Pumping Iron: The 25th Anniversary [Special Edition] [DVD] [1976]

Fans of bodybuilding rejoice, the pumped-up DVD release of this remarkable cult classic has finally made it to DVD in fine form thanks to the efforts of HBO/Rysher Entertainment. Presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1, the image as viewed here is just about as good as one could hope for given the limited budget and age of the film. Though slightly grainy at times (a result of the 16 mm film stock on which the film was shot), the colors are bright and vivid and the transfer clean and virtually flawless. This is a film that has been a long time coming on DVD, and it's obvious that great care was taken in ensuring the best transfer possible. With sound options including both Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Digital Stereo, both tracks are clean and free of distortion, with the Dolby 5.1 track coming in a bit more boldly than the Dolby Stereo. It likely goes without saying that, while the Dolby 5.1 track does indeed carry a bit more weight, it certainly lacks in the directional effects and dynamics of recent tracks originally recorded in that particular format. As pleased as fans will be to see the respect that was given to the transfer of the film, though, it's the extras that truly make this disc worth the purchase. More than simple bonus features, these extras offer a continuation of the story of Pumping Iron. "Raw Iron," in particular, is a special treat. In addition to updating viewers as to what the bodybuilders have been up to since the original docudrama was released back in 1976, this newly produced featurette brings them together for a warm reunion. "Iron and Beyond," while mostly serving as a promotional piece for Arnold Schwarzenegger, does also offer some interesting background information on the sport and spectacle of the bodybuilding culture. An interview with Schwarzenegger, entitled "Iron Insights," clears the air on the many rumors surrounding the film in a humorous and entertaining manner, with the relaxed bodybuilder-cum-star happily knocking down rumors and reminiscing on some of the film's most memorable moments. "Comments from Arnold" discusses the origins of bodybuilding as a sport and the "Pumping Iron Premiere Party" offers interviews with both the original cast and the newest faces in bodybuilding. Lastly, a video biography for Schwarzenegger presents his life story through voice-over narration, still images, and video clips. Overall, this disc is both a great package for longtime fans and a spectacular introduction to the film for newcomers.
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Ratings & Reviews

Overall Customer Rating:
Rating 4.8 out of 5 stars.
94% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (14 out of 15)

Special Features

  • "Iron and Beyond": Explores Pumping Iron's impact on the fitness industry and Hollywood's idea of the action hero -- not to mention Arnold's own movie career
  • "Raw Iron: The Making of Pumping Iron": Includes exclusive outtakes and an interview reunion with the original Pumping Iron bodybuilders and director
  • "Iron Insights": A 2003 in-depth Interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger, in which he finally gives surprising answers to the controversial questions he's frequently asked about the film
  • Video bio of Arnold Schwarzenegger: A comprehensive biography with exclusive photo gallery


Pumping Iron
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 seventh victory before retiring to fully pursue his acting career (which began to catch fire with his likable turn in Stay Hungry, released the same year) when this was shot. Here he displays an easy charm and wicked sense of humor as he plays mind games with his competitors and explains how getting pumped up for competition always reminded him of sex (which might explain why he seems so cheerful). And what is Arnold smoking in his dressing room after the contest? Future Incredible Hulk Lou Ferrigno is also on hand, and his fierce determination as he goes through a brutal weight lifting regimen shouting "Arnold! Arnold!" speaks both to his own desire to win and how strong a presence Schwarzenegger was in body-building at the time. You don't have to be a body building fan to enjoy Pumping Iron, though Arnold is the one contestant who shows obvious star quality. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger
    Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Lou Ferrigno
    Lou Ferrigno - Himself
  • Franco Columbu
    Franco Columbu - Himself
  • Image coming soon
    Mike Katz - Himself
  • Image coming soon
    Serge Nubret

Overall Customer Rating

4.8 out of 54.8
15 Reviews
94%of customers recommend this product.

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