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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
Reviews
2 wins. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

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

Trivia

Leni Riefenstahl first contacted the biggest German film studio, Ufa, in order for them to finance the film. Friedrich A. Mainz, the studio head refused because of cost, so she contacted Tobis-Filmkunst who agreed to finance the film and put up ½ million Reichmarks upfront (three times the cost of a standard film at the time). The contract was only signed in December 1936, four months after the end of the Olympic Games. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Pretend It's a City: Department of Sports & Health (2021) See more »

Soundtracks

Olympische Hymnne
Richard Strauss
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User Reviews

 
Highly original for its time, great use of camerawork
3 December 2003 | by chrisburinSee all my reviews

This is a brilliant sports documentary - the experimentation with camera angles was revolutionary at the time and the pole vault sequence at night is one of my favourite sequences in a film ever. The athletes are portrayed as superhuman, so in this sense the film is elitist and Nietzschean, but this is certainly not a racist film, politics does not play an explicit role, although one could argue that the deification of athletes (they are shown in close-up, alone, to contrast with the watching masses) promotes the idea that some men are greater than others. A fascinating film, and a definite progression from the standard documentary format of Das Triumph des Willens.


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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
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