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 (email@example.com)
In the scene back in NYC after he and his fellow Olympians a have been honored with a ticker-tape parade on lower Broadway's "Canyon of Heroes," Jesse is denied entry to his own celebratory dinner through the front door at what, in reality, was the landmark Waldorf-Astoria Hotel at 301 Park Avenue. Instead of the unnamed Waldorf, the scene shows Jesse and friends in front of an imposing Italian Renaissance masterpiece with the address "360." Actually, this is the real facade of another landmark, just two blocks north of the Waldorf, across the street at 370 Park Ave--the very posh, exclusive Racquet and Tennis Club. And back in 1987, this club infamously refused to allow one of the world's top female tennis players, Evelyn David, to train there for a championship match, citing its men-only rules. See more »
At 6:53, the sign in the bus says "Colored sit at rear." Public transportation was segregated in 14 southern and border states, but not in Ohio. See more »
A sports movie that once again shows the triumph of the human spirit and how everyone is equal when the gun goes off.
"A man has to present an image to the world." Jesse Owens (James) is a college track star. His coach Larry Snyder (Sudeikis) pushes him to be the best he can be. Jesse pushes himself on and off the track to be the best person and athlete he can be. Everything is going as he wants, he becomes a record breaking collegiate champion with his Olympic dream in his sights. The only thing stopping him is his conscience. With Olympic gold in his grasp Jesse must decide if he is willing to compete in Germany, as an African-American, with Hitler watching. This movie is in my wheelhouse. Not only is this a sports movie but its a true story as well. I knew the basics of the Owens story, but this movie goes deeper into the pressure put on him from both sides of the Nazi debate. Even knowing how the movie will turn out the drama was gripping enough to keep me interested and wondering how he got to where he was at. Sudeikis actually does a really good job in a non comedic role and is almost the perfect choice for the coach. This is a movie I cannot say enough about. I highly recommend this, and the use of the n-word is limited so this is OK for family viewing as well. Overall, a sports movie that once again shows the triumph of the human spirit and how everyone is equal when the gun goes off. I give this an A-.
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