The First Olympics: Athens 1896 - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The First Olympics: Athens 1896 Reviews

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½ August 23, 2016
On the 90th anniversary of the Modern Olympics this mammoth mini series covers the construction & execution of the first Summer Olympic Games in Athens Greece in April 1896.

The incredible achievement of a French Man unifying many countries to compete for Olympic Glory which was quite a new concept.

The film is far to focused on the US Team but they did have the most trouble arriving to Athens due to mix up of dates. Acting is so so but the history is rich & entertaining I found it quite enthralling despite its 4 hour length.
½ June 25, 2012
Ever since the 1984 Olympic games I have been absolutely enamored with this sporting event. Coincidentally that was the same year that this miniseries was created. It served as a perfect way to get me excited about the games, and it still does the same to this day. It simultaneously acts as a propaganda piece for the US team, and an ad for the wholesome nature of Olympic competition. Sure it all may be a little exaggerated for the film, but they still manage to stir a lot of great feelings in the pit of my stomach.

The cast is actually quite excellent. While the script can occasionally slip into cheesiness, the actors deliver the lines with a style that makes it feel genuine. I'm also impressed by the simple cuts and filming styles which make it very convincing that these actors are actually competing in the athletic competitions shown. I couldn't even tell you which of the moments were the actual actors performing the athletic scene, and which were body doubles. Perhaps the most wasted talent was Angela Lansbury who, like most of the women in this film, had very few scenes in order to make an impression.

Like any film of this nature, I'm confident it is not very historically accurate. It was made primarily to entertain. I'm not sure how far down "teaching history" was on the priority list, but I imagine only in Hollywood could things be so ideal. However this doesn't bother me in the least. I watch this miniseries for the entertainment, and it definitely delivers on that front. It is even to the point where I find myself almost cheering for the athletes and tearing up because of their magical moments. Perhaps the only big problem in The First Olympics are those moments when it delves too deep into side stories in the athletes' lives. Similar to modern day Olympic coverage I find myself saying "Just get back to the action." Then it does and I'm enjoying it all again. Just a fun little miniseries that I'm glad I was hooked on 27 years ago.
jjnxn
Super Reviewer
½ April 12, 2010
Some interesting facts are contained in this TV version of the formulation of the staging of the first modern Olympics. A little over earnest but if you like the games than this should be a enjoyable companion piece.
November 1, 2008
I love this movie, and I don't even like sports...this says a lot.
August 6, 2008
This movie originally showed as a TV miniseries in 1984. Because it is a period piece, it holds up well. I hope they've updated the graphics on the DVD from the original TV graphics. I believe that we all should watch to gain an appreciation for this part of our history. ALSO the history of our national anthem is intertwined with this story and provides a little comic relief. This movie gets my blood pumping.
July 31, 2008
Great movie, a must see especially with the 2008 Olympics nearing. Might be a bit hard to find since it was made so long ago, but I'd check your library for a VHS copy. 4 hours long, but great story and drive.
July 24, 2008
really good
must see
July 20, 2008
i want to see it so bad
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