• “Downhill Racer” (1969). Robert Redford plays a top skier who lands a spot on the U.S. Olympic ski team under a coach played by Gene Hackman, but they are destined to clash since Redford’s arrogant, self-centered athlete doesn’t get along with anyone. Great ski footage and two terrific actors at their best but it’s hard to warm up to a film with a cold central character.
•“The Cutting Edge” (1992) is a by-the-numbers romantic comedy about disparate characters — a wounded hockey jock (D.B. Sweeney) and a snooty figure skater (Moira Kelly) — brought together as an unlikely and reluctant Olympic figure-skating team. The players are convincing enough to make it play.
• “Charlie Chan at the Olympics” (1937) has the indomitable detective (Warner Oland) at the 1936 Berlin Summer Games where No. 1 Son is on the U.S. swim team. Enjoyable entry in the mystery franchise, bolstered by real newsreel footage.
• “The Olympic Champ” (1942). OK, this isn’t a movie. It’s a seven-minute Disney cartoon with Goofy carrying the torch and then performing track-and-field events. Funny stuff — and you need to see a cartoon before the movie, right?
Unfortunately, my last favorite is not available on DVD, the off-the-wall W.C. Fields farce “Million Dollar Legs” (1932), about a crazy country entering the Olympics. Now that would be fun to see again.
And I’m sure there are more probably many more.
So many movies, so little time.
Hey, if badminton qualifies, maybe movie-watching could become an Olympic event.
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