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The World's Greatest Athlete (1973)

A down on his luck coach travels to Africa where he spots the world's greatest athlete - a white Tarzan-type. The coach brings him back to the U.S. of A. to compete.

Director:

Robert Scheerer
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tim Conway ... Milo Jackson
Jan-Michael Vincent ... Nanu
John Amos ... Coach Sam Archer
Roscoe Lee Browne ... Gazenga
Dayle Haddon ... Jane
Billy De Wolfe ... Dean Maxwell
Nancy Walker ... Mrs. Petersen
Danny Goldman ... Leopold Maxwell
Don Pedro Colley ... Morumba
Vito Scotti ... Games Spectator
Liam Dunn ... Dr. Winslow
Ivor Francis ... Dean Bellamy
Leon Askin ... Dr. Gottlieb
Howard Cosell ... Announcer
Frank Gifford ... Announcer
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Storyline

Sam Archer is the beleaguered head coach of Merrivale College's many hapless sports teams and individual sports athletes, their poor performance placing his job on the line. Taking a break in Zambia with his assistant Milo Jackson to get in touch with his African roots, Sam believes he sees the answer to all his professional problems in the form of Nanu, arguably the fastest, strongest, and most agile person who he has ever come across, Nanu who also has pinpoint accuracy in his aim. After the death of his missionary parents, Nanu was raised as a jungle boy by Gazenga, an African witch doctor. As Nanu is reluctant to leave his African home, Sam and Milo have to manipulate a way for Nanu to want to attend Merrivale. Gazenga may have his own thoughts of what he wants for his son. Eventually, Nanu does go to Merrivale with Sam and Milo, with the one condition that he bring his best friend, Harri, who he's known since he was a child. Beyond adjusting to western life, Nanu finds that his ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He's a winner...he's a swinger...he's DYNAMITE! See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The cheetah can accelerate to 75 mph. See more »

Goofs

Bengal tiger's are from India not Africa. See more »

Quotes

Announcer: I've never seen anything like this in my entire illustrious career!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in NCIS: Jack-Knife (2010) See more »

User Reviews

 
The World's Greatest Athlete was an amusing enough Disney comedy from the '70s
2 June 2010 | by tavmSee all my reviews

After a few decades of knowing about this '70s Disney comedy, I finally took my borrowed DVD and watched The World's Greatest Athlete. In this one, Coach John Amos and his assistant Tim Conway have been on the losing end of various sports endeavors for so long that dean Billy De Wolfe (in a too-brief role)-who's accompanied by his son Danny Goldman-remind them of just one more year on their contract. Amos tears it up and goes to Africa with Conway to get away from it all. There they find Jan-Michael Vincent who outruns a tiger. The only way they can get him, though, is if he saves one of them...I'll stop there and just say that this is one of those silly family comedies that was the House of Mickey's bread-and-butter during the decade that the other major studios were making big box office and winning Oscars with more mature fare. With the Tarzan-inspired story and many well-established special effects, there are quite a few chuckles here-and even a big laugh concerning a wheelchair-bound old man who can "suddenly" walk-that I admit to doing while watching. And it's fun seeing Conway either putting his head where it sometimes doesn't belong or getting moved by a voodoo doll once owned by a witch doctor played by Roscoe Lee Browne. But the stuff involving Nancy Walker as a near-sighted landlady and Goldman as the dean's interloping son I could do without. And stunning Dayle Haddon as Vincent's girlfriend (called Jane, of course) is just window dressing. Still, this is harmless fare that should provide enough enjoyable distraction for 90 minutes especially as you watch such real-life announcers like Frank Gifford and Howard Cosell join in on the fun. P.S. I just found out, via the IMDb site, that Mr. Goldman was the voice of Brainy Smurf on the "Smurfs" TV cartoon show.


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Details

Official Sites:

Disney's Official Site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 February 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The World's Greatest Athlete See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$125,000
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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