Chris Hicks: Movies to help cool down your Olympic fever

Published: Thursday, Aug. 9 2012 3:00 p.m. MDT

• “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.

E-MAIL: hicks@desnews.com

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