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The World's Greatest Athlete (1973) Poster

Trivia

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The Great Wall of China shot was actually a matte painting painted by Alan Maley superimposed over footage of Newhall, California.
The species of African mammal animal that Nanu (Jan-Michael Vincent) could outrun was a cheetah.
The movie had its world premiere held at the famous RKO Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan, New York and became the fifteenth Walt Disney production to have its launch there.
The movie launched the Walt Disney studio's 50th year of producing motion pictures.
Publicity for this movie during its original theatrical film release declared that the Walt Disney Pictures studio was planning a follow-up film to this pic to also star again actor Jan-Michael Vincent but this sequel never eventuated.
Final film of actor Billy De Wolfe.
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Scenes featuring the African country of Zambia were not shot there but in fact were filmed at the then 487 acre Lion County Safari Park south of Disneyland in Southern California. The jungle sequences were shot at the Caswell Memorial State Park near Ripon, California.
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John Amos replaced Godfrey Cambridge as Coach Sam Archer. Cambridge collapsed just after the start of filming and had to withdraw from the picture.
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The scenes where Milo Jackson (Tim Conway) is shrunk to miniature size were extremely expensive to shoot during the time the film was made due to then big cost of constructing such very enormous props. The gigantic telephone itself cost US $7,900 to make whilst the woman's handbag and its chattels totaled to US $15,000.
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Actor Jan-Michael Vincent did his own swimming in the movie but all the sporty stunts and athletic feats were performed by body doubles and stunt men.
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Debut theatrical feature film of actress Dayle Haddon.
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This Disney movie's high-concept of recruiting an athlete from Africa was later used around twenty-one year's later for the 1994 basketball comedy The Air Up There (1994) which was released through Disney's adult production-house brand of Hollywood Pictures.
The name of Nanu (Jan-Michael Vincent)'s pet Bengal tiger was "Harri".
The college race that Nanu (Jan-Michael Vincent) won was the 100 yards dash. The time he took to complete the run was just eight seconds.
The name of the educational institution was "Merrivale College" which sounded a lot like "Medfield College" which is the name of a fictional campus used in five other Disney films of the period.
The name of the television show was "Sports Shorts Around the Globe".
NCAA stood for the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The body is actually a real life non-profit athletics organization.
African fauna and animals featured in the film included lions, gazelles, zebras, rhinos, cheetahs, giraffes, antelopes, and elephants.
The grand finale sports championship event featured at the end of the film was an intercollegiate decathlon.
The size that Milo Jackson (Tim Conway) was shrunk to was three inches.
Star Jan-Michael Vincent was aged around twenty-seven years old when this movie was made and released.
Jan-Michael Vincent said of this movie in its publicity: "It's a spoof. It was like making a film with real people. I played a nut in Going Home (1971) and a killer in The Mechanic (1972) and now it's fun to do something a little more positive. It sounds like a typical 'Me nanu, you Jane' movie but it's far more interesting than that".

Cameo 

Howard Cosell:  As himself, a sportscaster announcer.
Pete Carroll:  The USC head football coach appears uncredited. Carroll is the running back that had the interception for a hundred-yard touchdown. Carroll played as a defensive back at University of the Pacific.
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