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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.


Leni Riefenstahl
2 wins. See more awards »




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)


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>

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Documentary | Sport


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


After signing the contract to make the film in 1935, Riefenstahl was under pressure from Joseph Goebbels to deliver her work as quickly as possible so it could be exploited for propaganda purposes, so he tried to limit the amount of money and time she would have. Riefenstahl turned to Adolf Hitler for support, and he allowed her the opportunity to have several years to complete what would become a two part epic. See more »


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Olympische Hymnne
Richard Strauss
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User Reviews

Comment on gbheron Review
13 September 2004 | by aurevmuSee all my reviews

As you nicely pointed out the NFL footages that you watch today, and those of Olympia that were shot some 60+ years are the same. Which means that NFL is still using techniques that Leni Riefenstahl explored long time ago, which further means that she's 60+ years ahead of her time. When you denounce something you have to look at it from the historical context. This was groundbreaking at time, and every sport event coverage since borrowed from it. Leni Riefenstahl actually wanted to be catapulted with a camera to give an incredible feel of one of a kind sports event, but this could not be carried out. NFL ought to try some of this innovation that Leni considered long time ago, we're much more technologically advanced now...

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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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