Raw Iron: The Making of Pumping Iron (2002)

rawiron_1Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lou Ferrigno, Mike Katz, Franco Columbu, George Butler, Joe Weider, Bill Grant, Ken Waller, Reg Park, Ed Corney, Matty Ferrigno, Liev Schreiber, Sylvester Stallone, Bud Cort

Directed by Dave & Scott McVeigh

Expectations: Moderate.


I’m not in the habit of reviewing DVD extras, but this one seemed juicy enough considering I’ve covered all the other Arnold-related bodybuilding films. I’m hesitant to rate it, though, as it’s hard to really quantify its quality as a film. In any case, I really enjoyed watching it, and I think any big fan of Pumping Iron or Arnold would enjoy it too. So a definite thumbs up, but I’m going to forgo the stars this time.

There were over 100 hours of footage shot for Pumping Iron, so Raw Iron takes a different approach to the “Making of” documentary. Instead of simply gathering a bunch of people to talk to the camera and tell their stories, Raw Iron actually tells its story through deleted footage from the film. These scenes were kept in the vault until Raw Iron‘s release for Pumping Iron‘s 25th anniversary. This deleted footage is mostly great, too, from an unused sub-plot with Arnold trying to teach Harold and Maude‘s Bud Cort how to pump up in the gym, to the film’s bodybuilders posing on top of a Malibu mountain while listening to Arnold pontificate about “the pump.” It’s great fun to see all this unused footage.

Continue reading Raw Iron: The Making of Pumping Iron (2002) →

Harold and Maude (1971)

Starring Ruth Gordon, Bud Cort, Vivian Pickles, Cyril Cusack, Charles Tyner, Ellen Geer, Eric Christmas, G. Wood, Judy Engles, Shari Summers

Directed by Hal Ashby

Expectations: Kinda low. I remember liking it a lot, but I’m not excited to watch it again.


I was supposed to start writing this review about an hour ago, but I couldn’t bring myself to start. Most movies I have no problem finding something to write about, but rarely there comes a movie where I’m just dumbfounded as to what to say about it. I’m unsure that this will be a review of any worth, but I’ll do my best. It’s not that I didn’t like Harold and Maude; I enjoyed it a lot (although less so than the first time I saw it roughly 12 years ago), and maybe that’s as good a place to start as any.

I think the main reason I enjoyed it less this time was that I wasn’t as able to connect with the main character, Harold. He’s a rich, bored teenager who amuses himself by staging fake but elaborate suicide attempts for his mother to find. This fascination with death is one that Harold and I share, and while I never play acted setting myself on fire or seppuku, I know the feeling. I was a teen myself the first time I saw this, and my dark sense of humor and my lack of direction made Harold an instant surrogate for me. But now, years later, while I still harbor many of the same thoughts, I don’t feel quite so dislocated and directionless, and therefore I find the film harder to connect with.

Continue reading Harold and Maude (1971) →

Subscribe via Email!

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,584 other subscribers

Ongoing Series

Top Posts & Pages