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The Games (1970)

 -  Drama | Sport  -  1 August 1970 (Japan)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 247 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 4 critic

Four marathon runners (one from England, one from the U.S., a Czech and an Australian Aborigine) prepare to run in the Olympic games. The film follows each one and shows what their motivations are for running in the games.

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The Games (1970) on IMDb 6.3/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Harry Hayes
...
Scott Reynolds
...
Pavel Vendek
...
Jim Harcourt
Elaine Taylor ...
Christine
...
Bill Oliver
Athol Compton ...
Sunny Pintubi
...
Commentator
Kent Smith ...
Kaverley
...
Richie Robinson
Mona Washbourne ...
Mrs. Hayes
Reg Lye ...
Gilmour
June Jago ...
Mae Harcourt
Don Newsome ...
Cal Wood
Hugh McDermott
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Storyline

The Games is about four marathon runners from different countries who are preparing for the Rome Olympics. The movie takes you through some of the runners personal training schedules before finally showing the marathon. Written by Jenny Evans <J.Evans@uts.edu.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The spectacle behind the spectacle.

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 August 1970 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Bitmeyen yaris  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A then-unknown Elton John sang the Francis Lai and Hal Shaper-penned "From Denver to L.A." as part of the film's soundtrack, which was issued in the U.S. by Viking Records (LPS-105); he was so little-known at that point that he was credited on the label as "Elton Johns". The label planned to issue the song as a single (VIK-1010, backed with "Warm Summer Rain" by The Barbara Moore Singers), and promotional copies were pressed, but John - who first hit stardom towards the end of 1970 - had the record withdrawn before commercial copies could be pressed. Upon his reaching superstar status, promotional copies of the "From Denver to L.A." single have become prized collector's items and an interesting curio in John's recorded catalog. See more »

Soundtracks

Yale Dance
by Francis Lai
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Much as I hate to say anything good about a Michael Winner film...
17 November 2003 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

...this one is actually pretty good. It's biggest advantage is that for once it never actually looks like a Michael Winner film. Working for a major studio and shooting in Scope seems to have held the loathsome braggart's worst (and mostly labour-saving and cost-cutting) excesses in check - few crash zooms, few of the usual continuity errors. Indeed, some of the staging comes perilously close to being imaginative.

This is very much an example of that long-abandoned genre, the doorstop bestseller turned into a large-scale, globetrotting episodic saga, where the locations - Australia, Tokyo, Czechoslovakia, Rome, London - are as much the star as the ensemble cast. Not that the cast give in without a fight. Hidden behind Arthur Pewty moustache and glasses and the worst haircut this side of 'Presumed Innocent,' Stanley Baker gets to be as comprehensively nasty as only he could as Crawford's obsessed coach (hinting at repressed homosexuality at points), Aznavour makes more of his limited screen time than is on the page (and serves as 'The Games' equivalent of the Yves Montand character in 'Grand Prix'), while Jeremy Kemp has a field day as an unscrupulous Aussie bookie exploiting Athol Compton's naive Aborigine runner and trying to fix the Olympic marathon event into the bargain. Crawford fares less well - there's too much of Frank Spencer in his unconvincing early scenes, though he improves greatly as the film goes along - while O'Neal fares better with Erich Segal's words here than he did in 'Love Story.' You even get the chance to see a clean-shaven, youthful Sam Elliott: a sobering sight.

There are inevitable problems: there's little sense of what drives people to push their bodies beyond the limits of endurance, little sense in the camera of what it feels like to run or to need to run. Some of the subplots (most notably the horrendously hip early scenes with O'Neal) are less successful than others, but if you don't like one, another will be along in a few minutes. There's an unusually imaginative use of locations from this most visually pedestrian of directors, particularly in the Rome sequences, and the Games themselves are staged on a suitably epic scale. There's even room for some digs at the political infighting between national teams and the corruption of the Olympic Committee as they put athletes' lives at risk to avoid losing their prime US TV spot - and the accompanying TV payments.

It's not a great film, but it is a very enjoyable one and it would be nice to see a Scope DVD some day.


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