Olympic Films [Edit]

Numerous Olympic Films and movies have been produced. The Organizing Committee of each Olympic Games now produces its own official Olympic Film celebrating in motion pictures “its” Olympics. This began in 1932, but is usually considered to have started with the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin when German film producer Leni Riefenstahl, at the behest of Adolf Hitler, produced the most famous and haunting of all Olympic Films, Olympia. Prior to that, the filmed record of the Olympics came from cinema newsreels. Other well-known official Olympic Films have been Tokyo Olympiad, celebrating the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, and Visions of Eight, celebrating the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.

In addition to official Olympic Films, many independent producers produce Olympic movies\: The American television network which televises the Olympics now usually produces a cinematic summary of the Olympics and their coverage is often available to be bought and viewed on video-cassette recorders or DVDs. The most famous, and controversial, official Olympic film has been that of the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Although widely considered to be a tour-de-force in terms of its artistry, Riefenstahl has been castigated because of her close association with Hitler, and the film is sometimes considered to be a propaganda film produced to glorify the Third Reich, similar to one of her earlier works on the Nuremburg Rallies – Triumph of the Will.

The best known privately produced, non-documentary film on the Olympics was the film, Chariots of Fire (procuded by David Puttnam, and directed by Hugh Hudson), which focused on the 1924 Olympic Games and two British runners, Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams. Chariots of Fire won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1981.

The most prominent producer of Olympic Films has been the American Bud Greenspan, who was initially assisted by his late wife, Cappy Greenspan, via their film company, Cappy Productions. Greenspan has produced a remarkable series of Olympic movies termed “The Olympiad Series”. In addition, he has been the producer of the numerous official Olympic Films.

The following are the Official Olympic Films: