Sylvester Stallone stars in this hard-hitting, boldly ambitious drama that powerfully reveals a significant slice of American history. As union leader Johnny Kovak, Stallone's performance confirmed his stature as one of Ho... more »llywood's hottest stars. Closely paralleling history, the film follows the rise and fall of Kovak, from his beginnings as an idealistic blue-collar worker to his final position as head of one of the country's most powerful unions: the Federation of Inter-State Truckers. But there are no unscarred heroes in this world. To achieve his dream of justice for the working man, Kovak must accept the muscle of organized crime. Ultimately, F.I.S.T. is a story of idealism corrupted and betrayed. Oscar® winner Rod Steiger (1967 Best Actor, In the Heat of the Night), Peter Boyle and Brian Dennehy are featured in the fine supporting cast. Directed by Norman Jewison, with Laszlo Kovac's darkly moody cinematography and a heroic score by Rocky composer Bill Conti, F.I.S.T. is "a particularly American kind of epic" (Vincent Canby, The New York Times).« less
R. J. Claster | Van Nuys, CA United States | 10/20/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This movie from the late 70s, loosely based on the life of Jimmy Hoffa, about a labor leader, Frank Kovak, who makes a Faustian bargain with the mob for which he ultimately pays the price, was done before Stallone became locked into the ironjawed superhero mode. In the early scenes of the movie, he is still able to display the qualities of charm, humor and humanity that distinguished his performance in the orginal Rocky and, further back, in The Lords of Flatbush.
Moreover, the film is graced with strong supporting performances. In particular, I would single out Tony Lo Bianco's performance as the mob boss, Babe Milano, to whom Stallone turns when the survival of his trucker's union is on the line, for its chillingly effective qualities of understated and insinuating menace, especially from an actor who I have found to be prone to overacting.
The main criticism that one could make of this effort if one references it to the life of Hoffa is that Kovak is treated as genuinely heroic instead of the corrupted person that Hoffa in fact became, for although Kovak made a deal with the mob, more specifically, Babe Milano, it is made clear that he did so only because he thought it was necessary to insure the continued existence of his union when its striking members were being beaten up by company goons, not for his personal aggrandizement. Moreover, for what it is worth, I remember reading at the time of the film's release that Stallone insisted that the character be portrayed this way. In spite of this caveat, I find Fist to be both dramatically compelling and strongly acted."
THIS F.I.S.T. LACKS ROCKY'S PUNCH!
! MR. KNOW IT ALL ;-b | TRI STATE AREA | 02/17/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"It's hard to believe I never watched this movie before recently. I had caught a few minutes of it here and there on TV over the years but, never bothered to watch it through. For the most part the story itself is compelling enough but, the characters seem one dimensional and after a good first half the characters, not the story make the film drag. It's a shame because the film's not bad but, it's pretty forgettable. Like the movie 'Hoffa' which this film is obviously emulating it has an unsatisfying ending, this one being way too abrupt! I had invested 2 1/2 hours in this mediocre film and it just ended badly! It's OK as I did enjoy the film but, I doubt I will ever watch it again."
Why this movie is not a hit and on DVD is BEYOND me!
Andy Thorson | Baytown, TX United States | 01/23/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First off, Sylvester Stallone is my favorite actor and secondly I believe this to be probably one of his best films (besides Rocky) and why it was not a hit is beyond me because it really is a great story and Stallone does a great job in the acting --- its 2 1/2 hours long but I throughly enjoyed every minute of it and can't wait til I can get my own copy and watch it again.If you like Stallone this is a DEFINITE must."
A must for Stallone fans!
Andy Thorson | 09/28/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"A must for Stallone fans this is...Stallone in his best dramatic role, apart from Cop Land, better than Paradise Alley and Victory. That doesn't mean that this film is perfect, it's a bit slow at times."
My dad was in the film...I had to buy it.
J Johns | Iowa | 04/24/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In one of the early scenes my Dad is seen sitting on the back of a truck parked near a dock...he is the one spitting. They did two takes for that scene and Dad thought he should do something to get noticed...on the second take his spit stuck to his chin...thanks goodness they didn't use that take! Filmed in my hometown of Dubuque, IA. I knew several people in this film...all extras...even the sniper in a later scene."