6.2/10
397
19 user 6 critic

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.

Director:

Michael Winner

Writers:

Hugh Atkinson (novel), Erich Segal (screenplay)
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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

The spectacle behind the spectacle.

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

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)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Charles Aznavour was 46 when playing a world champion marathon runner. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

From Denver to L.A.
Music by Francis Lai
Lyrics by Hal Shaper
Performed by Elton John
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"The two hour marathon"!
4 February 2007 | by unreasonableboySee all my reviews

This movie has aged, of course it's going on for 40 years so that is understandable. Never the less it represents a time gone by, its politically incorrect, full of racially insensitive remarks and highlights the conflict with professionalism/amateurism, drugs and the political grandstanding that went on back in the 60's,70's and 80's in track and field. As an other reviewer says the Olympics was the ideal forum where sport was all about politics.

It's a movie really for track and field enthusiasts although it's interesting to see a very young Michael Crawford (who actually had top billing for this movie) and Ryan O'Neal in his love story glory (it had not been released) and a young Sam Elliot who you would never recognize today but sounds the same. If I hadn't known better I would have said his voice was dubbed, but no it actually was Elliot's voice which would become better known as his career progressed. Crawford never hit the big time in movies but would be better known in comedy and stage by the late 70's and 80's. O'Neal ironically became typecast in his love story role which he never really shook that off all but disappeared from the screen by 1980.

As for the political incorrectness, it starts almost at the beginning. Back in those days milk was the stable drink but nowadays because of the fear of heart disease and bad cholesterol gator aid or some ridiculously priced glucose based drink that is supposed to re-balance the fluids in the body would be the primary beverage, milk just won't cut it! In the second scene while at Yale University Reynolds gets into a "binge drinking" contest. Of course, that's really what it amounts to of but here it's innocently described as a 'Chug-a-lug' contest where the prize is a night with one of the (co-ed or sorority girl?) girl students. Both drinkers pass out and today Women's advocate groups and the college establishment would freak at this type of activity, you certainly can't make light of things like that today.

The aborigine Australian runner Sunny "who is used to the heat" and runs in bear foot learned to run because he chases kangaroos in the bush is also another politically incorrect stereotype that won't cut today either. Also portraying Harry Hayes coach Bill Oliver as a homosexual should not be overlooked. It was meant to be subtle but it didn't fool me at all, the aggression, the drooped moustache, the sexual tension with Hayes girlfriend as well as the jealous looks, it was just all too apparent.

It's obvious that a lot of the film was left on the cutting room floor, probably for time constraints, yet it is still allows for character development. In addition you can see at first hand the cultural differences and training methods each runner uses in the old days of "shamateurism ". I'd have to say that all of the athletes that were portrayed Harry Hayes, Vedick , Sunny Pintubi and Reynolds from the UK, Czechoslovakia, Australia and USA respectively were well cast and very believable as runners.

The climax of the movie is worth waiting for and the gut wrenching Jim Peters moment (Vancouver 1954) portrayed by Harry Hayes is a spectacle. Great commentary from both BBC broadcaster Ron Pickering and former US Olympian Rafer Johnson for NBC, it's well worth a watch for all of the above


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