With the Governator’s recent biography release, I thought it was high time we take a look at some of the things Arnold has been involved in, that may have gone under the radar of most casual fans. Let’s see how many of these you knew already.
Voice Dubbing in ‘Hercules in New York’
Arnie was looking for a way to branch out into the film business and luckily (or unluckily), he was offered this little gem. A low-budget movie about Hercules, who is sent by his father Zeus to Earth because of his bad behavior. Arnie himself is not a big fan of this movie, but really he should be. This is the funniest film he has ever made, without even trying. There are two versions, one dubbed (which has a strange humor all of its own), but the one I would recommend is the one with Arnold’s real voice. His thick accent means half the time you don’t know what he is saying, and his acting style leaves much to be desired. But this all adds to the films charm.
There are too many stand out scenes in this film, but some of my favorites involve Hercules picking up and flipping a car, fighting on a dock yard, fighting a bear that is clearly a man, and fighting in a paper press (yes, there is a lot of fighting). Interesting side note to this is when Lou Ferrigno played Hercules, he also fought a bear. But just to one up Arnie, he threw his bear into space and it became a star constellation (I am not making this up).
Wrongly Awarded ‘Best Acting Debut’ at Golden Globes (1976)
In the movie Stay Hungry (1976), he played body builder Joe Santo, a character the main lead Craig Blake (played by Jeff Bridges) seems fascinated by. Arnie won a Golden Globe for his performance, in the category ‘Best Acting Debut’. But this wasn’t his debut. He had already been in Hercules in New York (1969) credited as ‘Arnold Strong’. He also played a hit man opposite Phillip Marlowe in The Long Goodbye (1973), but that time was uncredited . And in Hercules his voice was dubbed over, while he simply remained mute in The Long Goodbye. So, the award really should have read “Best Acting Debut Under Your Real Name and Speaking with Your Own Voice”
The Brilliance of ‘Pumping Iron’ (1977)
The main thing to take note of here is, do not be put off by the title. Yes, it is a documentary about body building, but it’s more than you might expect. Arnie is made out to be some kind of playboy body builder, who is messing with poor Lou Ferrigno (future Sinbad, Hercules and Incredible Hulk star) who is partially deaf, and made to look a bit like a downtrodden Rocky Balboa type character. No matter how much they try to promote this good vs. evil battle, it is clear that Arnie is the one you want to watch. His presence on this documentary is incredible, and he owns the screen time. The scene (and people who have seen this will know what I mean) where Arnold tells us how body building actually makes him feel, is one of the funniest things you are likely to see.
Missed Job Opportunities… (1978)
All actors catch a tough break when it comes to auditions. Maybe the world would be a different place if Tom Selleck weren’t too busy with Magnum PI to accept the role of Indiana Jones, or how would Han Solo have faired if he was played by Jeff Bridges? But Arnold missed out on some interesting film roles in his time. He auditioned for the role of ‘The Incredible Hulk’, but was beat out by his old foe / pal Lou Ferrigno, because Arnie was considered to be too small! Then he was all set to play Kyle Reese in The Terminator, with Lance Henriksen as the cyborg killer, until the studios changed that around and gave Arnie a chance to shine as the killing machine.
Arnold in Rio (1983)
With the allegations about his infidelity, it makes this curious piece of footage seem more distressing. Not long after Arnie won it big in the body building world, he was asked to make this promotional travel log for Rio de Janeiro. The full version of this is a whopping 50 minutes, but this one is only 5 minutes long. It could be the best 5 minutes of your life. We see a young Arnold watch ladies bounce about on stage, and Arnie tells us all he is an ass man himself and gets on stage to do some – well what can only be described as dirty dancing. You can tell the poor girls do not love it. Then we move to a language lesson, where a carrot is used in some truly strange ways. This has to be, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the greatest things Arnie has ever done (and this is a guy who actually made comedies) but for all the wrong reasons.
Sly & Arnie’s Running Joke (1988)
Sly and Arnie have always had a nice little rivalry, which ran pretty much through out the 80s and 90s, until they stood side by side in The Expendables. Just in case you missed them, here is a list of different films where each actor has had a little dig at the other, courteous of BodyBuildingology.
- 1988 – Twins: Arnold poses in front of a Rambo III poster.
- 1989 – Tango and Cash: Stallone utters “I loved you in Conan The Barbarian” to a prisoner.
- 1992 – Stop or My Mom Will Shoot: Sly tells his mother (Estelle Getty) that only The Terminator says “I’ll be back.”
- 1993 – Last Action Hero: Stallone is revealed as the star of T-2 in Arnold’s fictional character world.
- 1993 – Demolition Man: Arnold is referred to as a former U.S. President prompting Sly to ask “they elected him President?”
- 1994 – True Lies: Helen Tasker says she “married Rambo” after discovering her Harry (Schwarzenegger) was spy.
- 1996 – Jingle All The Way: Arnold does an impersonation of Rambo.
Pumping up The Cryptkeeper (1990)
Arnold has always liked to try different things. As you can see from this list he has had a varied career. But he has also had a go at directing. The result was an episode of the great Tales from the Crypt series. Back in the day everyone who was anyone turned up on this show, and Arnie had the pleasure of not only directing an episode, but introducing it. The episode in question was called The Switch (1990) and starts with Arnie bench pressing The Cryptkeeper in a link to the episode, which involves an old man who will do anything to become young again. It is your typical Tales from the Crypt episode, lots of fun but with an ending you know will not go well for someone. To be honest, it is worth watching just to see Arnie and The Cryptkeeper together.
Starred in Several Japanese Commercials (The 90s)
In the 90s Arnie was given the honor (and money I guess) of going over to Japan, to promote some truly strange items. First off we have some strange pot noodle adverts, which normally have Arnold posing with some kind of jug in his arms, flexing his muscles. In one he appears to be pretending to be an animated advert board, while another he is carrying a car around for giggles! But the best ones are the adverts for Alinamin V (which appears to be some kind of health drink). These are incredible. Arnie plays a samurai looking genie (all guess-work here, but that’s the closest I could get to figure out what he’s actually playing!) who pops up whenever this drink is opened. In one advert he is seen swimming and laughing like a loon inside someone’s drink. Then he switches it up and the adverts focus on him as some business man in a suit. He will get picked on, drink his drink and change into the genie samurai and cause something bad to happen to the person, all while laughing like a crazy man. Below is the collected Japanese commercials, they are all comedy gold.
Music Video Actor (1991)
With his various film roles Arnie was bound to pop up in other mediums, including music videos. The most famous video he did will most likely be Guns ‘N Roses “You Could Be Mine”, where he played The Terminator, but there have been others as well. He appears again as The Terminator in Bon Jovi’s track from 2000’s “Say It Ain’t So”, and he also reprised the role of Jack Slater (from The Last Action Hero) for the AC/DC song “Big Gun”.
His Own Cartoon: The Governator (2011)
Arnie’s success in office almost spawned something amazing – a cartoon and comic series called The Governator, produced by Stan Lee no less. Here Arnold (in what we hope is a fictional role) leaves politics and decides on a spot of crime fighting instead, becoming a superhero. Like a mix of Iron Man and Batman, Arnie has a selection of suits he can wear and a base that would make even Bruce Wayne jealous. He even has a group of kids helping him run the place.
Unfortunately this has been canceled until further notice, because of Arnie’s problems recently (which we all know of and don’t need to go into here) so all that’s left is a 3 minute trailer. But what a trailer it is. We have Arnie fighting giant robots and smashing them to the ground, after giving a speech about wanting to be a normal citizen. The style is very much like late 80s, early 90s animation (it reminded me of the original TMNT and Spiderman: The Animated Series) and looked great. Maybe in the future this will get revived, but until then we have the video below to keep us going.
So, while you are reading Arnie’s great biography (come on, how can it be bad!), it may be worth having a look to see if he mentions any of these action highlights. To end this piece here is a nice collection of Arnie’s greatest moments.