Newly restored and assembled by the International Olympic Committee, The Games of the V Olympiad Stockholm, 1912 (Stockholm 1912) is the earliest comprehensive moving-image record of the modern Olympic Games that survives today.
-The Olympic Stadium in Montreal (Canada) stands during a snowstorm into the 1976-77 winter season. As we see it, it makes us remember that the Olympic Games were there several months ago. ... See full summary »
If you can put the offensive swastika-laden propagandistic elements aside, you will discover a masterful little film on the winter Olympics of 1936. From its ominous opening credit sequence involving beautiful tracking shots through snowy villages to its very creative rhythmic editing, this film has incredible impact. Most impressive is the quick cutting in the cross-country ski sequences which make several skiers appear to be one. Later on, there is equally impressive cross-cutting from airborne hawks to ski jumpers "flying" through the air. The film contains no dialogue, only occasional on-screen titles in German. The soundtrack is made up of triumphant orchestral music and the roar of on-looking spectators. During the bobsled competition the crowd can be heard to chant "U.S.A.!, U.S.A.! " While viewing this film, I got the impression that Olympic athletes from that era were more heroic than today's in that their equipment was more primitive and conditions more difficult and dangerous. This minor masterpiece of documentary cinema by Herbert Brieger and Carl Junghans stands alongside the best work by fellow German Leni Reifensthal of OLYMPIAD fame.
Note: Although made by the Nazi party's propaganda wing, this film was made with the help of major Hollywood studios as revealed in the opening credits.
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