Olympics Movies to Binge-Watch

NOTE: Since the IOC has made a big stink about their images, hashtags and other media, I’m using my own fabulous artwork this week.

 

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I used to really look forward to the Olympics–I especially loved the “Up close and Personal” segments where we “met” various athletes. Now you have to be under a rock to avoid spoilers so the whole thing isn’t that fun anymore. Plus, the “big” sports are all played by zillionaire pros–no fun, either. I loved it when our college boys took on the pros the Soviet Union called “amateurs” in the ’70s and ’80s. Watching the college boys win the hockey gold in 1980 will always be a Great American Moment. But today that’s mostly gone. Pros play the big-draw sports in leagues all over the world now. So, today I thought I’d give you some “Up Close and Personal” movies to binge watch.

But first, Cary Grant.

Because….well…Cary Grant!! My favorite Olympics movie is….

Walk, Don’t Run …which was Grant’s last film.

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Watch on Amazon Instant

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Fun Fact: I once signed up to take a race walking class. Sadly, only one other person signed up so it was canceled. This was in the 1980s when the PanAmerican Games were in Indianapolis on the IUPUI campus where I was working at the time. Too bad. I could a been a contender! One foot must be on the ground at all times otherwise you are running and out of the race.

Here’s the 2016 Race Walking schedule according to Google’s Olympics page. Yes, the USA has a race walking team!

Men’s 20K final   August 12, 1:30 pm

Women’s 20K final  August 19, 1:30 pm

Men’s 50K final  August 18, 7:00 am

Photo is Cary Grant in Walk, Don’t Run (Columbia). This movie is family-friendly in my opinion!

Second, The Fabulous One

You just knew this one would show up, right? Snooty upperclass toffs are kind of my thing in movies and books, so of course Chariots of Fire has to be here! The movie that made Henley shirts a thing, that made missionaries cool and that gave us all that Vangelis music! What’s not to love?

chariots

Watch on Amazon Instant

At the Paris Summer Games of 1924, Scotland’s nice Presbyterian missionary kid Eric Liddell won’t bow to his stuck-up future King’s request that he set aside God’s command to keep the Sabbath Holy. Meanwhile, Harold Abrams tries to show the British Aristocracy that he is as acceptable as Ernest Cassel and the Rothschild family. John Gielgud oozes anti-semitism as freely as Liddell oozes earnest piety.

And, Princess Diana’s last lover, Dodi Fayed, gets a credit as a Executive Producer! How Hooray Henry can you get? The last lover of the Number One Sloane Ranger, may the press finally let them both rest in peace!

Breaking Away star, Dennis Christopher, plays American runner Charlie Paddock. According to the Internet Movie Data Base, both Kenneth Brannagh and Stephen Fry appear as college students.

This movie is family-friendly to me.

Third, The Young Man From Oregon

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Watch on Amazon Instant

University of Oregon’s great middle-distance runner Steve Prefontaine, “Pre” as he was know,  is a legend both for dying tragically and young and for his running. He was one of the big stories at the 1972 Munich Games. Today there is a the Prefontaine Classic–a national track meet held at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field annually in his honor. This movie tells his story.

This movie is not for young children and teens should watch with parents.

Fourth, the Tragedy

Munich

Watch on Amazon Instant

I was 10 when the Games were held in Munich. Terrorism, so prevalent today, had been raising its ugly head then too. Hijacking planes was starting. The Middle East was unsettled then as it is today. Few of us who watched the 1972 Games will ever forget the horrific hostage taking and death of 11 Israeli athletes–mostly wrestlers or wrestling coaches. One, David Berger (a weightlifter) was an American who had emigrated to Israel under the right of return. This movie, feature James Bond (Daniel Craig) deals with the Israeli response to the killings. Israeli Prime Minister,Golda Meir,  was not a woman to trifle with as the film shows.

This movie is not for young children and teens should watch with parents.

Family-friendly Olympics Movies

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This is a fun, family-friendly made-for-tv mini-series about the first modern Olympics. I’ve enjoyed it a few times over the years. M*A*S*H star David Ogden Stires (Major Charles Emerson Winchester) the fabulous Wilfred Hyde-White, Angela Lansbury and a very young David Caruso are among the cast.

Buy it on Amazon Sorry, but it isn’t on Amazon Instant.

 

 

Miracle

 

Re-live one of America’s greatest Olympic Moments–the 1980 Gold Medal in Hockey. Underdog All American College Boys beat the so-called amateurs of the Soviet Union. Popcorn is required. Hockey jerseys are optional, but fun.

Watch on Amazon Instant.

 

 

 

 

velvet

 

I’ll watch anything with Christopher Plummer! I liked this movie over-all. It’s an update of National Velvet with Velvet Brown’s niece riding in the Olympics. Didn’t they have to shoot a horse on the plane though? Maybe there was a miracle? Too long since I’ve seen it. In spite of this it is a good family film. Cuddle your stuffed horses, get out the American Girl Dressage Arena,  invite your Breyer horses or just make popcorn. It’s worth it [for Christopher Plummer alone, never mind the horses].

Watch on Amazon Instant

 

 

Do you have any other Olympics movies to share? Leave me a comment. I love to hear what readers think and enjoy having a post become a conversation on the topic.

 

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4 thoughts on “Olympics Movies to Binge-Watch

  1. sjbraun

    What the heck on the image? People/companies are weird. It’s true, you would think they would want the publicity … anyway, lol on your artwork 🙂
    I have not seen any of these movies! Although many of them sound good. I have to eventually see chariots of fire, and I enjoyed your story about the walking class, and race walking being in the olympics. Wow …

    Liked by 1 person

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