One Day in September (1999)

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The Palestinian terrorist group Black September holds Israeli athletes hostage at the 1972 Summer Olympic Games in Munich.


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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Himself - Narrator (voice)
Ankie Spitzer ...
Jamal Al Gashey ...
Gerald Seymour ...
Axel Springer ...
Gad Zahari ...
Shmuel Lalkin ...
Manfred Schreiber ...
Walter Troger ...
Ulrich K. Wegener ...
Hans-Dietrich Genscher ...
Schlomit Romajo ...
Magdi Gahary ...
Zvi Zamir ...
Dan Shillon ...


The 1972 Munich Olympics were interrupted by Palestinian terrorists taking Israeli athletes hostage. Besides footage taken at the time, we see interviews with the surviving terrorist, Jamal Al Gashey, and various officials detailing exactly how the police, lacking an anti-terrorist squad and turning down help from the Israelis, botched the operation. Written by Jon Reeves <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some graphic violent images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:


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Release Date:

24 August 2000 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Egy nap szeptemberben  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$15,149 (USA) (17 November 2000)


$155,158 (USA) (23 February 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When One Day in September (2000) premiered at the Telluride Film Festival, Eric Bana was in attendance with his film Chopper (2000). Bana had seen One Day in September (2000) and read books on the subject. He would later go on to portray the lead role of Avner in Munich (2005) a film about the Israeli response to the 1972 Munich Olympics. See more »


Ulrich K. Wegener: Then there was silence. And I told the minister..."I think I have to go to look for what the police is doing. "And then I went to the captainof the police company there... and said, "Are you going to do something? You have to move your people there.You pull out the hostages or whatever, you know... and do something. "They didn't do anything. "I have no orders," he said. It was... It was a really tragic story... and so we could only look, you know. And when after... You could hear them yelling, ...
See more »


Version of 21 Hours at Munich (1976) See more »


Short Piece 12
Performed by Craig Armstrong
Written by Craig Armstrong/Marius De Vries
Published by EMI Publishing Ltd./Chrysalis Music Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

A Solid Documentary, and response to some criticism
22 December 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It would appear that many people believe that the documentary format should be held to some sort of objective, news-gathering standard. Whenever two clips are spliced together, regardless of the content there is some editorializing. A documentary is an editorial. If you want nothing more than unopinionated truth, than the only avenue open to you is uninterrupted security camera footage. You can, and sometimes should, disagree with the opinions offered by the documentary filmmaker as a critical viewer, but one faulting the filmmaker for offering an opinion is like criticizing water for being wet. The line that must be discerned is whether the filmmaker is overly deceptive or insidious in trying to convince you of his or her opinion. This is a line that can be very difficult to draw.

Mr. Ruvi Simmons of London does not seem to realize these basic tenets of documentary film-making: "One Day in September, however, concentrates more on the human interest of the event itself, neglecting background information in order to convey a one-sided and grossly biased perspective on a tragic occurrence." I am a filmmaker, and I know that as such one must choose a theme and a perspective for a feature length documentary. The main problem that this person has with the film is that he is "that it neither explores the underlying issues behind the Israeli-Palestinian tensions." This is a 2 hour film, not a 40 hour mini-series. There is no way that the filmmaker could have adequately explored the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and still told the story that he or she intended: the story of the hostage crisis at the Games of '72. Mr. Simmons also took offense at the filmmaker for vilifying the terrorists who perpetrated this plot. I do not need to offer a critical retort as any logical person can understand why this statement is foolishness. It sounds as though Mr. Simmons feels as though the terrorists were justified in hurting innocent athletes a continent removed from their conflict. Obviously, this person would dislike this documentary (although he does not mention that the documentarian interviewed one of the terrorists to present his side of their story).

If you want to have a solid introduction to the acts of terrorism at the Games of '72, then this is a good work to watch. It is true that the thriller-style is a bit gimmicky, but it does add somewhat to the suspense if you do not know the outcome. If you are intending to see the film, "Munich," then this is probably a good primer (I have not yet seen it as it has not been released). Just remember, this film is just as much an editorial as Spielburg's film will be.


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