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Golden Years Mr Olympia - Short Reviews by John Hansen and John Corlett

Re: The 1971 and 1974 Olympia on this DVD.

I just got my DVD in the mail today! This DVD definitely has some previously unseen footage of Arnold at his absolute best!! The '74 Olympia footage starts out with prejudging footage of Franco and Zane. It is shot in black and white and whoever shot it is at an angle off to the side of the stage and Franco and Zane's heads are cut off but it's obvious who you are looking at. Franco looks super thick and muscular and the black and white footage makes the bodybuilders look even harder.

Arnold and Ferrigno are up next and, again, the camera is very close up, cutting off Arnold's head but it's obvious who he is. Arnold was very, very hard for this contest and he hits lots of ab poses and most muscular poses to show off his muscularity. Next, it goes to all four competitors onstage at the end of the pre-judging and this is some awesome stuff!! The cameraman has moved back a little so there is a much better view and it is in color. You can see how incredible Arnold and Franco look here. They were SO much thicker than Zane or Ferrigno. This was the best part of the '74 Olympia coverage, IMO.

The Evening Show portion of the '74 Olympia is a much closer view again but it is in color. You can see Eddie Giuliani, Bob Birdsong, Bill Grant, Franco, Zane, Ferrigno and Arnold.
(The 3 contests that night in 1974 were as follows:
Bob Birdsong winning the AABA Mr. America.
Bill Grant's 5-trophy haul as he wins the IFBB Mr. World.
Arnold Schwarzenegger – IFBB Mr. Olympia. 
See the 1974 contest show report below. Wayne)
When Arnold is walking around the stage or in-between poses, he is incredibly thick and very, very cut. Much, much better than one year later in '75. He looks like he is about 10-15 pounds heavier than in '75.

The 1971 Olympia coverage is very short since Arnold was the only competitor. Wayne shows him onstage in his posing routine and he is very, very BIG. His physique doesn't look as refined as it does in '74 and '75. His arms are huge as well as his chest, back (very thick!) and his legs. When Arnold is onstage getting his trophy from Joe Weider and Serge Nubret, he looks unbelievably thick and huge. I couldn't believe how big his delts, chest and thighs looked just standing there.

If you want to see some unseen footage of Arnold, you really should get this DVD! The footage isn't long and it isn't the best quality (35-38 years old) but it is previously unseen footage of Arnold at his best!!

Some comments in response by Wayne:
Hi John,

Both you and David New correctly noted that the heads are ”cut off” in some of the 1974 Olympia footage. David felt that the cameraman was attempting to shoot too close up, but this was not exactly what happened. I had one of my East Coast associates film the 74 Olympia on Super 8 film. He did have a tendency to frame in a bit too close on the top of the competitor’s heads. The copies of the original films were sold on super 8 and these original films disappeared or were lost many years ago as far as I know. The black and white part is due to the film losing color due to the passage of time.
I finally tracked down a film to video transfer that had been made from a copy of the 1974 super 8 films. During the transfer process from film to video, more of the top of the picture usually gets cropped off - unless the operator is super skilled at his work. The 1974 film copy that was used had also been lost by the time the video transfer was sent to me. From this video copy I received, we created the DVD above. Otherwise these early events would have been lost to bodybuilding history.

On the other side of the coin, the superb quality 1979 footage from Joel Fletcher was transferred from his original super 8 films.
With the 1971 Olympia footage, my original footage of Arnold and Franco was never returned to me from USA and so this segment had to be produced from a 38 year’s old super 8 film copy I recently tracked down in Japan. It had not been stored correctly and due to the passage of time the film color was starting to change and fade. We restored it the best we could using the latest technology to get the quality that you see in the DVD.

The 1975 Olympia footage was shot for me by a Welsh friend Lloyd Davies and this was pretty good footage for its time. My thanks to all those involved in helping me put together such a valuable piece of bodybuilding history. If anyone reading these comments has better quality footage or different footage from any of these Olympia years, please contact me at . I would not hesitate to remaster the whole DVD if better or additional footage ever surfaces.

Best regards,
Wayne Gallasch
GMV Productions

 Re: The 1979 footage on this DVD - extra comments by John Corlett.

The IFBB 1979 World's part of the DVD was great. I had forgotten about it. Jusup Wilkosz, Ray Mentzer, Samir, Ron Teufel, Roy Duval, and this forum's own RICHARD BALDWIN, and others- what a great contest! 
Personally, I would have placed Richard over Roy in their class; Richard was much sharper in my opinion and had virtually everthing- great front and back double biceps poses, a very good side chest pose, and an
outstanding side triceps pose. Richard, you wuz robbed!  I had no problems with Jusup over Ray in their class- Jusup was just a tad bigger.  And, of course, Samir was outstanding.

Plus the added features of guest posers Franco Columbu (surprisingly big and showing signs of that gynecomastia in the right pec area that really became evident at the 1981 Olympia), Dave Draper, Reg Park and
Lisa Lyon. 

The 1979 film footage is probably the best bodybuilding super 8 mm film footage that I have ever seen. 
John Corlett


Muscle Builder, Vol. 16, Number 1, Page 28, March 1975



Bob Birdsong popular AABA Mr. America victor!
Bill Grant records 5-trophy IFBB Mr. World Win!
Arnold Schwarzenegger - Mr. Olympia - Still the best and unbeaten since 1969!

by George Kaye

This year (1974) they came not as sharks but as imperial Caesars cheering gladiators in mortal vascular combat. They heard Ferrigno meant to go pose for pose with Schwarzenegger and each fan insisted on adding his personal thumbs up or down to the Battle of Titans. The great giants matched muscle in a modern Roman Coliseum, Madison Square Garden, and when the blood stopped running, they had recorded an epic struggle, unparalleled in bodybuilding history.

The 21,000 spectators who saw Frank Sinatra in Madison Square garden last October 12 made a big mistake. There are many good singers but there's only one Arnold Schwarzenegger. Had the mob gone next door to the Felt Forum it would have been initiated into a display infinitely more breathtaking than Ol' Blue Eyes' vocal cords. Arnold, Bob Birdsong, and Bill Grant, plus an all-time record-breaking cast of superstars, put on a show which will live in the memories of 5500 lucky ticket-holders forever.



Short Class

1.      Ed Giuliani

2.      Leon Brown

3.      David Mastorakis

Medium Class

1.      Bob Birdsong

2.      Kent Kuehn

3.      Roger Callard

Tall Class

1.      Bill Howard Sulewski

2.      Don Peters

3.      Don Modzelewski

Arms: Modzelewski

Chest: Birdsong

Back: Giuliani

Abs: Birdsong

Legs: Kuehn

M. Musc: Modzelewski

Posing: Denny Gable



Short Class

1.      Ed Corney

2.      John Maldonado

3.      Elliot Gillchrist

Medium Class

1.      Franklyn Greene

2.      Skip Robinson

3.      Bob Burnett

Tall Class

1.      Bill Grant

2.      Errol Kattwarrou

3.      Louis Sa

Arms: Grant

Chest: Grant

Back: Greene

Abs: Grant

Legs: Corney

M. Musc: Grant

Posing: Corney



Under 200-lbs

1.      Franco Columbu

2.      Frank Zane

Over 200-lbs

1.      Arnold Schwarzenegger

2.      Lou Ferrigno

The Garden (of which Felt Forum is a part) has hosted the world's greatest athletes and athletic events for some seventy years. Joe Louis, Jack Dempsey, Paavo Nurmi, Mohammad Ali, Wilt Chamberlain, Maurice Richard and hundreds of other greats have exhibited their awesome talents on this hallowed showplace. In 1923 Charles Atlas first came to prominence, winning Bernar McFadden's "World's Most Perfectly Developed Man" contest, and seventeen years later John Grimek copped his initial Mr. America title at the Garden. But I dare say those displays were anemic matched against the AABA's last Fall. The only comparable madness I can recall that turned the Garden, and in fact all of New York, upside down was the first Ali-Frazier fight and the 1972 Rolling Stones concert. Absolute apoplectic frenzy and audience hysteria on both occasions and the 1974 AABA MR. AMERICA & IFBB MR. WORLD & MR. OLYMPIA SHOW was the third.

Starting with the last and best first, let me describe a man for whom the dictionary has run dry of superlatives. It may seem absurd to insist that Arnold Schwarzenegger is the best built man who ever lived. We were not around in 200 B.C. or 20,000 B.C. but neither were barbells, food supplements, or supersets. Arnold is truly in a class alone, and when he improves it's like Hank Aaron smashing another homer . . . breaking his own record and stepping further into virgin territory and the outer limits of success Every gain in size or cuts or symmetry escalates Arnold a step higher towards immortality.

This time they tried to stop Schwarzenegger from winning his fifth Mr. Olympia by introducing under 200 lbs. and over 200 lbs divisions. Lou Ferrigno hoped to be another obstacle.

Fresh from his Mr. Universe repeat victory at Verona, Italy, Lou fancied himself ready to snatch Arnie's crown but the big kid went down in flames. Franco Columbu bested Frank Zane for the under 200 sub-title but Schwarzenegger could bury him in an armpit and have room for Zane too. Columbu had the fans agape and Zane, who gets maximum mileage from minimum muscle, is dynamite at only 190 pounds, but Arnold, a solid 237, is a Rolls-Royce Corniche or the Tiffany Diamond - Best Of The Best. There is no greater thrill in all muscledom than watching the thunderstruck masses when Arnold flashes his double biceps pose. Stark raving lunacy and hero worship. Deep visceral screams from the seats, wave after wave of them until the knocked-out throng collapses in jubilant exhaustion.

For an instant at pre-judging I thought Ferrigno might surprise but a closer inspection showed the wunderkind's longer arms had nowhere as much meat as Arnold's more compact hams, and at the Most Muscular posedown, Arnie ground Lou's hopes into a squeegie of baby oil. For this year. . .

A quick account of some miscellaneous thrills and chills and then we'll bounce back to the blood and guts. Miss Americana 1974 is a dolly named April Davis with two nifties, Sandra Milstead and Natalie Rebozo runners-up. However, this event featured the female equivalent of Arnold Schwarzenegger in the unbelievable Kellie Everts and it is beyond comprehension why she didn't win.

Kellie is a Vargas Playboy drawing of a fantastic super-bunny in reality. Aside from a super face she possesses the biggest knockers outside of a barnyard, great legs and everything else - yessir, the works! At no point did the audience spend a moment looking at another chick when Kelly was onstage, and several entrants would not return after pre-judging due to the one-sided adulation. The judges gave her only Most Shapely but at 4 in the morning I know who they wish they were sacked out with. Hypocrites, you guys. Next year, vote for sex . . . not Miss Americana apple pie.

A Country & Western band, whose name was unmemorable, opened the show but little was heard from them thereafter. Also one Mario Manzini - escape artist - performed. He broke away from a few knotted cords, then went into the drum roll number - Houdini-ing it out of a locked straitjacket while handcuffed. I had some doubts about the authenticity of his performance until in a violent effort Manzini tumbled ten feet off the posing dais almost killing himself, and then continued struggling in maniacal frenzy to get free of his bonds. Quite an act.

IFBB President Ben Weider made his traditional opening speech after being introduced by emcee Marty Stater. What Ben lacks in fiery delivery he makes up for in the sincerity of his message. He told the standing-room-only mob how AAU creeps tried to cancel the show in Federal Court only two days before on the alleged basis of AABA misusing the term "Mr. America". The judge, of course, was appalled at the blundering AAU's case and threw it out immediately. Thus the IFBB/AABA soars ever higher as the world's premier bodybuilding organization.

Franco Columbu did a little deadlifting for the folks, working up to 645lbs for five reps. He weighted 181 pounds and said the heavy bar felt like "cheesecake".


The Mr. America and Mr. World events actually began with pre-judging some seven hours before the gates officially opened. Even at 1:00 PM some 2000 fanatics had paid $4 to enter the Forum, an indication of how massive the crowd would be later. Afternoon pre-judging set the tone for all placings. I don't believe any decisions were altered at night. At Mr. Olympia pre-judging I thought Zane might edge past Columbu but he wouldn't match Most Muscular with Franco and that cost him. This was also the very first time master and protégé, Schwarzenegger and Ferrigno, banged heads, or should I say bodies. Louie had Arnold breathing heavy but less than Sergio used to. Louie has been bigger, but smoother. He was huge at the LA Mr. International show but lacking cuts. Here the cuts were deep and razored-in but the size diminished and somewhere in that gap lies Arnold's clear-cut win.

An amusing footnote to all this muscular mayhem is that Arnold and the bronzed West Coast gods went to a LaLanne gym for a suntan (lamp style). Leaving Santa Monica and going to NY for a tan is like a Jew emigrating to Germany in 1938. But on with the show.

Bob Birdsong eased into the Mr. America roster on his second try. Several guys had better individual goodies than Birdsong but none got it together so well. Bill Howard whipped Don Peters for the Tall honors, then said he's hanging up his posing jock for good. And it's too bad; he's in the best shape of his life, at 40. Ed Giuliani, before hometown fans, was a popular Short victor but no one, including Don Modzelewski, Most Muscular, could fly past the Bird. Dennis Gable, said to be in his first-ever contest, won Best Poser, a feat in itself.


Bill Grant, the 70s' version of Rock Stonewall narrowly beat off challenges from Ed Corney and Frankly Greene to win his first major title. (Please click here for Bill's training DVD, A-1208DVD.)

Greene showed the contest's best back and Corney impressed the judges with his legs and posing as he bested all the Small men. But in the end, Grant, ex of nearby Jersey City, shipped five trophies to Gold's Gym including the coveted Mr. World and Most Muscular. (In helping Grant haul his booty backstage I missed a chance to come onto Kellie Everts, but anything in the name of good relations between the magazine and its stars. Call me, Kellie.)

All entrants showed unusual dignity this time around. They did not wipe their oily bodies on the curtains nor cuss any judges to relieve disappointment, although Roger Callard showed some disgust when Kent Kuehn beat him for Mr. A Best Legs. Roger is a 9.6 sprinter but that's not the kind of best legs the judges vote for. I was very impressed with the spiffy sweat suits most contestants wore. They look like the warm-up gear Olympic runners or swimmers don and lent a very athletic tone to the evening.

Tom Minichiello, producer of the show along with Madison Square Garden Corporation, must be applauded for their efforts. To some degree producing an IFBB spectacular is a thankless job. Everyone expects the show to be great, thus praises are few, but little things like failure to get complimentary tickets or the best seats in the house can trigger some unjustified tirades. Congrats Tom on a great job.

This is the ninth major AABA or IFBB contest that I've covered. I always say this or that show was the Greatest, the Biggest or the Best-ever. I hate to do it again but the 1974 Felt Forum spectacular was THE GREATEST. It had the most fans ever to see a muscle panorama anywhere anytime - the most demonstrable, responsive, and vociferous fans, flashbulbs popping like a million Roman candles. On balance this spectacular featured the highest grade of bodies ever seen in America, if not the world, on any given night. It also showcased the long-awaited Schwarzenegger-Ferrigno Posedown. What more could anyone ask? A better show? I doubt it.

The 1975 version will be in Los Angeles, and knowing the tepid Southern California mentality, I don't think it will outpace this extravaganza for sheer excitement, chills up the spine, and grandeur. New York fans know muscle and nobody left disappointed, I can assure you of that.

PHOTO CAPTIONS that appeared in the magazine (photos not included here)

- Challenger Lou Ferrigno and 5-time "Mr. Olympia" winner Arnold received their awards from Joe Weider as 5,000 muscle-mad fans go wild.

- SHORT CLASS: (Left) Dave Mastorakis - 3rd; Ed Giuliani - 1st; and Leon Brown - 2nd (Right).

- MEDIUM CLASS: (Left) Kent Kuehn - 2nd; Bob Birdsong - 1st; and Roger Callard - 3rd (Right).(Please click here for Roger Callard's DVD, V-130DVD.)

- TALL CLASS: (Left) Don Modzelewski - 3rd; Bill Howard Sulewski - 1st; and Don Peters - 2nd (right); (Please click here to see Don Peters and John Maldonado in Classic Collection #2, GMV-179DVD.)

- These great championships were organized through the dedication and devotion of Tom Minichiello, I.F.B.B. Vice-President for North America, and Chairman of the American Amateur Bodybuilding Association for the state of New York, and Peter Vita, Chief Organizer and member of the Executive of the New York state branch of the A.A.B.A. Both of these dedicated individuals have met with all types of opposition and dirty tricks pulled out of the bag by the A.A.U. and other organizations. Yet, they surmounted all these difficulties to put on the greatest bodybuilding contest ever seen in the United States of America.

- Jeff Smith, Ed Giuliani, Don Modzelewski, Bob Birdsong.

- A jubilant Birdsong is congratulated by Denny Gable (left) and Kent Kuehn for his smashing "Mr. America" victory.

- "Mr. World" height class winners - Bill Grant (Tall), Franklyn Greene (Medium) and Ed Corney (Short) - flash twisting back poses as the hysterical crowd screams for more.

- Carlos Rodriguez, Franklyn Greene, John Maldonado.(Please click here to see Carlos Rodriguez, Ed Corney and Franco in Classic Collection #3, GMV-285DVD.)

- 43-year old Ed Corney looked fabulous but couldn't overcome an improved Bill Grant's sensational definition combined with good muscle size.

- Ben Weider raises Bill Grant's hand as the new "Mr. World" reflects on his biggest victory ever.

- Arnold ready to pose.(Please click here to see Arnold, Lou and many more stars in Pumping Iron, A-1071DVD.)

- Arnold out duels Ferrigno.(Please click here to see Lou win the 1973 IFBB Mr. Universe, V-156DVD.)

- Zane looked fantastic!

- Arnold cranks a lat spread.

- Joe congratulates Louie.

- Zane and Columbu in combat.

- Zane’s symmetry Vs. Franco's mass.

- Joe with Lou and Matty Ferrigno.

- Arnold's $1000 winning smile.

- Arnold and Franco are congratulated by IFBB President Ben Weider. Bob "Mr. America" Birdsong and Bill "Mr. World" Grant complete the winner's circle.
(Please click here to see Arnold and Franco in Arnold the Early Years, GMV-250DVD.)

Note: Reprinted courtesy Muscle Builder magazine.  


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