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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
While Hitler snubbing Owens after his victory was a myth, the Nazis did protest. An article by minister Joseph Goebbels, published in Der Sturmer, the Nazi propaganda newspaper, called for banning "üntermenschen" (subhumans) from the Olympic games. He called Americans "cheaters" for using "subhuman species, more adapted to life in the jungle," to compete, putting "evolved humans" at a disadvantage. See more »
During the set-up scenes at Tempelhof airport, several Antonov 12 post-WWII Soviet four-engine cargo planes are in the background. See more »
Written by Richard A. Whiting (as Richard Whiting), Ray Egan (as Raymond B. Egan)
Arranged by Alexis Cole
Published by Chesky Productions, ASCAP
Courtesy of Manhattan Production Music and Chesky Records See more »
Review: I really enjoyed this Jesse Owens biopic, which shows how he won his many Gold medals at the 1936 Olympics, under heavy racial tension from the Germans but I was hoping to see more about the man himself, who was truly an amazing athlete. Jesse Owens is played by Stephan James, who leaves the streets of Cleveland Ohio, and goes Ohio State to pursue his dreams to become a track and field star, with his close friend Dave Albritton (Eli Goree). Meanwhile Larry Snyder (Jason Sudeikis) is having problems as the coach at Ohio State, because he hasn't had an national win since he has arrived, so his job is on the line and he isn't impressed with the daily candidates, who lead to nothing. After watching Owens train, and being very impressed with his times, he decides to take Owen under his wing and he shows him the ropes of becoming a star. Behind the scenes, Avery Brundage (Jeremy Irons) is fighting to allow Black and Jewish competitors at the Olympics but with the racist political views from Hitler and his assistants, it takes some time for Avery to convince the Germans that it would make a better games if they are allowed to compete. Anyway, once the games eventually get going, Jesse Owens smashes loads of records and wins numerous gold medals for his country. Its a truly great achievement for a black man, in that day and age, and the relationship between Owens and Snyder was quite emotional. I would have liked to have seen some more depth to the characters but apart from that, it's an entertaining movie which portrays a time in sports, which changed the game forever. Enjoyable!
Round-Up: Personally, I think that this movie needed a top director to bring the intense emotion across to the big screen but Jamaican born Stephen Hopkins done a decent job. His previous titles include A Nightmare on Elm Street 5, Predator 2, which wasn't close to the first movie, Judgement Night, Blown Away, The Ghost in the Darkness, Lost In Space, Tube Tales, Under Suspicion, The Life and Death of Peter Sellers and The Reaping in 2007, starring Hilary Swank. He has also worked on numerous TV series like, 24, House of Lies, Californication, Shameless and the Unusuals, so he has quite a decent portfolio to date. With so much information available about Jesse Owens achievements, this movie seemed a bit safe, but with that aside, it's great that he brought this amazing story to light. I would have liked to have seen a top actor play the main role, like Will Smith did with Ali but that's not to say that Stephan James didn't do a good job. Although this film made a decent profit, it would be good to see a BIG budget version of Jesse Owens life, because it's truly an inspiring story that a lot of people can learn from.
Budget: $5million Worldwide Gross: $25million
I recommend this movie to people who are into their biography/history/dramas, starring Stephan James, Jason Sudeikis, Eli Goree, Jeremy Irons, William Hurt, Carice van Houten, David Kross, Shanice Banton, Tim McInnerny and Glynn Turman. 5/10
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