IMDb > Olympia Part One: Festival of the Nations (1938)
Olympia 1. Teil - Fest der Völker
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Olympia Part One: Festival of the Nations (1938) More at IMDbPro »Olympia 1. Teil - Fest der Völker (original title)

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Leni Riefenstahl (writer)
View company contact information for Olympia Part One: Festival of the Nations on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
8 March 1940 (USA) See more »
The document of the 1936 Olympics at Berlin. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
2 wins See more »
User Reviews:
A masterpiece of camera-work but surely not an easy watch! See more (23 total) »


  (in alphabetical order) (complete, awaiting verification)
David Albritton ... Himself - High Jump, USA (uncredited)
Arvo Askola ... Himself - 10000 Metres, FIN (uncredited)
Jack Beresford ... Himself - Carries British Flag (uncredited)
Erwin Blask ... Himself - Hammer Throw, German (uncredited)
Sulo Bärlund ... Himself - Shot Put, Finland (uncredited)
Ibolya Csák ... Herself - High Jump, Hungary (uncredited)
Henri de Baillet-Latour ... Himself - IOC, Stands with Hitler, with Hurdlers (uncredited)
Philip Edwards ... Himself - 800 Metres, Canada (uncredited)
Donald Finlay ... Himself - 110m Hurdles, GB (uncredited)
Tilly Fleischer ... Herself - Javelin Throw, Germany (uncredited)
Wilhelm Frick ... Himself - Spectator (uncredited)
Joseph Goebbels ... Himself - Spectator (uncredited)
Hermann Göring ... Himself - Spectator (uncredited)
Ernest Harper ... Himself - Marathon, GB (uncredited)
Karl Hein ... Himself - Hammer Throw, Germany (uncredited)
Rudolf Hess ... Himself - Stands with Hitler (uncredited)

Adolf Hitler ... Himself - Declares Games Open (uncredited)
Volmari Iso-Hollo ... Himself - 10000 Metres, FIN (uncredited)
Cornelius Johnson ... Himself - High Jump, USA (uncredited)
Matti Järvinen ... Himself - Javelin, FIN (uncredited)
Elfriede Kaun ... Herself - High Jump, Germany (uncredited)
King Umberto II ... Himself - Stands with Hitler, Salutes Italian Team (uncredited)
Kalevi Kotkas ... Himself - High Jump, FIN (uncredited)
Gustaf Alfons Koutonen ... Himself - Hammer Throw, FIN (uncredited)
Luise Krüger ... Herself - Javelin Throw, Germany (uncredited)
Maria Kwasniewska ... Herself - Javelin Throw, Poland (uncredited)
Theodor Lewald ... Himself - German Olympic Committee, Stands with Hitler (uncredited)
Luz Long ... Himself (uncredited)
Spiridon Louis ... Himself - Walks Behind Greek Flag, in Greek Costume (uncredited)
John Lovelock ... Himself - 1500 Metres, NZ (uncredited)
Gisela Mauermayer ... Herself - Discus Throw, Germany (uncredited)
Earle Meadows ... Himself - Pole Vault, USA (uncredited)
Ralph Metcalfe ... Himself - Sprinter, USA (uncredited)
Paula Mollenhauer ... Herself - Discus Throw, Germany (uncredited)
Väinö Muinonen ... Himself - Marathon, FIN (uncredited)
Seung-yong Nam ... Himself - Marathon, Japan (uncredited)
Henri Nannen ... Announcer (uncredited)
Yrjö Nikkanen ... Himself - Javelin, FIN (uncredited)
Shûhei Nishida ... Himself - Pole Vault, Japan (uncredited)
Paavo Nurmi ... Himself - Spectator Watching 10000 Metres Race (uncredited)
Dorothy Odam ... Herself - High Jump, GB (uncredited)
Martinus Osendarp ... Himself - 100 Metres, Holland (uncredited)
Jesse Owens ... Himself (uncredited)

Leni Riefenstahl ... Nude Dancer - Prologue (uncredited)
Mack Robinson ... Himself - Second, After Owens (uncredited)
Ilmari Salminen ... Himself - 10000 Metres, FIN (uncredited)
Julius Schaub ... Himself - Spectator, with Glasses, Behind Hitler (uncredited)
Kee-chung Sohn ... Himself - Marathon, Japan (uncredited)
Julius Streicher ... Himself - Spectator (uncredited)
Gerhard Stöck ... Himself - Shot Put, Javelin Throw, Germany (uncredited)
Naoto Tajima ... Himself - Triple Jump, Japan (uncredited)
Erkki Tamila ... Himself - Marathon, FIN (uncredited)
Kalervo Toivonen ... Himself - Javelin, FIN (uncredited)
Forrest Towns ... Himself - 110m Hurdles, USA (uncredited)
Werner von Blomberg ... Himself - Spectator (uncredited)
August von Mackensen ... Himself - Spectator (uncredited)
Hans von Tschammer und Osten ... Himself (spectator, in white suit) (uncredited) (unconfirmed)
Hans Woellke ... Himself - Shot Put, Germany (uncredited)
Sueo Ôe ... Himself - Pole Vault (uncredited)

Directed by
Leni Riefenstahl 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Leni Riefenstahl  writer

Produced by
Leni Riefenstahl .... producer
Original Music by
Herbert Windt 
Walter Gronostay (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Wilfried Basse (uncredited)
Leo De Lafrue (uncredited)
Josef Dietze (uncredited)
E. Epkins (uncredited)
Hans Ertl (uncredited)
Walter Frentz (uncredited)
Hans Karl Gottschalk (uncredited)
Richard Groschopp (uncredited)
Willy Hameister (uncredited)
Wolf Hart (uncredited)
Hasso Hartnagel (uncredited)
Walter Hege (uncredited)
Paul Holzki (uncredited)
Werner Hundhausen (uncredited)
Albert Höcht (uncredited)
Carl Junghans (uncredited)
Herbert Kebelmann (uncredited)
Sepp Ketterer (uncredited)
Albert Kling (uncredited)
Ernst Kunstmann (uncredited)
Leo de Laforgue (uncredited)
Lagorio (uncredited)
E. Lambertini (uncredited)
Guzzi Lantschner (uncredited)
Otto Lantschner (uncredited)
Waldemar Lembke (uncredited)
Georg Lemke (uncredited)
C.A. Linke (uncredited)
Kurt Neubert (uncredited)
Erich Nitzschmann (uncredited)
Albert Schattmann (uncredited)
Hans Scheib (uncredited)
Wilhelm Schmidt (uncredited)
Hugo O. Schulze (uncredited)
Leo Schwedler (uncredited)
Alfred Siegert (uncredited)
W. Siehm (uncredited)
Ernst Sorge (uncredited)
Károly Vass (uncredited)
Andor von Barsy (uncredited)
Eberhard von der Heyden (uncredited)
Fritz von Friedl (uncredited)
Heinz von Jaworsky (uncredited)
Hugo von Kaweczynski (uncredited)
Alexander von Lagorio (uncredited)
H. von Stwolinski (uncredited)
Willy Zielke (uncredited)
Film Editing by
Leni Riefenstahl 
Production Management
Walter Traut .... production manager (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Luggi Waldleitner .... assistant camera
Georg Fleischmann .... camera operator (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Erna Peters .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Pierre de Coubertin .... dedicatee (as Baron Pierre de Coubertin)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Olympia 1. Teil - Fest der Völker" - Germany (original title)
"The Olympiad" - USA
See more »
Sweden:121 min | USA:111 min | UK:66 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Tobis-Klangfilm)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Leni Riefenstahl's visit to the United States in 1938 was mainly aimed at finding a US distributor for the film. Faced with fierce protests from many American organizations, in particular the 'Anti-Nazi League', her plan never came to fruition. The first screening in the United States was organised in Chicago in November 1938 by Avery Brundage, president of the US Olympic Committee and an ardent Nazi sympathiser. The private reception was hosted by Mrs. Claire Dux Swift, ex-wife of the German film star Hans Albers. The second screening (also private) took place on 14th December 1938 at the California Club in presence of Olympic medalists and screen Tarzans Johnny Weissmuller and Glenn Morris (Riefenstahl's ex-lover), as well as Olympic diver Marjorie Gestring. For this screening, Riefenstahl submitted a copy where she had edited out almost all the scenes featuring Hitler.See more »
Movie Connections:
Edited into The Negro Soldier (1944)See more »
Olympische HymnneSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
9 out of 11 people found the following review useful.
A masterpiece of camera-work but surely not an easy watch!, 24 October 2008

Whether you think Leni Riefenstahl was a Nazi or not, nobody can deny that she does take a neutral stance in this film. Indeed, it is surprising to hear the American national anthem being played in a German film of the Nazi era. Another gem in the film is to see Leni quietly glorifying the figure of black American athlete Jesse Owens, who famously disappointed Hitler by winning 'too many' medals for his taste. She looks at him as an athlete, and observes his cyborg-like body. When Jesse wins, the people whistle, but that's not important, as the American national anthem will cover them off.

There is no doubt, the strength of this film is the cinematography. Riefenstahl did in Germany what Vertov did in Russia, only her style comes closer to today's tele-reportage than the Russian's. There are other fundamental differences between the two.

Olympia as a whole (part I and 2) stands proudly. Yet, although the real trick was to film the actual footage as it happened, using pioneer effects of slow motion, fast motion and precise framing, the good stuff is found in the recreations, particularly at the start of part II, which portrays a 'gods-like temple' where the athletes relax in sight of their following tests.

It's an admirable work, but as a lot of the old cinema, it is outdated. While 'Triumph of the Will' really wasn't as much (possibly because it's easier to plan an event that takes place in a shorter time, such as the Nuremberg Rally, as a lengthy event like the Olympic games), Olympia is lengthy, and overall, not an easy watch. In some bits, it's hard not to be tempted by the fast forward button on the remote control. But there is no denying that this is another testimony of Leni Riefenstahl's often underrated and mostly willingly obscured influence.

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