Best Official Summer Olympic Documentary?

by urbanemovies | created - 1 month ago | updated - 1 month ago | Public

Over the past 100 years, Olympic documentaries have gained a reputation as one of the more interesting sub genres in film. A distinction earned by being chroniclers of sports history, by telling compelling stories and by attracting master directors. These films aim to capture the soul of the games, while also considering them in a broader social and cultural context. Directors Leni Riefenstahl and Kon Ichikawa are just two examples of directors who have used their Olympic opportunity to push the boundaries of filmmaking. Source: Criterion - Olympics 100 Years of Olympic Films: 1912–2012

Which official documentary about the Summer Olympic Games is the best, so far?

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1. Days Of Truce (2016)

88 min | Documentary

Rio 2016 official film, "Days of Truce" is an original portrait of the Brazilian experience in hosting the Games and a powerful manifesto that explores how the Olympic values are relevant in our modern society.

Director: Breno Silveira

Official Rio 2016 Olympic documentary

2. First (2012)

Not Rated | 109 min | Documentary, Sport

The Official Film of the XXXth Olympic Games to be held in London, following the stories of twelve first-time Olympians from around the world.

Director: Caroline Rowland | Stars: John Orozco, Heena Sidhu, David Rudisha, Majlinda Kelmendi

Votes: 97

Official London 2012 Olympic documentary

3. The Everlasting Flame (2009)

Not Rated | 101 min | Documentary, Sport

A documentary covering the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

Director: Jun Gu | Star: Mark Griffiths

Votes: 65

Official Beijing 2008 Olympic documentary

4. Bud Greenspan's Athens 2004: Stories of Olympic Glory (2005 TV Movie)

TV-PG | 96 min | Documentary, Sport

Bud Greenspan presents this look at the 2004 Summer Games. Featured athletes include fencer Mariel Zagunis, track's Hicham El Guerrouj, softball's Lisa Fernandez, weightlifter Pyrros Dimas,... See full summary »

Director: Bud Greenspan | Star: Will Lyman

Votes: 36

Official Athens 2004 Olympic documentary

5. Sydney 2000: Stories of Olympic Glory (2001 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 117 min | Documentary, Sport

A documentary covering the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.

Directors: Andrew Squicciarini, Sydney Thayer, Bud Greenspan | Stars: Bob Costas, Stacy Dragilla, Tommy Emmanuel, Cathy Freeman

Votes: 55

Official Sydney 2000 Olympic documentary

6. Atlanta's Olympic Glory (1997 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 206 min | Documentary, Sport

A documentary covering the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

Director: Bud Greenspan | Stars: Gary Hall Jr., Michael Johnson, Jackie Joyner, Carl Lewis

Votes: 52

Official Atlanta 1996 Olympic documentary

Official Barcelona 1992 Olympic documentary

8. Marathon (1993)

Not Rated | 130 min | Documentary, Sport

A view of the Olympic Games at Barcelona, using the marathon race as the weaving thread.

Director: Carlos Saura | Stars: Larry Bird, Juan Carlos, Linford Christie, Janet Evans

Votes: 122

Official Barcelona 1992 Olympic documentary

Official Seoul 1988 Olympic documentary

10. Beyond All Barriers (1989)

Not Rated | 92 min | Documentary, Sport

A documentary covering the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1988 Summer Olympic Games in Seoul.

Director: Lee Ji-won

Votes: 36

Official Seoul opening and closing ceremonies Olympic documentary

11. Hand in Hand (1989)

Not Rated | 119 min | Documentary, Sport

A documentary covering the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul.

Director: Kwon-taek Im | Star: Kee-chung Sohn

Votes: 40

Official Seoul 1988 Olympic documentary

12. 16 Days of Glory (1985)

G | 284 min | Documentary, Sport

The definitive photographic record of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, told "from the inside" through the lives of the participants, the words of David Perry, and the singing voice of Placido... See full summary »

Director: Bud Greenspan | Stars: David Perry, Judi Brown Clarke, Sebastian Coe, Joaquim Cruz

Votes: 254 | Gross: $0.08M

Official Los Angeles 1984 Olympic documentary

13. O Sport, You Are Peace! (1981)

Not Rated | 149 min | Documentary, Sport

A documentary showing the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1980 Summer Olympics held in Moscow. The director was awarded the State Prize of the USSR in 1982.

Directors: Yuriy Ozerov, Fyodor Khitruk, Boris Rychkov

Votes: 79

Official Moscow 1980 Olympic documentary

14. Games of the XXI Olympiad (1977)

Not Rated | 118 min | Documentary, Sport

-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 »

Directors: Jean Beaudin, Marcel Carrière, Georges Dufaux, Jean-Claude Labrecque | Stars: Vasiliy Alekseev, Nadia Comaneci, João Carlos de Oliveira, Kornelia Ender

Votes: 250

Official Montreal 1976 Olympic documentary

15. Visions of Eight (1973)

G | 110 min | Documentary, Sport

Eight film artists from different countries are given carte blanche to make a collection of short documentaries on the 1972 Munich Summer Olympics, offering unexpected, original and often humorous perspectives.

Directors: Milos Forman, Kon Ichikawa, Claude Lelouch, Yuriy Ozerov, Arthur Penn, Michael Pfleghar, John Schlesinger, Mai Zetterling | Stars: Vasiliy Alekseev, Nikolay Avilov, Valery Borzov, Avery Brundage

Votes: 597 | Gross: $0.28M

Official Munich 1972 Olympic documentary

16. The Olympics in Mexico (1969)

G | 120 min | Documentary, Sport

Mexican former Olympic swimmer Alberto Isaac's record of Mexico 68 is a celebration not of national achievement, but of individual heroism. This thoughtful and comprehensive film bristles with offbeat moments and yields iconic images.

Director: Alberto Isaac | Stars: Enrique Lizalde, Roberto Morales

Votes: 105

Official Mexico 1968 Olympic documentary

17. Sensation of the Century (1966)

Not Rated | 156 min | Documentary, Sport

A documentary covering the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo. It consists primarily of footage edited from the documentary TOKYO OLYMPIAD, directed by Kon Ichikawa.

Directors: Nobumasa Kawamoto, Suketaru Taguchi | Stars: Hirohito, Empress Kojun, Yoshinori Sakai

Votes: 32

Official Tokyo 1964 Olympic documentary

18. Tokyo Olympiad (1965)

Not Rated | 170 min | Documentary, Sport

Kon Ichikawa examines the beauty and rich drama on display at the 1964 Summer Games in Tokyo, creating a record of observations that range from the expansive to the intimate.

Director: Kon Ichikawa | Stars: Abebe Bikila, Jack Douglas, Ahmed Issa, Yoshinori Sakai

Votes: 1,873

Official Tokyo 1964 Olympic documentary

19. The Grand Olympics (1961)

Not Rated | 147 min | Documentary, Sport

142 minutes of the film speak of events and athletes that have characterized the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome.

Director: Romolo Marcellini | Stars: Livio Berruti, Abebe Bikila, Ralph Boston, Al Cantello

Votes: 89

Official Rome 1960 Olympic documentary

20. Alain Mimoun (1959)

Not Rated | 24 min | Documentary, Short, Sport

A documentary about French marathon runner Alain Mimoun at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne.

Director: Louis Gueguen

Votes: 53

Official Melbourne 1956 Olympic Marathon documentary focused on marathoner, Alain Mimoun

21. The Melbourne Rendez-vous (1957)

Not Rated | 106 min | Documentary, Sport

The official filmed record of the 1956 Olympic Games in Australia.

Director: René Lucot | Stars: François Périer, Alain Mimoun, Jesse Owens, Prince Philip

Votes: 56

Official Melbourne 1956 Olympic documentary

22. Olympic Games: 1956 (1956)

Not Rated | 60 min | Documentary, Sport

A documentary covering the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne.

Director: Peter Whitchurch | Stars: Ron Clarke, Adhemar Ferreira da Silva, Robert Gordon Menzies, Alain Mimoun

Votes: 59

Official Combined Melourne-Stockholm 1956 Olympic documentary

23. The Horse in Focus (1956)

Not Rated | 16 min | Documentary, Short, Sport

A documentary covering the equestrian events of 1956 Olympic Games in Stockholm.

Votes: 60

Official Stockholm 1956 Olympic documentary

24. Memories of the Olympic Summer of 1952 (1954)

Not Rated | 50 min | Documentary, Sport

Documentary footage from the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki.

Director: Holger Harrivirta | Star: Matti Tamminen

Votes: 59

Official Helsinki 1952 Olympic documentary

25. Gold and Glory (1953)

Not Rated | 97 min | Documentary, Sport

Part two of the official film of XV Olympics in Helsinki 1952.

Director: Hannu Leminen | Stars: Paavo Nurmi, Reino Palmroth

Votes: 52

Official Helsinki 1952 Olympic documentary Part Two

26. Where the World Meets (1952)

Not Rated | 101 min | Documentary, Sport

Part one of the official film of XV Olympics in Helsinki 1952.

Director: Hannu Leminen | Stars: Carl-Erik Creutz, Reino Palmroth, Usko Santavuori, Trygve Lie

Votes: 59

Official Helsinki 1952 Olympic documentary Part One

27. XIVth Olympiad: The Glory of Sport (1948)

Not Rated | 138 min | Documentary, Sport

Documentary on the 1948 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XIV Olympiad. They were an international multi-sport event which was held in London, England, United Kingdom.

Director: Castleton Knight | Stars: Harold Abrahams, Robert Charpentier, Ted Husing, Glenn Morris

Votes: 121

Official London 1948 Olympic documentary

28. Olympia Part Two: Festival of Beauty (1938)

Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary, Sport

The document of the 1936 Olympics at Berlin, orchestrated as Nazi propaganda.

Director: Leni Riefenstahl | Stars: Sheigo Arai, Jack Beresford, Ralf Berzsenyi, Ferenc Csík

Votes: 3,899

Official Berlin 1936 Olympic documentary Part Two

29. Olympia Part One: Festival of the Nations (1938)

Not Rated | 111 min | Documentary, Sport

The document of the 1936 Olympics at Berlin.

Director: Leni Riefenstahl | Stars: David Albritton, Arvo Askola, Jack Beresford, Erwin Blask

Votes: 4,686

Official Berlin 1936 Olympic documentary Part One

30. The IX Olympiad in Amsterdam (1928)

Not Rated | 251 min | Documentary, Sport

A documentary on the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam.

Votes: 45

Official Amsterdam 1928 Olympic documentary

31. The Olympic Games, Amsterdam 1928 (1928)

Not Rated | 110 min | Documentary, Sport

A documentary on the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam.

Director: Wilhelm Prager

Votes: 52

Official Amsterdam 1928 Olympic documentary

32. The Olympic Games in Paris 1924 (1925)

Not Rated | 174 min | Documentary, Sport

A documentary on the 1924 Olympic Game in Paris.

Director: Jean de Rovera

Votes: 75

Official Paris 1924 Olympic documentary

33. The Olympic Games as They Were Practiced in Ancient Greece (1924)

Not Rated | 8 min | Documentary, Short, Sport

A documentary on the Olympic games of ancient Greece, made during the 1924 games.

Director: Jean de Rovera

Votes: 149

Official Paris 1924 historical Olympic origins documentary

34. The Games of the V Olympiad Stockholm, 1912 (2017)

Not Rated | 170 min | Documentary, Sport

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.

Director: Adrian Wood | Stars: Pierre de Coubertin, Bror Fock, Duke Kahanamoku, Fred Kelly

Votes: 148

Official Stockholm 1912 Olympic documentary



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