F.I.S.T. (1978)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Johnny Kovak (Sylvester Stallone) is a trucker for a large and abusive company in the 1930s. He gets involved in union organizing for Mike Monahan (Richard Herd), a representative of the Federation of Insterstate Truckers (F.I.S.T., for short). When Mike is killed by company thugs, Johnny seeks out Vince Doyle (Kevin Conway), the local mob leader, to get some rough justice for his fallen colleague. Once his alliance with the Mob is sealed, Johnny swiftly rises to prominence in the union, becoming more and more ruthless as he goes. Having risen very high in worldly power, he now wonders if his sellout was worth it, even though he accomplished a few good things. This expensive film, in which Sylvester Stallone abandons the "type" he played in earlier films, was moderately well-received by critics but was a resounding failure at the box-office.
R (adult situations/language, violence)
Action & Adventure , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
MGM Home Entertainment


Sylvester Stallone
as Johnny Kovak
Rod Steiger
as Sen. Andrew Madison
Peter Boyle
as Max Graham
Melinda Dillon
as Anna Zerinkas
David Huffman
as Abe Belkin
Tony Lo Bianco
as Babe Milano
Kevin Conway
as Vince Doyle
Peter Donat
as Arthur St. Claire
Henry Wilcoxon
as Win Talbot
John Lehne
as Gant
Richard Herd
as Mike Monahan
Elena Karam
as Mrs. Zerinkas
Ken Kercheval
as Bernie Marr
Tony Mockus Jr.
as Tom Higgins
Brian Dennehy
as Frank Vasko
James Karen
as Andrews
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Critic Reviews for F.I.S.T.

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (4)

F.I.S.T. stands for nearly 2 1/2 hours of almost unmitigated boredom-a misfired would-be proletarian epic with Sylvester Stallone misplaying the Jimmy Hoffa part with a self-confidence that borders on the sublime.

Full Review… | March 25, 2013
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

F.I.S.T. is to the labor movement in the United States what All the King's Men was to an era in American politics.

Full Review… | March 25, 2013
Top Critic

Stallone's performance is a superb blend of stubborn-jawed gravity and ironic hamming.

Full Review… | March 25, 2013
Time Out
Top Critic

F.I.S.T. is a big movie that benefits more from the accumulation of small, ordinary detail than from any particular wit or inspiration of vision. It's also played with great conviction by its huge cast.

Full Review… | May 8, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

F.I.S.T. is another in a long line of well-made films that excel in their particulars, even if they fall a little short as complete, complex pieces of cinema.

Full Review… | February 9, 2015
The Dissolve

Stallone likes to depart from his customary muscle image from time to time. Often it fails, but sometimes he succeeds, as in this interesting (albeit somewhat flawed) drama of a Hoffa-like trade union leader.

Full Review… | March 25, 2013
TV Guide

Audience Reviews for F.I.S.T.

It's well made but lacking any narrative so it just lurches along.

Marcus Woolcott
Marcus Woolcott

Super Reviewer


Definetely a great Sylvester Stallone film. I don't know he just has that certain coolness factor about him. Rent this movie!!!

Cassie Hill
Cassie Hill

Super Reviewer

Rocky becomes a union leader, while Norman Jewison steals scenes directly from Frank Capra (It's a Wonderful Life) and Vittorio de Sica (Bicycle Thieves). Absolutely brutal.

Daniel Perry
Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

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