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The Games (1970)

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.



(novel), (screenplay)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Harry Hayes
Scott Reynolds
Pavel Vendek
Jim Harcourt
Bill Oliver
Athol Compton ...
Sunny Pintubi
Richie Robinson
Mrs. Hayes
June Jago ...
Mae Harcourt
Don Newsome ...
Cal Wood


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


The spectacle behind the spectacle.


Drama | Sport


G | See all certifications »




Release Date:

30 July 1970 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Arenans hjältar  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


To simulate vast crowds of people, thousands of life-sized dummies were placed in the stadium's seats. See more »


Referenced in Vsechnopárty: Episode dated 14 April 2017 (2017) See more »


Jeux Au Japon
by Francis Lai
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User Reviews

Fairly realistic depiction of runners at work.
9 June 2004 | by (Cincinnati, OH) – See all my reviews

A more apt title might have been "The Marathon" since really this film deals more with that than the actual Olympic Games. In it, four runners, with disparate backgrounds, train and train in preparation for the big day when they will run 26 miles in just over two hours. Crawford plays a gawky and gangly milkman who, even in dress shoes, can outrun members of a local track team. Eventually, he is given a chance to improve himself under the direction of surly, obsessive coach Baker while girlfriend Taylor mopes. O'Neal is a cocky American who often doesn't push himself as far as he is capable of going and who drinks and cavorts regularly, activities which usually are an athlete's no-no. Compton is a simple Aborigine whose talents are being exploited for gambling profit by the thoughtless Kemp. Finally, Aznavour plays the world record holder - The Iron Man - who comes back into the fray to retain his title. To say that the editing is brisk on this film is an understatement. It's positively MTV-ish for the time it was made, though it occasionally verges on the choppy. The acting, for the most part, is fine. Crawford takes a while to seem realistic rather than comic, but eventually gets there. Baker digs deeply into his part and turns in a memorable performance. O'Neal was well cast for his role (and his then-wife Leigh Taylor-Young even pops up unbilled as a girl he wins in a drinking contest!) Compton is no actor, but manages to get by on an innate charm. Kemp has one of his most showy and prominent roles and enjoys himself fully. Aznavour has little to do (and is about the last thing one would expect to see as an Iron Man!), but he does all right. His child in the film has GOT to go down in history as one of the least attractive screen children EVER! There's a lot of great globe-trotting scenery, a nice trip into the world of 1970 and a cast that's peppered with decent British actors (not to mention an early appearance by handsome, baritone-voiced Elliott.) This isn't a spellbinding film, but it's a nice slice-of-life look at the backgrounds of these men and a glimpse into what it takes to attempt a marathon run. Until the big race, the stories rotate constantly, which helps with the pacing (though O'Neal is offscreen for a shockingly long time near the beginning.) Other interesting factors in the film include the politics of the Games and the depiction of racial relations in Australia. Widescreen viewing is recommended.

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