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Pumping Iron II: The Women (1985)

"Pumping Iron," the film that turned the obscure sport of male bodybuilding into an overnight phenomenon and made Arnold Schwarzenegger a star, broke the ground. Now, experience PUMPING ... See full summary »


George Butler


George Butler (book), George Butler (screenplay) | 2 more credits »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bev Francis Bev Francis ... Herself
Rachel McLish ... Herself
Lori Bowen Rice Lori Bowen Rice ... Herself (as Lori Bowen)
Carla Dunlap Carla Dunlap ... Herself
Steve Michalik Steve Michalik ... Himself
Steve Weinberger Steve Weinberger ... Himself
Randy Rice Randy Rice ... Himself
Kris Alexander Kris Alexander ... Herself
Sherry Atton Sherry Atton ... Herself
Lori Birdsong Lori Birdsong ... Herself
Seliha Chamberlain Seliha Chamberlain ... Herself
Lydia Cheng Lydia Cheng ... Herself
Carolyn Cheshire Carolyn Cheshire ... Herself
Shelly Gruwell Shelly Gruwell ... Herself
Gladys Portugues ... Herself


"Pumping Iron," the film that turned the obscure sport of male bodybuilding into an overnight phenomenon and made Arnold Schwarzenegger a star, broke the ground. Now, experience PUMPING IRON II: THE WOMEN, a film that is changing the way the world views the female physique-creating "a new definition of the female form." Join four women as they prepare for the 1983 Caesars Palace World Cup Championship: the sultry and curvaceous Rachel McLish, the current champion; the almost manly, super-muscular Bev Francis, Rachel's toughest competition; and newcomers Lori Bowen and Carla Dunlap. Four women who have devoted their lives to the pursuit of their conception of the "perfect" female form, spending grueling hours torturing themselves on Nautilus machines and browning themselves under tanning lamps. Learn their personal struggles and public triumphs that make up their unique world as they struggle both with their bodies' limitations and the world's limitations on what that body ought to ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Story of Strength, Desire, Courage... and a New Definition of Woman.


Documentary | Sport







Release Date:

3 May 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kulturystki See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Spoofed in Pumping Irene (1986) See more »


Future Sex
Performed by A1 Roach
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User Reviews

Interesting....But Way Too Biased
29 April 2005 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

Wow, talk about "documentary" filmmakers having an agenda. These guys (George Butler and Charles Gaines) must have graduated from the Michael Moore School Of Objectivity.

This film is the follow-up to the highly-acclaimed "Pumping Iron," made by the same guys about a decade earlier, and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, That one was well-done, even though they went out of their way to stretch the truth there, too. (Arnold is shown to be overly heartless and ruthless and his main competitors are pictured as easily-manipulated stupid idiots. Both were exaggerated).

Here, in the women's edition of Pumping Iron, Gaines and Butler have two more main objectives: 1) show how Bev Francis got screwed out of the championship trophy; 2) show the Christian contestant to be downright evil and a big phony.

Judging by some of the stupid reviews so far, Gaines and Butler succeeded: people now all hate McLish.

Dear readers. Here is a scoop from someone who spent his career in the newspaper business: editors can pick and choose what they want you to see and hear. It's called editing. You can bet thousands of footage was filmed for this "documentary." On McLish, only the material that made her look bad was inserted in the film. That was obvious. We never see her shown in a positive light. And, of course, anytime they could get her to mention she was a Christian, and then follow that up with something the audience would find distasteful about her, all the better!

Regarding Francis, frankly, I agree -- she did get robbed. Who in their right mind would argue she wasn't hands down the best contestant? Nobody, even the gracious winner Carla Dunlap. However, the filmmakers could have let the viewers see the obvious, without hammering their point home time and time again, going out of their way to show how ignorant the judges were. It's like.....okay, we know what's happening here .... move on. How about showing more of the winner of the contest?

Overall, the movie was interesting, especially to people who work out regularly in a gym....... but it could have been so much better without the bias.

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