigno)|
|Robbie Robinson||Himself (as Robin Robinson)|
|Bud Cort||Himself (scenes deleted)|