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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 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:

From the Jungle to the Gym...He's the Greatest! See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Amos replaced Godfrey Cambridge as Coach Sam Archer. Cambridge collapsed just after the start of filming and had to withdraw from the picture. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Gazenga: The Innocent Man will live, the Guilty one will die.
[Both the accused drink the potion in turn. The one on the left retches and dies. Then the other one retches and dies too]
Coach Sam Archer: I guess they were both guilty...
See more »

User Reviews

 
Funny, funny, funny!!!!!!
24 July 2001 | by ColemanDerrickSee all my reviews

This is one of the funniest film's of Disney's live action library. Taking another spin on the tale of Tarzan, The World's Greatest Athlete is the story of how college coach Sam Archer, tired of losing, tries to get away from it all by taking a trip to Africa. While there, he encounters Nanu, a superhuman by any standards measured!!! Seeing a gold mine and wins with Nanu as his athlete on campus, Coach Archer lures him to their university, where Nanu indeed excels in sports, but also feels homesick. Good jokes and tasteful humor make this a must-see. Jon Amos and Tim Conway are great as the bumbling coaches, and Jan-Michael Vincent shows that he could act wonderfully within a comedic setting. Also, this is one of the movies that displays Vincent's prowess, and makes people wonder what could have been. While younger viewers may not know of Vincent, or wonder why anyone cares about a "second rate actor", there was a time when many movie fans felt that Vincent could have been a major box office draw. While Nanu ultimately proves that he is a champion, Vincent will always make people ponder if he could have been a real Hollywood contender.


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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:

$22,583,370
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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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