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The Olympic Games Held at Chamonix in 1924 (1925)

A documentary covering the Olympic Games at Chamonix in 1924.


Jean de Rovera


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A documentary covering the Olympic Games at Chamonix in 1924.

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1920s | year 1925 | 20th century | See All (3) »


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Included in Criterion's mammoth 32-disc Blu-ray box-set "100 Years of Olympic Films 1912-2012", released in 2017. See more »

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An Olympics documentary that plays like an extended newsreel
27 May 2019 | by pscamp01See all my reviews

There are some Olympics documentaries made by world class directors that feel like artistic statements. The directors use their skill to heighten tension and to emphasize the spectacle of the event. This is not one of those movies.

To be fair, the idea of making a movie like that probably did not even enter the head of the director and he probably didn't have the resources to do it if it had. And from the looks of things, this probably was not the type of event to inspire such lofty ambitions. From the footage captured here, the event had a very low key atmosphere. There were not that many events, nor that many athletes competing. The spectators appear to be either locals or other people associated with the games. It would appear that there was not a lot of significance placed on the games (it was not even declared to be an Olympic event until the next year) and the approach of the movie reflects that. The cameras are placed at a distance, so that the hockey players, long distance jumpers and the marathoners all make rather small figures on the screen. Only the figure skaters get somewhat more intimate treatment, and that is by comparison. The only close ups are of athletes after their competitions are over. Also, the movie is haphazard with its information. The athletes shown on the screen are often not identified, and while the viewer is usually informed who won the events shown, no indication is given of who won the silver or bronze. Still, there is always some pleasure in seeing events from the past and this movie definitely has some, albeit limited, historical interest.

Side note: in my review of The White Stadium, the movie about the second Winter Olympics (and a great example of how to do an Olympics documentary right) I speculated that it had the first movie appearance of Norwegian skater and future Hollywood star, Sonja Henie. I think that honor may belong to this movie. There is a very young skater shown struggling with her routine. Given that Henie came in last in her competition in this Olympic, I suspect that this skater may have been her. But unfortunately, the movie neither reveals the skater's name nor nationality.

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Release Date:

5 December 2017 (USA) See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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