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Olympia Part Two: Festival of Beauty (1938)
"Olympia 2. Teil - Fest der Schönheit" (original title)

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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 1,922 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 14 critic

The document of the 1936 Olympics at Berlin, orchestrated as Nazi propaganda.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Sheigo Arai ...
Himself - Swimmer, Japan
Jack Beresford ...
Himself - Rower, Britain
Ralf Berzsenyi ...
Himself - Small-Bore Rifle, Hungary
Ferenc Csík ...
Himself - Swimmer, Hungary
Richard Degener ...
Himself - Springboard Diver, USA
Willemijntje den Ouden ...
Herself - Swimmer, Holland
Charles des Jammonières ...
Himself - Free Pistol, France
Velma Dunn ...
Herself - Platfom Diver, USA
Konrad Frey ...
Himself - Gymnastics, Germany
Marjorie Gestring ...
Herself - Springboard Diver, USA
Albert Greene ...
Himself - Springboard Diver, USA
Tetsuo Hamuro ...
Himself - 1st Place: 200m Breaststroke, Japan
Josef Hasenöhrl ...
Himself - Single Sculls Rower, Austria
Heinz Hax ...
Himself - Rapid-Fire Pistol, Germany
...
Himself
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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. The production tends to glorify the young male body and, some say, expresses the Nazi attitude toward athletic prowess. Miss Riefenstahl captures the grace of athletes during field hockey, soccer, bicycling, equestrian, aquatic and gymnastic events. Highlights are the Pentathlon and the Decathlon, which was won by American Glenn Morris; it ends with the triumphant conclusion of the games. Written by Fiona Kelleghan <fkelleghan@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary | Sport

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 March 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Olympia Part Two: Festival of Beauty  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Connections

Featured in Ai yori ai e (1938) See more »

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User Reviews

Template for other documentaries, yet much more beautiful.
19 January 2002 | by (San Francisco, CA) – See all my reviews

I watched this film in my International Cinema class, and it was quite interesting. The movie starts out rather oddly, with naked bathing men and about 8 dialogue-free minutes of various people working out. The best part of this film (for me) is near the end. It was the men's high-dive section. Leni set the camera up under the divers and, as they fall, they look as if they're flying. The viewer loses almost all sense of which way is down as they watch the diver tumbling/soaring through the air.

Another enjoyable part is the horse-riding section, which plays out similar to an ESPN blooper reel, with riders falling from their horses on difficult jumps. But in this film, it's much more gorgeous through the help of slow motion and fairly tight framing.

All in all, a well crafted documentary.


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Along with Part 1 simply the most beautiful film ever made. mowgli_07
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