|Index||3 reviews in total|
An initially drone sports film with a love twist, it nevertheless becomes amusing and enjoyable as it goes along. During its lengthy duration, the characters and the story both become increasing involving. There are some stylish touches at times and at times it is quite well shot, but it is no masterpiece of its type. As interesting as the story and the characters become, the film hardly does anything brilliant. It is a good film surprisingly not too long but nevertheless nothing too special. It was first telecast in two parts to coincide with the actual 1980 Olympics. The two-part version ran for at least three and a quarter hours; for video release the film was cut down, and that is version that I've seen (173 minutes on a PAL cassette).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The story revolves around Wayne Robinson, a man seeking to become a
football pro. After a head injury is aggravated after a fall during a
rodeo contest off season back home, doctors told him it was a risk, and
pro agents advised no one will sign him as he was an insurance risk.
Robinson then tries out for the US track and field olympic team, as he still has the speed as a football amateur. He makes the cut, and so goes into full training. He is always in the shadow of American star athlete Gene Davis aka The Black Shadow, tipped to become the fastest man on earth at the 1980 Moscow Games.
During the run-up to Moscow, a US-Russia "friendly games" is organised in USA, and Robinson meets Viktor Andreyev, a track and field athlete from Russia. They both of course lose out to Davis, but stuck a friendship. Robinson invites him to dinner, and they end up watching Andreyev's sister, Anya, perform at a gymnastics competition. Robinson is awe-struck by Ms Andreyev's beauty. They have secret meetings during the tournament, which was rebuked by her coach.
Still, they meet again in Moscow, and Viktor even invited Robinson to the family home for dinner. The competition then begins, and when they are discovered, Viktor blames Robinson. Anya even showed Robinson an apartment and how she wishes to decorate it when Robinson marries her.
After the games, in the plane, Robinson gets a parcel from Anya. She gifts him her gold medal, and pledges her love for him eternally, writing "there's no miles, no politics, that can change my feelings for you".
I enjoyed this movie a lot, and now have a copy on order from truetvmovies.com.
I haven't seen this since the original airing and the recently
concluded 2008 olympics reminded me of it. I recall it being a cut
above the typical made-for-TV fare. David Keith was a football player
who's injured just before beginning his pro career so he decides to
become an Olympic decathalete instead. The decathalon was big back then
because of Bruce Jenner.
Ironically enough, the film is set during the 1980 Moscow games which the US wound up boycotting. So instead of being a tie-in to the games, it would up being broadcast as a "tribute" to the athletes who couldn't compete.
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