VINTAGE ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER | PUMPING IRON ON THE SILVER SCREEN

Arnold Schwarzenegger with female friend in his prime, 1970s.

Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime with a wig-wearin’ female friend Joyce Gibson (AKA Alexis Love in the porn world), circa 1970s.

.

Say what you will about Arnold– he’s always spoken his mind, whether people can handle it or not. Remember the 1977 interview with Oui magazine? I can’t print it here, man. Crazy, crazy stuff. The guy’s an animal. Schwarzenegger learned early on that if you’re beautiful, charismatic and powerful– you can say or do just about anything, with a big cheesy smile on your face. All that aside, he’s an icon who put bodybuilding on mainstream America’s map. Yes, there were definitely others before him– but Arnold took it beyond just sport & physical fitness. He made it sexy and entertaining like no one else.

.

Arnold Schwarzenegger  --by Andy Warhol

Arnold Schwarzenegger, 1977 –by Andy Warhol

.

Pumping Iron is an absolute pop culture classic (video after the jump).  You get to witness the world of bodybuilding arguably at it’s peak– with all the twisted and intense– competitiveness, silliness and drama that sums up our human nature.  At times these brutes are fierce, and other times they’re like primping girls at a beauty pageant vainly craving recognition–  only much bigger.  And don’t forget, this is a sport that comes with a lot of pain & sacrifice.  You have to credit them for the years of dedication and intense training– whether it’s your thing or not.

Bodybuilding legends-- Arnold Schwarzenegger and Franco Columbo

Bodybuilding legends– Arnold Schwarzenegger and Franco Columbo

.

Arnold is such a friggin’ peacock in this film– it’s pure hedonist pleasure to watch.  He was the man, and no one questioned it.  There were guys with better physiques, more muscular, had better arms, chest, whatever– but Schwarzenegger was the total package, and a charismatic and commanding on at that.  This movie put him on the map, and definitely launched his celebrity success and film career.

A

Franco Columbo and Arnold Schwarzenegger before facing off-- can you feel the tension?

Franco Columbo and Arnold Schwarzenegger before facing off– can you feel the tension?

.

There are other legends featured as well who’ve had varying levels of stardom.  There’s poor little Franco Columbo who wanted out from under Arnold’s shadow so badly. They were friends, but even still– the tension between them was enough to make you queasy.  I have fond memories of Franco in the old “strong man” comptetitions.  As a kid, there’s nothing better than watching humungous guys with funny names tow buses and and carry small cars across the finish line with veins the size of rope bulging from every part of their bodies.  Big Lou Ferrigno, of Incredible Hulk fame, felt pretty green on the big-time circuit– his Italian Brooklynite Dad was such a strong influence on his kid, and towed him around like the prize bull with a ring through its nose.  I’ve always liked Lou, it’s hard not to.

A

Vintage Lou Ferrigno, the 6" 5" Italian kid from Brooklyn, NY.

Vintage Lou Ferrigno, the 6″ 5″ Italian kid from Brooklyn, NY.

.

Arnold Schwarzenegger takes the 1975 Mr. Olympia title, with Lou Ferrigno placing third.

Arnold Schwarzenegger takes the 1975 Mr. Olympia title, with Lou Ferrigno placing third.

.

Arnold Schwarzenegger winning the 1975 Mr. Olympia title.

Arnold Schwarzenegger winning the 1975 Mr. Olympia title.

.

 

Arnold Schwarzenegger 1976, Robert Mapplethorpe

Arnold Schwarzenegger, 1976 — photo by Robert Mapplethorpe 

.

1977-- Arnold Schwarzenegger training for a culturisme championship.  A five-time Mr Universe and a seven-time Mr Olympia winner.

1977– Arnold Schwarzenegger training for a culturisme championship. A five-time Mr Universe and a seven-time Mr Olympia winner.

.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tom Jones --1977.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tom Jones –1977.

.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hugh Heffner, and Wilt Chamberlain –the ultimate trifecta.

.

.

RELATED TSY POSTS:

PROVING THAT SIZE DOES MATTER | WRESTLING LEGEND ANDRE THE GIANT

 

21 thoughts on “VINTAGE ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER | PUMPING IRON ON THE SILVER SCREEN

  1. So weird was just thinking of posting vintage old-school bodybuilding… Classic! Arnold almost single handedly changed the sport and fitness in America… Great post!

  2. There is an interview, I believe on the “Pumping Iron” DVD, where present-day (probably 2003-ish?) Arnold talks about how his intimidating Lou and being an all-around jerk throughout the movie was staged. If true, then he’s never again duplicated such a natural acting style, because he really does come across terribly.

    • I don’t buy it, and neither do you, The guy’s always been a self-absorbed, cocky arse. It’s what’s made him successful– that do whatever it takes, say whatever it takes– take, take, take mentality. He’s more cartoon than human, that guy. God bless ‘em.

  3. Again, it seems that we are twins that never met each other. I am a HUGE fan of Arnold’s, from the perspective of bodybuilding and competition. I bought his “Encyclopedia of BodyBuilding” book when I was a junior in college. I followed his instructions and put 40 pounds of muscle on my frame in 5 years. He changed my life. Now, as far as a politician, he’s a joke. He’s not a statesman, he’s an entertainer (much the same as Reagan was.) But one thing I always agreed with him on: This is America. And if you can’t find SOME way of making it in America, you’re not doing it right.

  4. Love the site. Was that picture of Arnold lifting outside at Muscle Beach in Venice? I live very close to that gym and tell my friends who visit that Arnold used to train there. I’ve also heard that Gold’s Gym was his primary spot. Any clarification you could give would be great.

  5. Arnold’s female friend in the first picture is a celebrity in her own right… that’s Joyce Mandel aka Gibson, who later resurfaced as Alexis Love — one of the most popular busty pin-up girls in men’s magazines around 1970-80. And natural, too.

  6. Yeah i’d like to know who the GIRL is in the yellow bikini next to arnold (in the one where he’s trying to break that wine glass or something. And Mike, i’m with you there, the chick is nice

Comments are closed.