IMDb > The World's Greatest Athlete (1973)
The World's Greatest Athlete
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The World's Greatest Athlete (1973) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 9% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Gerald Gardner (written by) and
Dee Caruso (written by)
View company contact information for The World's Greatest Athlete on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
14 February 1973 (USA) See more »
From the Jungle to the Gym...He's the Greatest! See more »
A down on his luck coach travels to Africa where he spots the world's greatest athlete - a white Tarzan-type. The coach brings him back to the U.S. of A. to compete. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
The World's Greatest Athlete was an amusing enough Disney comedy from the '70s See more (14 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Tim Conway ... Milo Jackson

Jan-Michael Vincent ... Nanu

John Amos ... Coach Sam Archer

Roscoe Lee Browne ... Gazenga

Dayle Haddon ... Jane

Billy De Wolfe ... Dean Maxwell

Nancy Walker ... Mrs. Petersen
Danny Goldman ... Leopold Maxwell

Don Pedro Colley ... Morumba

Vito Scotti ... Games spectator
Liam Dunn ... Dr. Winslow

Ivor Francis ... Dean Bellamy

Leon Askin ... Dr. Gottlieb
Howard Cosell ... Himself - Announcer

Frank Gifford ... Himself - Announcer

Jim McKay ... Himself - Announcer
Bud Palmer ... Himself - Announcer
Joe Kapp ... Announcer Buzzer Kozak
Bill Toomey ... Himself - Announcer

Clarence Muse ... Gazenga's Assistant
Leigh Christian

Virginia Capers ... Native Woman

Philip Ahn ... Old Chinaman

John Lupton ... Race Starter
Sarah Selby ... Woman on Safari

Russ Conway ... Judge with Stopwatch
Al Checco ... Dr. Checco

Dick Wilson ... Drunk in bar

Dorothy Shay
Jack Griffin

David Mooney (as David Manzy)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Pete Carroll ... Running Back footballer (uncredited)

Brian Sullivan ... Football Player #31 (uncredited)

Directed by
Robert Scheerer 
Writing credits
Gerald Gardner (written by) and
Dee Caruso (written by)

Produced by
Bill Walsh .... producer
Original Music by
Marvin Hamlisch 
Cinematography by
Frank V. Phillips (director of photography) (as Frank Phillips)
Film Editing by
Cotton Warburton 
Art Direction by
John B. Mansbridge 
Walter H. Tyler  (as Walter Tyler)
Set Decoration by
Hal Gausman 
Costume Design by
Chuck Keehne 
Emily Sundby 
Makeup Department
La Rue Matheron .... hair stylist
Robert J. Schiffer .... makeup artist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Michael J. Dmytryk .... assistant director (as Michael Dmytryk)
Arthur J. Vitarelli .... second unit director
Sound Department
Herb Taylor .... sound
Special Effects by
Art Cruickshank .... special effects
Danny Lee .... special effects
Eustace Lycett .... special effects
Hans Metz .... special effects (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Alan Maley .... matte artist
Dick Warlock .... stunt double: Tim Conway (uncredited)
Dick Warlock .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Stan Reed .... key grip (uncredited)
John R. Shannon .... still photographer (uncredited)
Bill Williams .... gererator operator (uncredited)
Music Department
Evelyn Kennedy .... music editor
Other crew
Bob Holter .... animal supervisor
Gene Holter .... animal supervisor
Bill Toomey .... athletic technical advisor
Ralph Helfer .... animal supervisor: Gentle Jungle [us] (uncredited)
Leonard Shannon .... unit publicist (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
93 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.75 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Did You Know?

NCAA stood for the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The body is actually a real life non-profit athletics organization.See more »
Incorrectly regarded as goofs: Bengal tiger's are from India not Africa.See more »
Jane Douglas:[tutoring Nanu in biology, Jane has him hold her hand] Your brain signaled the muscles in your hand to contract in order to hold my hand. Is that clear?
Nanu:Nanu understand.
Jane Douglas:Now when...
Jane Douglas:You can stop holding my hand.
Nanu:Nanu's brain is still signaling.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in "NCIS: Jack-Knife (#7.15)" (2010)See more »


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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
The World's Greatest Athlete was an amusing enough Disney comedy from the '70s, 2 June 2010
Author: tavm from Baton Rouge, LA

After a few decades of knowing about this '70s Disney comedy, I finally took my borrowed DVD and watched The World's Greatest Athlete. In this one, Coach John Amos and his assistant Tim Conway have been on the losing end of various sports endeavors for so long that dean Billy De Wolfe (in a too-brief role)-who's accompanied by his son Danny Goldman-remind them of just one more year on their contract. Amos tears it up and goes to Africa with Conway to get away from it all. There they find Jan-Michael Vincent who outruns a tiger. The only way they can get him, though, is if he saves one of them...I'll stop there and just say that this is one of those silly family comedies that was the House of Mickey's bread-and-butter during the decade that the other major studios were making big box office and winning Oscars with more mature fare. With the Tarzan-inspired story and many well-established special effects, there are quite a few chuckles here-and even a big laugh concerning a wheelchair-bound old man who can "suddenly" walk-that I admit to doing while watching. And it's fun seeing Conway either putting his head where it sometimes doesn't belong or getting moved by a voodoo doll once owned by a witch doctor played by Roscoe Lee Browne. But the stuff involving Nancy Walker as a near-sighted landlady and Goldman as the dean's interloping son I could do without. And stunning Dayle Haddon as Vincent's girlfriend (called Jane, of course) is just window dressing. Still, this is harmless fare that should provide enough enjoyable distraction for 90 minutes especially as you watch such real-life announcers like Frank Gifford and Howard Cosell join in on the fun. P.S. I just found out, via the IMDb site, that Mr. Goldman was the voice of Brainy Smurf on the "Smurfs" TV cartoon show.

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