In the late 1800's and early 1900's oldetime strongmen wowed audiences across the country with amazing feats of strength: bending horseshoes with their bare hands, holding back planes from taking off with their hair, and biting nails in half. The most famous of these men included such names as Eugen Sandow, Louis Cyr, the Arthur Saxon Trio, Warren Lincoln Travis, and of course the Mighty Atom, who developed notoriety by performing these feats at the world’s famous Coney Island. Every major city had a strongman or three to entertain the masses, but their time was fleeting. As the vaudeville era faded, so did the strongmen.
Now, in 2012, there exists a small community of men who are dedicated to keeping this little known strength subculture alive. Not only is the film an inspiring story of human struggle and achievement, but it is also a unique glimpse into a remarkable group of men and a forgotten art form. Through Chris’ initiation into this community, “Bending Steel” bears witness to a great tradition of strength of body and mind that has been passed from generation to generation.