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Schwarzenegger vs. Stallone

Battle of the Beefcakes, Hanso-style.

By Hanso     August 12, 2010


They were men among boys in Hollywood and king of kings in the action world. Yet during the height of their popularity they never shared the screen. It’s been decades in the making, but they finally meet face to face in The Expendables. However, before that goes down, we got the one and only exclusive Schwarzenegger vs. Stallone. Get ready cause it’s on like Donkey Kong!
5. Let’s Kick It
Dead broke and nowhere to turn, Sylvester Stallone embraced his inner Ron Jeremy and began his career by taking a role in the 1970 soft core porn movie, Party at Kitty and Stud’s. However, his un-Ron Jeremy like pipi quickly shattered all of Stallone’s porn dreams forcing him to turn to more conventional films where he landed a string of small roles in a few films, including one as Machine Gun Joe in the cult classic, Death Race 2000.
Meanwhile, Arnold Schwarzenegger was also having his own pipi problems. Dude shot up so many steroids in order to win his Mr. Olympia titles (he won seven in total), that his pipi probably shrunk to the size of a mangina. Poor guy never had a chance at the porn genre. With porn not an option, Arnie had to start out by landing the role of Hercules in the 1970 flick Hercules in New York. Unfortunately for Schwarnegger, all his lines were dubbed due to his thick accent. You know the accent was causing all types of problems for Arnold’s career when the next role he landed was playing a mute in The Long Goodbye.

 Schwarzenegger vs. Stallone

Winner: Sylvester Stallone because he didn’t have his lines dubbed in his first few movies, scored a role in a cult classic and more importantly managed to bang a few chicks in his soft core movie.
4. Clowning Fools
During the ‘80s, Arnold dealt exclusively in action films, but towards the end of that decade he decided to try his hand at comedy, a genre he visited from 1988 to 1997. Schwarzenegger began his comedic journey by hooking up with Ivan Reitman and Danny DeVito in the movie Twins which to date is his best comedic film. Arnie had a great time working with Reitman but unaware that Twins would turn out to be the last good Reitman flick ever; Arnold made the mistake of teaming up with Reitman again for Kindergarten Cop. This movie marked the start of a steady decline of Arnold comedies. In 1993 Schwarzenegger went the action spoof route by starring in The Last Action Hero. The only good thing that can be associated with Last Action Hero is that it opened opposite Jurassic Park which was awesome. Arnold then set new lows by once again teaming up with Ivan Reitman for Junior. Actually his role in the film wasn’t that bad, the guy somehow ended up scoring a Golden Globe nomination for his efforts, but still it was embarrassing to watch one of the biggest action stars ever running around on screen as a pregnant man. Regardless, three years after Junior, Arnold reached the bottom of the barrel by playing Mr. Freeze in the Joel Schumacher comedy, Batman & Robin.
From the looks of things it seems ass kicking gets tiring because Sly Stallone also stopped doing it so he could play in the comedy genre. Unlike Arnold however, Stallone never possessed the uncanny ability to deliver hilarious bad puns. Without this essential skill, Sly’s crap comedies commenced right from the get go with Rhinestone and was quickly followed up with the hilarious “truck driver saves his son by arm wrestling” flick, Over the Top. A couple of years after that arm wrestling movie masterpiece he starred in Oscar which truthfully we have completely erased from our memories. This is probably for the better so let’s move on to the sucktastic Stallone film Stop or My Mom Will Shoot where he teamed up with one of late Golden Girls. You know what? Let’s just stop right here. Reminiscing Stallone comedies is just too depressing.

 Schwarzenegger vs. Stallone

Winner: There are only losers here and they be us for having to suffer through these terrible movies. If we were forced to make a pick we’d give the nod to Arnold only because his horrible puns were so bad we still remember and laugh at them today.
3. Props Be Damned
What Schwarzenegger and Stallone have in HGH juiced up muscles they lack in acting skills. Let’s take quick look at Arnold. The man has been nominated for eight Razzies, seven of those in the acting department. In Arnold’s defense he never did win any of them so at least he has that going for him.
If we go by Razzies only, Arnold is Tom Hanks when compared to Sly. Stallone has, wait for it--29  Razzie nominations! Not all in acting mind you, he scored around half for his impeccable writing skills too. Sly has five Razzie wins having to do with acting and two more wins for some very prestigious Razzies like Worst Actor of the Decade (The ‘80s) and wait for it again--WORST ACTOR OF THE CENTURY! Oh and FYI, Stallone beat out Pauley Shore for that award.
Let’s be real though, these guys were never thespians to begin with, they were two huge dudes that did action well. Shooting guys and kicking ass was their thing and they made a career out of it. However, even amongst all their Razzies they found a way to score good buzz in some of their performances. Arnold was nominated twice for a Golden Globe Award, one for his role in Stay Hungry and the other for his role in Junior. Stallone on the other hand scored a few golden globes, had a nice performance in Copland and he even managed to score two Oscar nominations for acting & writing Rocky.

 Schwarzenegger vs. Stallone

Winner: Sure Stallone has Oscar nominations but how does one go from Oscar nominee in the early part of the career to worst actor of the century? So the winner of the sucking less award for this category goes to Ah-Nuld!
2. Iconic Roles
In 1982 Arnold took on one of his most famous roles when he signed to portray Robert E Howard’s famed barbarian, Conan, in the aptly titled movie Conan the Barbarian. Hollywood knowing it would be doing the world a disservice if they didn’t have Arnold as Conan again, quickly made a sequel that was released two years later. Arnie was great as Conan, until this day we can’t picture anybody else in the role and it makes us sad that some dude by the name of Jason Momoa is now going to portray the character in a remake. The same year Conan the Destroyer was released, Arnie starred in his most iconic role ever when he hooked up with James Cameron and brought The Terminator to life. The role played to Arnold’s strengths; looking like a bad ass and not saying much. This was his best performances ever and Arnie even scored his own catchphrase “I’ll be back.”
Sylvester Stallone also has two iconic roles. In 1982 while Arnold was busy being Conan, Sly was playing the role of badass extraordinaire John Rambo, a name that is synonymous with action hero. Stallone played the character four times and there are rumors a fifth time is coming. Aside from Rambo, Sly’s other iconic role is one he wrote himself when he penned the script for the ultimate underdog story, Rocky and starred in it as the Philadelphia boxer Rocky “The Italian Stallion” Balboa. Stallone would play this role six times and faithfully covered the rise, fall and redemption of many boxers today. The character got so big and loved that he now has his own statue in Philadelphia and to this day many Philadelphians recognize him as THE heavyweight champion of the world.

 Schwarzenegger vs. Stallone

Winner: In a close call it’s Rambo & Rocky over Conan & Terminator. Stallone gets the nod here because the role he created of Rocky Balboa still serves as inspiration for every underdog out there today.
1. Mad Cheddar
Over a span of 40 years and 33 movies Sylvester Stallone has accumulated a total world-wide box office of $1,639,909,420. The man’s heyday was the 1980s when he was milking the Rocky and Rambo franchise and rocking the action world by putting out films like Cobra, Lock Up along with his buddy cop flick; Tango & Cash. Sly still pumped out hits in ‘90s but not at the regular pace he did before. Still films like Demolition Man, The Specialist, Cliffhanger, Assassins, Judge Dredd and Daylight made bank. Keep in mind that even if his films didn’t bring a lot of money state side, Stallone was a big international star which ensured his films always brought some extra cheese from the foreign markets. The late ‘90s and early 2000s weren’t so kind to Stallone. Remember Driven? Consider yourself lucky if you don’t. The late 2000s were somewhat kinder to him, he didn’t make tons at the box office but at least he made decent flicks by going back to Rocky and Rambo movies which earned him enough juice to extend his career to 2010 and beyond.
Stallone wasn’t the only one who made mad money though. Arnold, the Austrian sensation, released hits like Mel Gibson releases hate filled audio tapes and made $1,621,940,362 in a total of 23 movies. Like Stallone, Schwarzenegger owned the ‘80s where he made Conan, Terminator, Commando, Red Heat, Predator and The Running Man. Arnie would see his star decline a bit in the decade that followed but still was delivering the awesomeness that is Terminator 2, Total Recall, True Lies and the not so awesome Eraser and End of Days. While the later part of the decade saw drops in his box office take, Arnold was also a huge star in the foreign markets meaning his films always cleared the red line thanks to foreign cash. Finally, the 2000s would mark the end of Schwarzenegger era as he only made a few flicks like Collateral Damage, The 6th Day and Terminator 3. After Terminator 3, Arnold had a cameo in a couple of films and then put his acting career on hold to take the title of Governor and bankrupt the state of California.

 Schwarzenegger vs. Stallone

Winner: While Stallone’s films have made more money in total, Arnold has close to the same amount in fewer films, giving him a higher box office average, the win in this category along with the game.


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DangermouseZilla 8/12/2010 1:05:57 AM

A tough one to call - me and a work colleague have had this discussion before and Arnie wins because he spawned his own genre - the "Arnie" movie.

It has to be said though that in terms of raw talent - writing and starring in Rocky was a quality acheivement that most aspiring performers will never equal.

SarcasticCaveman 8/12/2010 1:30:47 AM

Overall an alright article, but I slam my hand down on the BS button on your Ivan Reitman comment ("Twins" being his last good movie).  Sorry, but I really enjoyed "Evolution" (LOVE the shampoo commercial ending), and I thought "My Super Ex-Girlfriend" was entertaining.  We've all had (well, maybe not every fellow geek out there) that one crazy ex, and songs like Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats" does nothing to help the ex girlfriend scenario, but the idea of what if your crazy ex was basically Wonder Woman was a great concept, if not perfectly executed.

ponyboy76 8/12/2010 3:05:46 AM

Arnie wins hands down! And you have obviously never watched Pumping Iron, because that dude was the Wilt Chamberlain of Bodybuilding back then, so he wasn't "juicing" all that much to win his Olympia titles.

You also didn't mention that before he came to the U.S. he fixed chimneys, which he would actually break himself then charge people to fix.

Chopsaki 8/12/2010 4:17:25 AM

Love em both but the movies I end up watching over and over again tend to be Arnies. I'm suprised you glossed over The Last Action Hero without mentioning the scene where Arnie walks into a video store and there is a cardboard cut out of Stallone starring in Terminator 2, pretty funny.

Favorite Sly Movies: Rocky 3, Rambo 2, Tango & Cash, Demolition Man.

Favorite Arnie Movies: Conan, Terminator 2, Commando, Predator, Total Recall, True Lies.

Dazzler 8/12/2010 5:01:15 AM

I am a closet Oscar fan. 

evilron 8/12/2010 5:41:59 AM

Oscar is hilarious.

krathwardroid 8/12/2010 5:52:27 AM

First Blood was a good movie and was one of the best roles acting-wise for Stallone, I think. He and Scharzenegger aren't always poor actors. Predator is a good example of some of Schwarzenegger's better acting qualities. That, along with Terminator, also played to his strengths.

Stallone Favorites: Rambo series, Rocky series, and Cliffhanger. Demolition Man and Tango & Cash are guilty pleasures for me, and I liked Judge Dredd enough simply because I am a fan of the comic.

Schwarzenegger Favorites: First two Terminator movies, Predator, Commando, and Total Recall. Here I'd have to say that while The Running Man isn't exactly a guilty pleasure (I did like it), I will include it in this area. The other two would be Jingle All The Way and The 6th Day. The latter two were so corny I couldn't help but enjoy watching them.

boxker 8/12/2010 5:54:48 AM

Kind of a funny thing, my 9 year old daugther has been a big fan of Arnold's since she was 6. She just loes his movies.

Anyway why didn't mention True Lies which I think is a great movie. Since this is a Arnie vs Sly article, I lied to say that I've always found it funny that no one ever talks about that scene in Twins when Arnold passes by a Rambo poster takes a look then looks at his own bycep and does a "Whatever" brush off towards the Rambo poster. Love that scene.

I think it's an injustice that they have never been in a movie together,and a missed oppurtunity on buckets of money. what if Sly had been cast as Kyle Reece instead of Bien? ( I know, I know, at that point Terminator wasn't thought of as the Tent pole franchise it is now.)

One think I can say about Sly, seeing  Rocky three as little kid, was the first time I thought anyone cried realistically at the death of a loved one. Not the usual fake movie cry.


Hobbs 8/12/2010 6:32:20 AM

No one causes a controversy like Hanso.  Where you been Son?  Haven't seen you around much, too much writing going on?

This one is almost too close to call in my books.  Personal fav was Arnie but man, were his movies sucking big time the last years he was filming but Sly wasn't any different. 

I saw on the news this morning people in California are going to boycott the movie because Arnold is trying to save their bankrupt state by making cuts.  Nevermind the fact he only has about 3 mins of screen time...ah yes, California where all the brightest people in the country live. 

jedibanner 8/12/2010 6:53:33 AM

I'd be curious to know how this list would go once ''The Expendles'' comes out, I'm sure it would help the scale for Sly a lot caue, I believe this movie will be excellent.

I like both guys but, I've always been more of an Arny guy. And call me silly but, I love Last Action Hero, Arny is actually funny in there because he makes fun of himself and the ''action stars'' of the era.

The movie was always misunderstood but, when you look at the roots, it's a great and smart movie.

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