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Olympia Part One: Festival of the Nations (1938)

Olympia 1. Teil - Fest der Völker (original title)
Not Rated | | Documentary, Sport | 8 March 1940 (USA)
The document of the 1936 Olympics at Berlin.

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Cast

Uncredited cast:
...
...
...
Erwin Blask ...
Himself - Hammer Throw, German (uncredited)
Sulo Bärlund ...
Himself - Shot Put, Finland (uncredited)
...
...
Himself (uncredited)
Henri de Baillet-Latour ...
Himself - IOC, Stands with Hitler, with Hurdlers (uncredited)
Philip Edwards ...
Himself - 800 Metres, Canada (uncredited)
Donald Finlay ...
...
Wilhelm Frick ...
Himself - Spectator (uncredited)
Joseph Goebbels ...
Himself - Spectator (uncredited)
...
Himself - Spectator (uncredited)
...
Himself - Marathon, GB (uncredited)
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Storyline

After being commissioned by the 1936 Olympic Committee to create a feature film of the Berlin Olympics, Riefenstahl shot a documentary that celebrates the human body by combining the poetry of bodies in motion with close-ups of athletes in the heat of competition. Includes the marathon, men's diving, and American track star Jesse Owen's sprint races at the 1936 Olympic games. The production tends to glorify the young male body and, some say, expresses the Nazi attitude toward athletic prowess. Includes the lighting of the torch at the stadium and Adolf Hitler looking on in amazement as Jesse Owens wins an unprecedented four Gold Medals. Written by Fiona Kelleghan <fkelleghan@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary | Sport

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

8 March 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Olympia Part One: Festival of the Nations  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Tobis-Klangfilm)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer Winfield R. Sheehan and his wife, Viennese opera singer Maria Jeritza offered to help Riefenstahl find a US distributor for the film, but no contract ever materialised. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Junge Adler (1944) See more »

Soundtracks

Olympische Hymnne
Richard Strauss
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User Reviews

 
Highly original for its time, great use of camerawork
3 December 2003 | by (Bath, England) – See all my reviews

This is a brilliant sports documentary - the experimentation with camera angles was revolutionary at the time and the pole vault sequence at night is one of my favourite sequences in a film ever. The athletes are portrayed as superhuman, so in this sense the film is elitist and Nietzschean, but this is certainly not a racist film, politics does not play an explicit role, although one could argue that the deification of athletes (they are shown in close-up, alone, to contrast with the watching masses) promotes the idea that some men are greater than others. A fascinating film, and a definite progression from the standard documentary format of Das Triumph des Willens.


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