Clear your mind’s Olympic slush with some movies
Associated Press Writer
If the Olympics have turned your mind to slush but you’re not ready to completely kill the buzz, look for these inspiring, funny and sometimes true movies:
CHARIOTS OF FIRE
You know the music. Have you seen the movie? It features Ben Cross and Ian Charleson as British runners in the 1924 Olympics. Based on a true story, Cross plays young scholar Harold Abrahams and Charleson uptight Presbyterian do-gooder Eric Liddell. Released in 1981, it cleaned up at the Oscars the following year with wins for best picture, score, screenplay and costume design.
MEN WITH BROOMS
Yes, curling is a film oeuvre. By that I mean there’s this 2002 comedy about four has-been curlers from Ontario who honor the last wish of their dead coach by reuniting for a chance to win the Golden Broom. It’s Canadian quirky, directed by Paul Gross. He also stars with Molly Parker. If you’re thinking it sounds Leslie Nielsen-esque, you’re right. He’s in it, too.
“How fast must a man go to get from where he’s at?” asks this 1969, high-action ski movie starring hunky Robert Redford as the edgy loner David Chappellet. He makes the U.S. Olympic team, seduces actress Camilla Sparv and clashes with the hard-ass coach (Gene Hackman). It’s the debut film of director Michael Ritchie (“The Candidate”). Why does he do it – ski brutally, faster, than anybody else? Responds Chappellet: To be a champion. Redford did much of his own skiing.
THE JESSE OWENS STORY
This made-for-TV biopic aired in 1984. It’s about the life of James Cleveland “Jesse” Owens, among the most gifted American athletes ever. The movie tells the story of how the black track star (played by Dorian Harewood) stunned the world and ticked off Adolf Hitler by winning four gold medals during Berlin’s 1936 Nazi showcase Olympics, poking a giant hole in the ‘ole Aryan superiority theory.
The Nazi Games may be a little, er, heavy for the moment, so why not pay homage to the Jamaican bobsled team that wasn’t this year with this 1993 fictionalized account of the original crew’s adventures on ice during the 1988 Olympics. With John Candy as bobsledding gold medalist living in Jamaica who’s persuaded to coach the good-time country’s first go at the sport.
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