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Olympia Part One: Festival of the Nations (1938)

Olympia 1. Teil - Fest der Völker (original title)
Not Rated | | Documentary, Sport | 8 March 1940 (USA)
The document of the 1936 Olympics at Berlin.

Director:

Leni Riefenstahl
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Cast

Uncredited cast:
David Albritton ... Himself - High Jump, USA (uncredited)
Arvo Askola ... Himself - 10000 Metres, FIN (uncredited)
Jack Beresford ... Himself - Carries British Flag (uncredited)
Erwin Blask Erwin Blask ... Himself - Hammer Throw, German (uncredited)
Sulo Bärlund Sulo Bärlund ... Himself - Shot Put, Finland (uncredited)
Ibolya Csák ... Herself - High Jump, Hungary (uncredited)
Glenn Cunningham ... Himself (uncredited)
Henri de Baillet-Latour Henri de Baillet-Latour ... Himself - IOC, Stands with Hitler, with Hurdlers (uncredited)
Philip Edwards Philip Edwards ... Himself - 800 Metres, Canada (uncredited)
Donald Finlay Donald Finlay ... Himself - 110m Hurdles, GB (uncredited)
Tilly Fleischer ... Herself - Javelin Throw, Germany (uncredited)
Wilhelm Frick Wilhelm Frick ... Himself - Spectator (uncredited)
Joseph Goebbels ... Himself - Spectator (uncredited)
Hermann Göring ... Himself - Spectator (uncredited)
Ernest Harper ... Himself - Marathon, GB (uncredited)
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Storyline

After being commissioned by the 1936 Olympic Committee to create a feature film of the Berlin Olympics, Riefenstahl shot a documentary that celebrates the human body by combining the poetry of bodies in motion with close-ups of athletes in the heat of competition. Includes the marathon, men's diving, and American track star Jesse Owen's sprint races at the 1936 Olympic games. The production tends to glorify the young male body and, some say, expresses the Nazi attitude toward athletic prowess. Includes the lighting of the torch at the stadium and Adolf Hitler looking on in amazement as Jesse Owens wins an unprecedented four Gold Medals. Written by Fiona Kelleghan <fkelleghan@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary | Sport

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Germany

Release Date:

8 March 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Olympiad See more »

Filming Locations:

Acropolis, Athens, Greece See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Tobis-Klangfilm)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer Winfield R. Sheehan and his wife, Viennese opera singer Maria Jeritza offered to help Riefenstahl find a US distributor for the film, but no contract ever materialised. See more »

Connections

Featured in Nazis: The Occult Conspiracy (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Olympische Hymnne
Richard Strauss
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Dawn of Sports Registration
13 August 2004 | by erwan_tichelerSee all my reviews

Leni Riefenstahl started something that we all take for granted nowadays when we watch sports.From the following camera in the 100 meters to slow motion action to the build up of tension(start with lesser athletes and end with the winning performance).All this is combined with some beautiful shooting of both the athletes as of the crowd together with the impressive Berlin Olympic Stadium.

OLYMPIA is not a propaganda movie like Riefenstahl's magnum opus TRIUMPH DES WILLENS but it still shows hitler and his gang plus the swastika flag several times(but hey,why is the waving swastika flag propaganda and the waving stars and stripes in SAVING PRIVATE RYAN just a flag).Anyway,it isn't so much about the nazi's,it's about the Olympics and Riefenstahl gives us a journalistic report of it.

Highlight to me(and probably to everybody)is the winning performance of Jesse Owens,one of the greatest athletes of the 20th century.

The second part of the documentary is the lesser of the two with too much emphasis on the diving,but it has got a comic sequence with the Militry.

A good documentary with high historical interest,but I would rather recommend TRIUMPH DES WILLENS.It is more shocking but it gives a better view of the nazi's. 7/10


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