“I was always dreaming about very powerful people — dictators and things like that.”
After training intensively all year long, bodybuilders Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno battle for the title of Mr. Olympia.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Response to Peary’s Review:
In his review, Peary is fairly dismissive of this documentary, noting that it was “largely responsible for the growth in body building in this country — reason enough for it to be banned.” These days, of course, the film holds special interest as an early look at California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger; it’s genuinely freaky hearing him talk about his dreams of power and “dictatorship”, knowing that he would eventually ascend to one of the most powerful positions in the country. Even more disturbing is witnessing him offering false advice to his competitors simply to give himself more of an edge; yet he’s so charismatic and intelligent we can’t help but root for him. Ultimately, it’s hard not to be fascinated by this inside look at a sports industry which holds dubious appeal but continues to flourish.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- An intriguing glimpse at an earlier era of competitive bodybuilding
Yes, as a unique, in-depth look at both the little-understood subculture of bodybuilding, and Schwarzenegger’s pre-Terminator days.