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Jesse Owens' quest to become the greatest track and field athlete in history thrusts him onto the world stage of the 1936 Olympics, where he faces off against Adolf Hitler's vision of Aryan supremacy.


Stephen Hopkins
6 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Stephan James ... Jesse Owens
Jason Sudeikis ... Larry Snyder
Eli Goree ... Dave Albritton
Shanice Banton ... Ruth Solomon
Carice van Houten ... Leni Riefenstahl
Jeremy Irons ... Avery Brundage
William Hurt ... Jeremiah Mahoney
David Kross ... Carl 'Luz' Long
Jonathan Higgins ... Dean Cromwell
Tony Curran ... Lawson Robertson
Amanda Crew ... Peggy
Barnaby Metschurat ... Joseph Goebbels
Chantel Riley ... Quincella
Vlasta Vrana ... St-John
Shamier Anderson ... Eulace Peacock


In the 1930s, Jesse Owens is a young man who is the first in his family to go to college. Going to Ohio State to train under its track and field coach, Larry Snyder, the young African American athlete quickly impresses with his tremendous potential that suggests Olympic material. However, as Owens struggles both with the obligations of his life and the virulent racism against him, the question of whether America would compete at all at the 1936 Olympics in Nazi Germany is being debated vigorously. When the American envoy finds a compromise persuasive with the Third Reich to avert a boycott, Owens has his own moral struggle about going. Upon resolving that issue, Owens and his coach travel to Berlin to participate in a competition that would mark Owens as the greatest of America's Olympians even as the German film director, Leni Riefenstahl, locks horns with her country's Propaganda Minister, Josef Goebbels, to film the politically embarrassing fact for posterity. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The incredible true story of gold medal legend, Jesse Owens.


Biography | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »


Canada | Germany | France


English | German

Release Date:

19 February 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

10 secondes de liberté See more »


Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,353,922, 21 February 2016, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$19,097,994, 17 April 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


When the track team is listening to the Joe Louis match on the radio, one man drinks Erin Brew. It was a beer brewed by the Standard Brewing Company, a Cleveland brewery that existed from 1904 to 1961. See more »


When Luz takes his second jump in the long/broad jump event at the Games, his right foot can clearly be seen exceeding the white jump strip which should therefore have rendered the jump illegal. See more »


Jesse Owens: In those ten second, there's no black or white, only fast or slow.
See more »


Let the Games Begin
Written & Performed by Aloe Blacc
Aloe Blacc appears courtesy of XIX Recordings / Interscope Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Poor research?
22 May 2016 | by DrZom-77-388656See all my reviews

I think the script writers were confused. Either they don't know the difference between Cleveland, Ohio and Cleveland, Mississippi, or they don't care, which would be even worse.

There was no discrimination in public accommodations in Cleveland, Ohio in the 1930s. African Americans did not have to sit in the back of the bus. When the script called for Jessie Owens to sit in the back of a bus in Cleveland, Ohio, it was in complete disregard for the truth. I checked with my mother, who went to the same high school with Jessie Owens. She went everywhere on the bus or the street car. Everyone did. And they all sat together, black and white.

Another problem with the script was the blatant racism in the locker room at Ohio State University. The Buckeye football team was already integrated by the time Jessie Owens arrived. William "Big Bill" Bell was an All American for the Buckeyes, and played from 1929 to 1931. I guess there could have been some racists who gave Jessie Owens some grief in the locker room, but it certainly would not have been so institutionalized as depicted in the film.

As much as those blatant misportrayals bother me, the thing that bothered me most was when Jessie was agonizing over whether to go to Berlin, his wife told him that he was never much good at thinking, so he should not do it. How much more racially condescending could the script writer be?

What a shame that this movie that could have been a rich source for teaching a moral lesson instead was turned into a source of misinformation and condescension.

The movie had some good moments, so I give it 4 out of 10 stars. Do not accept it as a reflection of reality, as it is not.

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