Ichikawa's cameras follow the 1964 Summer Olympics from opening to closing ceremonies. Sometimes he focuses on spectators, as athletes pass in a blur; sometimes he isolates a competitor; other times, it's a closeup of muscles as a hammer is thrown or a barbell lifted; or, we watch a race from start to finish. We see come-from-behind wins in the women's 800 and the men's 10,000 meters. We follow an athlete from Chad from arrival to meals, training, competition, and loss. Throughout, the film celebrates the nobility of athletes pushing themselves to the limit, regardless of victory.
In Blazing Color and CinemaScope
Did You Know?
There was a gender controversy-- or at least speculation-- concerning the Press sisters (Tamara and Irina) of the USSR featured in the first half of the film. Tamara competed in the shot put & discus and Irina in the shot put, 80 meter hurdles, & pentathlon at the 1964 Games. When gender testing became mandatory in international competitions in 1966, the Press siblings retired. See more