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The Games (1970)

Four marathon runners (one from England, one from the U.S., a Czechoslovakian, and an Australian Aborigine) prepare to run in the Olympic games. The film follows each one and shows what their motivations are for running in the games.


Michael Winner


Hugh Atkinson (novel), Erich Segal (screenplay)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Crawford ... Harry Hayes
Ryan O'Neal ... Scott Reynolds
Charles Aznavour ... Pavel Vendek
Jeremy Kemp ... Jim Harcourt
Elaine Taylor ... Christine
Stanley Baker ... Bill Oliver
Athol Compton Athol Compton ... Sunny Pintubi
Rafer Johnson ... Commentator
Kent Smith ... Kaverley
Sam Elliott ... Richie Robinson
Mona Washbourne ... Mrs. Hayes
Reg Lye ... Gilmour
June Jago June Jago ... Mae Harcourt
Don Newsome Don Newsome ... Cal Wood
Hugh McDermott


This movie is about four marathon runners from different countries who are preparing for the Rome Olympics. The movie takes you through some of the runners personal training schedules before finally showing the marathon. Written by Jenny Evans <J.Evans@uts.edu.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The spectacle behind the spectacle.


Drama | Sport


G | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Athol Compton was an Australian Aboriginal postman who had never acted before being cast in the film. See more »


At once stage during a particularly twisty and narrow part of the race on Rome's streets, the pace vehicle is forced to go so slow that it forces leader Hayes almost to a standstill to avoid colliding with it. Such things occasionally do happen in real foot and cycle races on roads - but surely it was unplanned in the movie. See more »


Referenced in Vsechnopárty: Episode dated 14 April 2017 (2017) See more »


Flying High
by Francis Lai
See more »

User Reviews

Sam Elliott's film debut
18 August 2004 | by dinky-4See all my reviews

To some viewers, this movie is notable primarily for being the film debut of Sam Elliott. He gets 10th billing in the role of Ryan O'Neal's friend, Richie, who supplies him with pills intended to improve physical stamina. The pills, however, prove to be more harmful than beneficial.

Though Richie doesn't seem to be making any money off these pills, he still comes across as a "pusher" and thus qualifies as one of the few unsavory parts in Elliott's long career. Actually, Elliott's dark, almost saturnine looks lend themselves well to villainry and here those looks are effectively contrasted with Ryan O'Neal's fair-haired, blue-eyed, boy-next-door appearance.

Much of Elliott's early appeal, of course, was unabashedly sensual and here he's given a spa scene with O'Neal which has each of them stripped down to no more than a towel around the waist. Elliott's darkly-haired, almost furry chest speaks of "experience" whereas O'Neal's almost-hairless one reflects "innocence." Since O'Neal is the "star," however, care seems to have been taken not to allow Elliott to upstage him. The camera tends to linger on O'Neal's torso whereas Elliott's more masculine one is relegated to the background.

This situation changed when Elliott moved up to leading-man status. In 1971's "Molly and Lawless John" and 1972's "Frogs," the camera all but drooled over his bare-chest scenes and in 1976's "Lifeguard" Elliott set the "beefcake" standard for the 1970s by appearing in much of the movie wearing only a pair of swim trunks.

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Release Date:

30 July 1970 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

The Games See more »

Filming Locations:

Copenhagen, Denmark See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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