(1973 TV Movie)

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7/10
Good-hearted story set at the Olympics
MartianOctocretr510 December 2005
It's too bad this movie has fallen into obscurity; it was a sweet romance story intertwined with sports competition and even political intrigue. Former football player Alex Karras stars as Hugh Ray Feather, a kindhearted, naive good ol' boy from Tennessee who competes as a weightlifter in the 1972 Olympics.

Some actual footage of the real athletes in competition who made history (Olga Korvut and Mark Spitz, among others) is used, and is fun to see. Sportscaster Howard Cosell plays a caricature of himself, as the zealous announcer at the weightlifting competition. His colorful dialog with flowery, multi-syllabic soap-box gibberish was perfect for the situations where it was used. (No mention is made of the shooting tragedy that occurred at the actual '72 Olympics, wisely, it had no place in this story.)

Feather meets a gentle, soft spoken gymnast from the Soviet Union and a romance quickly develops. The chemistry between the two is very tender and genuine. One of the greatest moments in the story is when each speaks a single sentence in the other's language. However, political bullies from both countries interfere with their relationship. Not only that, but some Madison Ave. types are foaming at the mouth for a chance to exploit Feather, and they butt in too.

All of the above evolve until the final scene, where all reach a surprising twist ending together. Great acting by all, but the best line goes to Cosell: "It's an international standoff!!!!!"
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