HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Games, The Making A Marathon Of It
Year: 1970
Director: Michael Winner
Stars: Michael Crawford, Ryan O'Neal, Charles Aznavour, Jeremy Kemp, Elaine Taylor, Stanley Baker, Athol Compton, Rafer Johnson, Kent Smith, Sam Elliott, Mona Washbourne, Reg Lye, June Jago, Don Newsome, Stephanie Beacham, Colin Jeavons, Leigh Taylor-Young
Genre: Drama, ActionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Harry Hayes (Michael Crawford) is a milkman who one morning is delivering his rounds when he catches sight of a runner in training, so for a laugh he runs after and past him, putting his efforts to shame. As the man gets his breath back, he suggests Harry should do something with his talent for speeding about, and before he knows it the young chap has joined an athletics meet, demonstrating that he is the fastest sprinter there. He is told to speak to a professional coach in the shape of Bill Oliver (Stanley Baker), who does him the courtesy of throwing away his specially bought stopwatch; Bill sees something in Harry if he could buck up his ideas. How does an Olympic marathon sound?

The Games was not created to cash in on any particular Olympics - once the characters reach it, it's in Rome whereas the previous Games had been held in Mexico City (the one with the Black Power salute) and the following ones would be held in Munich (the one with the terrorist attack). What this was actually based on was a bestselling novel by Hugh Atkinson who seemed to have drawn from the 1960 Olympics in, yes, Rome for his plot, which is more obvious when you know who won the marathon event that year, but in case you don't, there are a selection of four men who you can choose to support that the movie cuts between, eventually bringing them together for the race at the end.

Along with Crawford, there were Ryan O'Neal as student Scott Reynolds, introduced to us downing ten pints of beer in a drinking competition (maybe he should have taken up darts?), Athol Compton as Sunny Pintubi, an Aborigine who is encouraged to run in Australia by his mentor Jeremy Kemp, a man who treats him more like a pet dog than a human being, and Charles Aznavour as the Czech world record holder Pavel Vendek who at forty-one years of age is probably past it but is just too talented not to give it another try. Early on Harry breaks Pavel's record meaning the authorities behind the Iron Curtain encourage (i.e. order) him to try and take it back, although Pavel admits in private he hates running no matter how good he is at it, offering him a little depth.

Unfortunately a little depth is all you're able to get with this quartet since in the space of about ninety minutes there was only so much director Michael Winner could do with them as to fleshing out their personalities, so they tended towards light caricature instead: stoic Eastern European, cheery and polite Aborigine, brash and go-getting American and a slightly gormless but plucky Brit. As far as keeping this engaging went, Winner did a fair job, not dwelling on any one plotline to make it appear more varied than it was when it was more or less the same story told four times with variations, but with Erich Segal penning the script, he of Love Story fame (the blockbusting movie of which had starred O'Neal the same year), didn't veer too far away from soap opera.

Granted it was soap opera on a notable scale, as Winner took his cast and crew to various corners of the globe, location shooting for that extra authenticity, even in the Australian Outback. In fact, with the theme of Sunny overcoming a mindset ranging from patronising to outright racist (he has a segregated changing room) by far the most captivating, you almost wish the production had been about him rather than flitting from one athlete to the other. If you hoped for a spot of the trademark Winner bad taste, this was arriving at the end of a bright nineteen-sixties for him and though his harder edged seventies were dawning, the most you would get was to hear Baker spit out "You filthy bitch!" to Elaine Taylor who was playing Crawford's girlfriend and had bedded him before a big race, which is a no-no in Bill's training regime. To his credit, Winner aimed for accuracy throughout, even to the extent of casting actual sports reporters such as Ron Pickering, thereby making viewers of a certain age wonder what his We Are the Champions movie would be like. Music by Francis Lai.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3308 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Michael Winner  (1935 - 2013)

Opinionated British producer-director whose early comedies - You Must Be Joking, The Jokers, I'll Never Forget Whatsisname - were promising enough, but come the seventies he had settled into a pattern of overblown thrillers.

Of these, Death Wish was a huge hit, and Winner directed two similar sequels. Other films included horrors (The Nightcomers, The Sentinel), Westerns (Lawman, Chato's Land), thrillers (Scorpio, Dirty Weekend) and disastrous comedies (Bullseye!). Also a restaurant critic.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: