Jim Morris is a mountain of man. Now aged 78 years this charismatic body-builder has embraced veganism and is still active in L.A. as a fitness coach and a motivational force of physical energy. His story, that is only just touched on in this fascinating short movie, is one really worth telling.
In 1973 Morris won the Mr America bodybuilding championship by the largest winning margin ever. His victory was even more significant as at 37 years old, he was the oldest person to win, and the only the second African American, and even more momentous, the very first openly gay man. The documentary however never really explains which of these last two facts ensured that his victory met with such vehement hate from the body-building community. The audience at the competition booed him, the other competitors claimed that the size of his winning lead was impossible, and the leading bodybuilding magazines of the day denied him the traditional honor of making Mr America their front cover.
In interviews a charming and self-assured Morris shows no sign of resentment or hate against all the people that pitched in against him, and he continued to compete until 1966 when he won the Over 60 category in the Mr Olympia competition.
The movie talks about that in his youth Morris regularly competed against the future Governor of California, but yet it doesn’t mention other benchmarks in his life …. such as losing his life-partner through AIDS, or working as a bodyguard to Elton John for several years etc etc. That combined with Morris indomitable spirit that just shines through continually, makes this a story just begging to be told in full.