Stay Hungry (1976)

Genres - Comedy Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Americana, Romantic Comedy, Sports Drama  |   Run Time - 102 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Michael Betzold

Stay Hungry is a small, quirky film about a rich Alabama heir whose real estate dealings cause him to hook up with a group of bodybuilders. Played by Jeff Bridges, the protagonist falls in love with their lifestyle and with a working-class woman played by Sally Field, three years before her surprising turn as the working-class union organizer in Norma Rae. Writer-director Bob Rafelson's attraction to this kind of offbeat character study was recognizable in such previous films as Five Easy Pieces and The King of Marvin Gardens. Stay Hungry features Arnold Schwarzenegger in his first, thickly accented speaking role, as an ace bodybuilder who likes to play bluegrass fiddle. In her first major film role, Field tried to alter her saccharine image, based on her part in TV's The Flying Nun, by doing a nude scene. A stew of observations about class, romance, and physical appearance, Stay Hungry is based on a novel by Charles Gaines and is definitely a matter of taste.