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Ever since the Olympic games were captured on film there has been some debate as to what title stands above them all. It September 2000, Michael Sragow wrote an article entitled "The Olympics and the Movies" ranking his three favorite Olympic films of all time. Although I agree with his conclusions of who should be on the award stands I would change the second and third place winners. Here are the top Olympic films, with the titles linking to descriptions at this site where you can find ordering information, if available.

The Medalists:

Tokyo Olympiad The criterion collection DVD is absolutely superb with hours of footage, commentary, interviews, and outstanding Olympic performances from 1964.

Visions of Eight From eight different countries the eight directors came to capture events from Munich in 1972. This is a stunning presentation.

Olympia: Part One- Festival of the People and Olympia: Part Two- Festival of Beauty This influential film from 1936 Berlin was directed and edited by Leni Riefenstahl. This film's influences on documentary film making are wide reaching far beyond movies involving athletics.

Other Finalists:

The Olympiad Greatest Moments This 8 tape Bud Greenspan collection was years in the making and released in this collectors edition in 1996 by Dreamworks SKG Television. I routinely recommend this title for a vast collection of running footage.

Mexico 68 A rare title directed by Alberto Isaac with outstanding cinematography of 40 Olympic events.

16 Days of Glory and 16 Days of Glory Part II From the Los Angeles games of 1984, another Greenspan masterpiece with personal storytelling at it's heart.

Quest for the Gold: Sydney 2000 Olympic Highlights Deserving of this list simply because of the scope of 16 tapes showing individual sporting events, including Track & Field.

The Olympic Series: Golden Moments 1920-2002 In this Special Collector’s Edition 3 DVD set you will have access to six and a half hours of exciting Olympic footage.


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