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Currently on the Comcast lineup, this is a good one, made in 2016. Not award material, but worth your time. Stephan James plays Owens, Jason Sedeikis (yes, the comedian) plays his track coach at Ohio State, Larry Snyder -- and a cast of thousands (if you count the fans in the German stadium).
Jessie won his 4 golds in the face of the Nazis, but its the side stories that make this one interesting. The friendship on and off track between Owens and the German jumper Luz Long was featured, and it cost Long his life when he was killed in the front lines of the war. He was put there as punishment for helping and fraternizing with Owens. A well done piece of movie here.
Leni Riefenstahl was prominent, played beautifully (compared to written accounts of Leni) by Carice van Houten, filming the games and standing up to Joseph Goebbels -- a chilling figure in this film. Another well-played side story.
Jeremy Irons plays Avery Brundage as a man who was a very mixed bag for a US Olympic Commission president. He pulled 2 Jewish runners from the relay the day before the race because he was as intimidated by Goebbels -- hence Jessie's 4th medal; he replaced one of the runners. For all his prominence, Irons leaves him as a man not likeable.
Lots going on here; the friendship between Owens and Long was played up to emphasize that it was maintained between their families long after the war. Near the end of the film, Owens was to be honored at a dinner event in 1980, but wasn't allowed to walk through the front door with his coach. They made him come in the service entrance for his own award dinner!
Overall a good movie and a great story with details you might not have known. See this one.
Avery Brundage was antisemetic and disliked blacks. While he was a promoter of the "Olympic Movement" in the US, and around the world, he was more interested in promoting the superiority of white Christians against Jews and Communists. He later worked to prevent the exclusion of So Africa and Rhodesia against international pressure concerning Apartheid. He expressed admiration for Germany, and later in life married a German Princess. He emigrated to Germany in retirement.
Leni Reifenstahl never truly regretted her activities in promoting the propaganda images of a triumphant 3rd Reich. She said all the right things later, but never answered the question of whether or not she would have participated if she knew the truth. She maintained all along that she focused on her Art, and the Govt provided the patronage that was necessary to her. She claimed to be oblivious to everything else. History has been very kind to her, preferring to focus on her (considerable) artistic influence, rather than on her complicity in promoting a genocidal regime. I say this as someone who appreciates her unique artistic gifts, and can see her influence in contemporary photography.
Those events and times involved many characters with mixed moralities, alongside those with well defined ones. This film worked in bringing that out.
Was Owens allowed to travel to Berlin with the white athletes I wonder. Was he invited to the White House after the Olympics? I dont think its just the Nazies who did not like a black athlete.
But one of the end scripts stated that there was no White House invite.
Honors given later, some after his death in 1984.
An interesting dorm room conversation was portrayed between Owens and Long when they agreed that the situations in both countries were about equally screwed. This was in 1936; the war began in 1939.
You're right. America didn't like blacks or jews. There were many who were sympathetic to Hitler.
Yes, it's an entertaining film which also deals well with the obvious race issues in a believable way. I tend to always wonder if these issues are exaggerated or put too far into the forefront so as to lose their impact and weaken the rest of the story. This film walks that line quite well.
Is this a typo? I believe it was more like 1940 or 1950.
'Owens was to be honored at a dinner event in 1980'
Makes more sense. My hawkeyes may have mistaken it for a vision chart.
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