F.I.S.T.


2h 10m 1978

Brief Synopsis

A small-time union member trades his integrity for power within the organization.

Film Details

Also Known As
FIST
MPAA Rating
PG
Genre
Drama
Action
Release Date
1978
Location
Los Angeles, California, USA; Washington, DC, USA; Iowa, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 10m
Sound
Stereo
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.85 : 1

Synopsis

At the beginning of the labor movement in 1930s America, Johnny Kovak unloads trucks for Win Talbot's company, and begins to organize the truckers for a union rep named Mick Monahan. After Monahan is killed in a fight instigated by the company, Johnny gets involved with gangster Vince Doyle. The relationship between Talbot's company and the workers worsens, ultimately resulting in a huge riot. When Johnny sides with Doyle, organized crime gets more control in the union, and he and the mob get rich and powerful. By the end of the 1950s, Johnny is so powerful that he blackmails international union leader Max Graham and takes his job. But Johnny's position is put in jeapordy when Senator Andrew Madison makes his union the subject of a federal investigation.

Crew

Tom Andresen

Location Manager

Joan Arnold

Production Coordinator

John Burke

Special Effects

Jimmy Casino

Stunts

Bill Conti

Music

J. Fred Coots

Song

Gene Corman

Executive Producer

Bing Crosby

Song Performer

Bobby Day

Song Performer

Larry Dewaay

Production Manager

Bennie Dobbins

Stunts

Dick Durock

Stunts

Joe Eszterhas

Screenplay

Joe Eszterhas

From Story

Hill Farnsworth

Stunts

Jerry Gatlin

Stunts

Michael Germain

Makeup

Anthony Gibbs

Executive Editor

Dizzy Gillespie

Song

Clifford Graeme

Editor

Angelo Graham

Art Director

Dow Griffith

Location Manager

James Halley

Special Effects

Orwin Harvey

Stunts

Peter Horrocks

Sound Editor

Loren Janes

Stunts

Norman Jewison

Executive Producer

Max Kleven

Stunt Coordinator

Nikita Knatz

Production

Laszlo Kovacs

Director Of Photography

Walt Larue

Stunts

Richard Macdonald

Production Designer

Gordon K. Mccallum

Sound

Charles Milhaupt

Production Assistant

Peter Myers

Original Music

George R. Nelson

Set Decorator

Stuart Neumann

Location Manager

Patrick Palmer

Associate Producer

Dan Perri

Titles

Win Phelps

Assistant Director

Thalia Phillips

Costumes

Thalia Phillips

Wardrobe

Dar Robinson

Stunts

Anthony J Scarano

Wardrobe

Anthony J Scarano

Costumes

Carol Schreder

Researcher

Bill Shannon

Stunts

Chris Soldo

Production Assistant

Sylvester Stallone

Screenplay

Andrew Stone

Assistant Director

Ann Straley

Production Assistant

Anthea Sylbert

Costume Designer

Anthea Sylbert

Wardrobe

Bob Terhune

Stunts

The Andrews Sisters

Song Performer

Jimmy Thomas

Song

Rock Walker

Stunts

William Greg Walker

Stunts

Michael Westmore

Makeup

Les Wiggins

Sound Editor

Charles Wilborn

Sound

Jack Williams

Stunts

Henry Wills

Stunts

Jerry Wills

Stunts

Jeanne Woodworth

Set Decorator

Film Details

Also Known As
FIST
MPAA Rating
PG
Genre
Drama
Action
Release Date
1978
Location
Los Angeles, California, USA; Washington, DC, USA; Iowa, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 10m
Sound
Stereo
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.85 : 1

Articles

F.I.S.T.


In between Rocky's punches and Rambo's carnage, Sylvester Stallone attempted a serious drama about a fist. Actually, F.I.S.T., to be more precise - an acronym for Federated Inter-State Truckers. Released in 1978, this often-overlooked film stars the action hero as the rising leader in a Cleveland truckers' union organization during the Depression. Alternating between political marches and courtroom confrontations, the film, nevertheless, has its share of action sequences ranging from mob violence to full-scale riots to bloody confrontations between the police and the strikers. F.I.S.T. is also imbued with a post-Watergate paranoia while advocating a return to populism.

Despite the film's low profile during its initial run, F.I.S.T. boasts considerable wealth in cast and crew talent. Stallone, who achieved superstar success with Rocky (1976) two years earlier - a film he not only starred in but wrote as well - would soon reinvent himself as another action icon by playing John Rambo in First Blood in 1982.

Stallone contributed to the screenplay for F.I.S.T., sharing a co-writing credit with Joe Eszterhas. No stranger to controversy, Eszterhas has penned such infamous screenplays as Basic Instinct (1992) and Showgirls (1995). Bill Conti composed the film's score, while legendary cinematographer Laszlo Kovacs lensed the picture. Conti, known for the musical direction of several Oscar ceremonies, also scored an Oscar himself in 1984 in the Best Music category for The Right Stuff (1983). In another Stallone connection, he also had a number one hit with the song "Gonna Fly Now", the theme from Rocky. Kovacs' credits include such classics as Easy Rider (1969), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), and Five Easy Pieces (1970). Norman Jewison took the reins as director, adding another eclectic credit to his repertoire. Perhaps best known as the director of In the Heat of the Night (1967), winner of the 1968 Best Picture Oscar, Jewison's filmography also includes works like the original The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), Moonstruck (1987), and the recent Denzel Washington vehicle, The Hurricane (1999). F.I.S.T., however, remains one of the director's lesser known movies; in an interview about it he remarked, "Somehow I failed. Maybe it was the casting."

Jewison might have been referring to Stallone but "the Italian Stallion" was in some pretty good company this time, anchored by veteran actor Rod Steiger. F.I.S.T. also marked the second time Jewison directed the Method actor - the first being In the Heat of the Night (a performance for which Steiger earned an Oscar), and again in The Hurricane. Steiger is also known for his powerhouse performance alongside Brando in On the Waterfront (1954), and perhaps more infamously for turning down the title role in Patton (1970), a decision he called his "dumbest career move." His F.I.S.T. co-star Peter Boyle could relate: the actor who played the tap-dancing monster in Young Frankenstein (1974) once refused the role of Popeye Doyle in The French Connection (1971). Boyle has found more recent success with the television series Everybody Loves Raymond, on which he plays the cantankerous and callous father. Brian Dennehy, known for his gruff and burly screen presence in films like Semi-Tough (1978) and Silverado (1985), rounds out the tough-guy supporting cast. Most recently the actor had a victory on Broadway with the lead role in Death of a Salesman. Melinda Dillon appears in one of the few female roles in F.I.S.T. A versatile character actress, she is best remembered for her roles as the mother in both Close Encounters of the Third Kind and A Christmas Story (1983). Fans of the music band Red Hot Chili Peppers should have a lookout for Cole Dammett, a.k.a. Anthony Kiedis, the group's lead singer--he has a bit part in the film.

Producer: Gene Corman, Norman Jewison, Patrick Palmer
Director: Norman Jewison
Screenplay: Joe Eszterhas, Sylvester Stallone
Production Design: Richard MacDonald
Cinematography: Laszlo Kovacs
Costume Design: Thalia Phillips, Tony Scarano, Anthea Sylbert
Film Editing: Tony Biggs, Graeme Clifford, Antony Gibbs
Original Music: Bill Conti
Principal Cast: Sylvester Stallone (Johnny Kovak), Rod Steiger (Sen. Andrew Madison), Peter Boyle (Max Graham), Melinda Dillon (Anna Zerinkas), David Huffman (Abe Belkin), Kevin Conway (Vince Doyle), Tony Lo Bianco (Babe Milano), Cassie Yates (Molly Story), Peter Donat (Arthur St. Claire).
C-146m. Letterboxed.

by Eleanor Quin
F.i.s.t.

F.I.S.T.

In between Rocky's punches and Rambo's carnage, Sylvester Stallone attempted a serious drama about a fist. Actually, F.I.S.T., to be more precise - an acronym for Federated Inter-State Truckers. Released in 1978, this often-overlooked film stars the action hero as the rising leader in a Cleveland truckers' union organization during the Depression. Alternating between political marches and courtroom confrontations, the film, nevertheless, has its share of action sequences ranging from mob violence to full-scale riots to bloody confrontations between the police and the strikers. F.I.S.T. is also imbued with a post-Watergate paranoia while advocating a return to populism. Despite the film's low profile during its initial run, F.I.S.T. boasts considerable wealth in cast and crew talent. Stallone, who achieved superstar success with Rocky (1976) two years earlier - a film he not only starred in but wrote as well - would soon reinvent himself as another action icon by playing John Rambo in First Blood in 1982. Stallone contributed to the screenplay for F.I.S.T., sharing a co-writing credit with Joe Eszterhas. No stranger to controversy, Eszterhas has penned such infamous screenplays as Basic Instinct (1992) and Showgirls (1995). Bill Conti composed the film's score, while legendary cinematographer Laszlo Kovacs lensed the picture. Conti, known for the musical direction of several Oscar ceremonies, also scored an Oscar himself in 1984 in the Best Music category for The Right Stuff (1983). In another Stallone connection, he also had a number one hit with the song "Gonna Fly Now", the theme from Rocky. Kovacs' credits include such classics as Easy Rider (1969), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), and Five Easy Pieces (1970). Norman Jewison took the reins as director, adding another eclectic credit to his repertoire. Perhaps best known as the director of In the Heat of the Night (1967), winner of the 1968 Best Picture Oscar, Jewison's filmography also includes works like the original The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), Moonstruck (1987), and the recent Denzel Washington vehicle, The Hurricane (1999). F.I.S.T., however, remains one of the director's lesser known movies; in an interview about it he remarked, "Somehow I failed. Maybe it was the casting." Jewison might have been referring to Stallone but "the Italian Stallion" was in some pretty good company this time, anchored by veteran actor Rod Steiger. F.I.S.T. also marked the second time Jewison directed the Method actor - the first being In the Heat of the Night (a performance for which Steiger earned an Oscar), and again in The Hurricane. Steiger is also known for his powerhouse performance alongside Brando in On the Waterfront (1954), and perhaps more infamously for turning down the title role in Patton (1970), a decision he called his "dumbest career move." His F.I.S.T. co-star Peter Boyle could relate: the actor who played the tap-dancing monster in Young Frankenstein (1974) once refused the role of Popeye Doyle in The French Connection (1971). Boyle has found more recent success with the television series Everybody Loves Raymond, on which he plays the cantankerous and callous father. Brian Dennehy, known for his gruff and burly screen presence in films like Semi-Tough (1978) and Silverado (1985), rounds out the tough-guy supporting cast. Most recently the actor had a victory on Broadway with the lead role in Death of a Salesman. Melinda Dillon appears in one of the few female roles in F.I.S.T. A versatile character actress, she is best remembered for her roles as the mother in both Close Encounters of the Third Kind and A Christmas Story (1983). Fans of the music band Red Hot Chili Peppers should have a lookout for Cole Dammett, a.k.a. Anthony Kiedis, the group's lead singer--he has a bit part in the film. Producer: Gene Corman, Norman Jewison, Patrick Palmer Director: Norman Jewison Screenplay: Joe Eszterhas, Sylvester Stallone Production Design: Richard MacDonald Cinematography: Laszlo Kovacs Costume Design: Thalia Phillips, Tony Scarano, Anthea Sylbert Film Editing: Tony Biggs, Graeme Clifford, Antony Gibbs Original Music: Bill Conti Principal Cast: Sylvester Stallone (Johnny Kovak), Rod Steiger (Sen. Andrew Madison), Peter Boyle (Max Graham), Melinda Dillon (Anna Zerinkas), David Huffman (Abe Belkin), Kevin Conway (Vince Doyle), Tony Lo Bianco (Babe Milano), Cassie Yates (Molly Story), Peter Donat (Arthur St. Claire). C-146m. Letterboxed. by Eleanor Quin

Quotes

Trivia

This movie is loosely based on Jimmy Hoffa's life.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1978

Released in United States April 1978

Released in United States on Video April 1988

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1978

Completed shooting April 1978.

Released in United States 1978 (Shown at FILMEX: Los Angeles International Film Exposition (Contemporary Cinema) April 13 - May 7, 1978.)

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1978

Released in United States April 1978

Released in United States on Video April 1988