Sylvester Stallone vs Arnold Schwarzenegger

Sylvester Stallone vs Arnold Schwarzenegger

With the release of the Expendables 2, who is the greatest action star of all time, Rocky's Sylvester Stallone, or Terminator's Arnold Schwarzenegger?!

Sylvester Stallone vs Arnold Schwarzenegger

With the Expendables 2 being released this weekend, and the true return of action legend Arnold Schwarzenegger there is no better time to compare two of the greatest action stars ever. Stallone and Schwarzenegger aren’t the best actors ever. Between the hilarious one-liners, over-acting, and stupid dialogues, the two certainly aren’t oscar worthy in every performance. However, these guys don’t need to be fantastic actors. As long as they kick ass, blow s**t up, and use there muscles to defeat evil, Stallone and Schwarzenegger will always have a warm spot in our hearts. For those who are thinking “why is this on,” it’s simple. Stallone and Schwarzennger defined the action genre for movies throughout the 20th century. The Rocky films, the Terminator films... these are just two series of films of there’s that have impacted everybody’s lives. The action, large muscles, and explosions were all groundbreaking for there time, and what they have created has now been transformed into most of the comic book movies we all watch today. Action films wouldn’t be nearly the same without these two guys, and in honor of there accomplishments, it’s time to look at who is truly the greatest action star.

1. Appearance:

Both Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger were ripped. Muscles popping out everywhere, six pack abs, gigantic biceps, these traits helped make these actors so credible in there famous roles. Of course both of them have admitted to taking steroids, but each actors incredible body made viewers believe that these guys can really do what there doing on screen. No one is going to watch Johnny Depp or even Leonardo DiCaprio run around shirtless for at least 90 minutes looking to kill anyone in there way. People wanted to see big guys who can fight, use there gun, and do whatever is needed to complete there goal. Stallone gets stronger and stronger as he increases in Rocky movies. And Stallone’s body in Rambo... forget about it. But, as strong as Stallone once was, in this category I give the edge to Schwarzengger. Schwarzenegger started his acting career as a bodybuilder, in fact, he even competed in several Olympic weightlifting and powerlifting contents, where he then earned the tittle of Mr. Olympia and Mr. Universe. Schwarzenegger’s gigantic size helped make his characters even more memorable, and although Stallone in his prime was no “scrub”, he still couldn’t match Schwarzennger’s massive complex.

2. Acting Ability:

Everybody knows that Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger aren’t the best actors. Mainly known for there cheesy one-liners, stupid dialogues, and a large amount of over-acting, no one ever expected the two action stars to reach the acting heights of Jack Nicholson and Robert De Niro. However, no one wanted them too. These guys are action stars, who simply are best at wowing the audience, and giving them entertainment like no other. Stallone isn’t the best actor in the Rambo films, his arm-wrestling movie Over The Top (1987), The Specialist (1994), and even comic book movie’s own Judge Dredd (1995). And hopefully you haven’t seen Rhinestone (1984), where “Sly” teams up with Dolly Parton to become a country singer, or Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (1992), no description is even necessary (you are welcome). But Stallone is incredible in the Rocky films. Earning a nomination for best actor and best writer in Rocky (1976), Stallone as Rocky is one of the most remarkable, and most memorable movie performances of all time. I truly believe nobody could have done what Stallone did with Rocky. Schwarzenegger has no films like Rocky, where he’s either a bad or alright actor in his films. He was great in the first two Terminators, but he was no Rocky. In the end, Stallone is just a better actor than Schwarzenegger.

3. Movies:

In this category I’ll be taking a look at who has had the better movies, not better acting performances. It’s hard to list Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s incredible amount of great movies. Starting with Stallone you of course have the first four Rocky movies. Rocky (1976) was nominated for a whopping 10 academy awards, where it won 3 oscars, including Best Picture. Rocky II (1979), Rocky III (1982), and Rocky IV (1985) were all great movies, each with there own memorable opponents, characters and moments. Moving along from the Rocky films, of course there are the Rambo films. There is no question Stallone kicked some serious ass in those films. Every man loves Rambo, yet again how can you not? Cliffhanger, The Expendables, Tango & Cash and Nighthawks are all good movies. One of my favorite movies of all time is also a classic. Demolition Man (1993) is a movie where Stallone goes in the future to face his past foe, a character played by Wesley Snipes. Also co-starring Sandra Bullock and Denis Leary, this film is great. Stallone is actually really good in this movie, and it is fun, entertaining, and a creative film. For those who haven’t seen it I HIGHLY suggest watching it. You will love Demolition Man, guaranteed. Schwarzenegger has more movies I believe than Stallone. The Terminator films are great, and are truly one of America’s greatest action flicks ever. Total Recall (1990), Predator (1987), True Lies (1994), Conan the Barbarian (1982), Commando (1985), and Kindergarten Cop (1990) are his best films aside from The Terminators. He is good in every single one, and of course, he kicks some serious ass in all of these flicks. But alike Stallone, there are also some terrible films of his. You know CBMers I was going to have to bring up Batman & Robin (1997). The worst comic book movie ever, Schwarzenegger’s puns and one liners make Mr. Freeze so awful it’s hard to put Batman in that light ever again. Just a terrible movie, some of that acting is some other films. Gosh, that movie is so bad. After this long paragraph it is fair to say they both have there long list of entertaining films. Schwarzenegger has more good films, but Stallone has a shorter list of great films. I feel that quality is better than quantity, and in that aspect I am giving this category to Stallone by a slim amount. This could go either or and I’d have no problem, but I just feel the Rocky’s are so great, Schwarzenegger’s films just cannot top that type of greatness.


This category might seem a little strange to you, but when it comes down to the legendary action movies of Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, you have to consider there famous quotes, one-liners, and occasionally silly answers. Stallone has had dozens and dozens of great quotes, ranging from “YO ADRIAN!!” (Rocky), “you’re a disease, and I’m the cure” (Cobra), and “when you’re pushed, killing’s as easy as breathing.” (Rambo) Stallone has plenty more of more great one-liners, most good enough to even get a good laugh out of you. But in this category, Schwarzenegger cannot be defeated. In the movie Predator (1987) alone, Arnold throws several great one-liners at us like “Run! Go! Get to da choppaaa!”, “if it bleeds, we can kill it”, and “you’re one ugly motha fucka.” With Schwarzenegger, I don’t know if it’s his accent, over-acting, or just flat out tone that makes his one-liners so classic, but I do know that his one-liners almost make his movies a little better. One-liners play a significant role in the action movies Stallone and Schwarzenegger make. It may seem a little stupid, but these one-liners and other silly aspects of the movies make these films what they are today.

5. Cultural Impact:

The last and hardest category belongs to cultural impact, where we’re going to see who played the largest role in defining and shaping the action film genre. Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger both created a number of great actions films. Filled with explosions, violence, curse words, women, and one-liners, these action movies have defined a generation for millions of people throughout the world. Kids and adults have been able to go to the movie theaters, or sit at home, and watch films that are entertaining, and that solely make you enjoy watching a movie. It’s hard nowadays to watch a series of movies and enjoy every one. Stallone and Schwarzenegger did so much to create and help establish this industry that to give one the advantage over the other is just not fair. They both have children around the world look up to them, and use there one-liners for the sake of purely having fun. The Hollywood walk of fame, more movies coming out, A-list celebrity status, an Oscar for Stallone, and becoming the governor of California for Schwarzenegger, they have each done more than enough to make a large contribution to society.

The Verdict:

To sum this article up, both Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger have each came out of this “bout” equal in number of advantages in each category. It’s hard to chose one winner, but again, someone has to win. So without further or due the winner of the battle for the greatest action film star of all time is..................................................
SYLVESTER STALLONE! Stallone comes out on top because of his great acting in the Rocky’s and others. He’s been practically great in all of his action movies, aside from a select few, and his attitude when he talks makes you smile with excitement. Stallone is a truly a warrior on screen, and there’s no surprise that he’s the main star of The Expendables (2010) and The Expendables 2 (2012). Schwarzenegger is a great actor, and his films have been legendary, but Stallone has had too many memorable roles that overtopped Schwarzenegger’s. In the end, they both are still two of the greatest action stars to ever walk on this earth. They each have contributed to comic book movies today by showing them the type of action they need to make viewers enjoy there movies the way they have with Stallone and Schwarzenegger’s.

Who do you think is the greater action star?! Sound off in the comments below, and make sure you check out The Expendables 2 today, starring Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and more. To heat up the debate make sure you hit that that THUMBS UP BUTTON (Y)!

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Member Since 2/17/2011
Filed Under "Action" 8/19/2012
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BarnaclePete - 8/19/2012, 8:06 AM
Arnold all the way. His movies ate much more fun and he never sank into that B movie direct to video territory Stallone fell into. Also in terms of acting, Arnold won a Gloden Globe for Stay Hungry in the 70s.
BarnaclePete - 8/19/2012, 8:09 AM
And personally I think his Mr. freeze is by far the best thing in Batman & Robin. His lines are hilarious and he pays it so straight that it works. He was no the problem with that movie.
jessepostal - 8/19/2012, 8:22 AM
Arnold's def been in his share of b movies and shitty flicks
Raw deal
Red Sonja
Conan the destroyer
Hercules in new York
Kindergarten cop

Stallone has too But he doesn't annoy me as quick and I think in all, he's the better actor
Tainted87 - 8/19/2012, 8:29 AM
You completely missed End of Days, which tells me you were already in favor of Sly.

I grew up with more Ahnold than Sly, and even in hindsight, the Rambo/Rocky movies are tired and ridiculous (after their first ones, that is). I mean Rocky II and III have this feel similar to a Star Trek movie - the actors get on the stage and clock in to get paid.

Arnold usually has a great supporting cast, which might actually be detrimental if you think about it in terms of "who is the stronger actor" and regardless of his political views and personal life, he has a way of connecting a bit with the audience.

When I put the Redbox Expendables in my Blu-ray a few months ago, I felt like I was watching a retirement party for Stallone. The guy is still in AMAZING shape, which I guess, puts him way over Arnold, but even in his OWN movie, that he is directing, I'm missing emotion. There's just grunts, frowns, and glares, but I feel like he is always in COMPLETE control of himself - which shouldn't be so obvious when he's playing an action hero.
BarnaclePete - 8/19/2012, 8:32 AM
@Jesspostal . . You misunderstand what I'm saying. In the early 2000's he came out with movies like D-Tox and Avenging Angelo. It wasn't until he smartly decided to revive Rocky and Rambo and then of course did The Expendables that brought him back to more prominence. I'm not saying every Arnold movie is gold, but other than Hercules in New York, none of those movies are b movie direct to videos. Even that is not a great example, since it was his first movie, made in 1969. The others are just tossed up to personal taste. Kindergarten Cop especially, is a pretty well liked movie.
marvel72 - 8/19/2012, 8:42 AM
schwarzenegger over stallone any day of the week.

favorite stallone films

-first blood
-rambo first blood part 2
-rocky 4

favorite schwarzenegger films

-the terminator
-terminator 2
-the running man
-total recall
-true lies
jessepostal - 8/19/2012, 9:04 AM
@barnacle, I wasnt saying that those Arnold movies were direct to video, just that those movies were equally as bad, even though they had more income and a theatrical release. It all comes down to personal taste. Kindergarten cop is liked by people that saw it than or people who like the line "boys have penis girls have vagina" but in no way is it widely loved other than a kind of cult status. Stallone wrote a lot of movies he was in, rocky being one of the top dogs. Arnold's been in more comedy's but Stallone also dabbled in porn haha
BooYah - 8/19/2012, 9:40 AM
Arnold Schwarzenegger > Sylvester Stallone

marvel72 - 8/19/2012, 9:49 AM
i forgot demolition man & copland as well.
jessepostal - 8/19/2012, 10:13 AM
Stallone also had deathrace 2000, which is great and huge in the cult classics, and demolition man was tits as well as cliffhanger!
jessepostal - 8/19/2012, 10:54 AM
@battlin,I have to disagree, arnie did t3 which was how many years after t2, he's working on a twins sequel, he also didn't do cameos because he was a public figure who didn't wanna ruin his rep and look by being in an action movie again. I don't think his wife had nice things to say about the idea either. He was also busy fathering kids :)
Gerrit - 8/19/2012, 2:00 PM
Arnold all the way.
jessepostal - 8/19/2012, 2:51 PM
Rocky was a continuing story, as was Rambo, they could have ended terminator after the second one, arnie didn't have to do the 3rd one, n now im sure he regrets it. Yes rocky and Rambo are one person but that shouldn't single them out. It's all opinion because I do say "another terminator" as well as "another rocky". I think your just showing that your a bigger fan of the terminator than slys movies
GoILL - 8/19/2012, 3:42 PM
SimyJo - 8/20/2012, 7:37 AM
I'd go with Stallone in the long-run.
Stallone actually turned out to be a half-decent director with movies like cop-land and re: physique, is (or was) still in pretty good shape for a senior citizen, whereas Arnie has now got moobs after having to slow down after heart-surgery.
BlazinTexan - 8/21/2012, 9:24 AM
James Mangold directed copland! ^^^^^^^
taurus1969 - 1/22/2013, 6:00 AM

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