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Olympia: The Leni Riefenstahl Archival Collection (1938)


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Product Details

  • Actors: David Albritton, Arvo Askola, Jack Beresford, Erwin Blask, Sulo Bärlund
  • Directors: Leni Riefenstahl
  • Writers: Leni Riefenstahl
  • Producers: Leni Riefenstahl
  • Format: Black & White, Collector's Edition, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Full length, Limited Edition, Special Edition, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: German, English, Spanish, Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: eOne Films
  • Release Date: Aug. 1 2006
  • Run Time: 204 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FQJA2S
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #18,104 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

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Most helpful customer reviews

By linda on Feb. 5 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Outstanding, so great to see the 1936 events, well done, we have seen it with our Granddaughter and she was impressed.
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By bernie TOP 100 REVIEWER on Oct. 30 2013
Format: DVD
Part I
The film opens up with a film tribute to the history of Greece and the games. We get to see the names of the nations at the time that the torch passes through as it reached Berlin. A much more realistic torch than today's is ran into the stadium with a few pauses to let everyone see just before the final dash to the Olympic torch at the stadium. It would be great to recapture this in the present day. Some of the tribute leads me to believe that our athletes are overly clothed for the sports.

Part II
By now watching Part I, "Festival of the nation" spoiled you. Again this film starts out with the ideal and surrounded by Leni's signature clouds. List is leading you to "field hockey, soccer bicycling, equestrian, aquatic and gymnastic events. Highlights are the Pentathlon and the Decathlon." Remember that some countries were still using horses in the military.

It may be unique reasons that brought you to this point such as Leni or photography, or interest in history, or, or, or. But once the action starts you feel that you are there and get lost in the "who will win what and how." Even being aware of the outcome does not prepare you to "not bite your nails" as you watch each athlete barley besting the next until it is over too soon. I noticed that instead of placing medals over the winners, they used laurel wreaths.
Any way you cut it, this movie is worth watching.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By bernie TOP 100 REVIEWER on Aug. 15 2010
Format: DVD
Part I
The film opens up with a film tribute to the history of Greece and the games. We get to see the names of the nations at the time that the torch passes through as it reached Berlin. A much more realistic torch than today's is ran into the stadium with a few pauses to let everyone see just before the final dash to the Olympic torch at the stadium. It would be great to recapture this in the present day. Some of the tribute leads me to believe that our athletes are overly clothed for the sports.

Part II
By now watching Part I, "Festival of the nation" spoiled you. Again this film starts out with the ideal and surrounded by Leni's signature clouds. List is leading you to "field hockey, soccer bicycling, equestrian, aquatic and gymnastic events. Highlights are the Pentathlon and the Decathlon." Remember that some countries were still using horses in the military.

It may be unique reasons that brought you to this point such as Leni or photography, or interest in history, or, or, or. But once the action starts you feel that you are there and get lost in the "who will win what and how." Even being aware of the outcome does not prepare you to "not bite your nails" as you watch each athlete barley besting the next until it is over too soon. I noticed that instead of placing medals over the winners, they used laurel wreaths.
Any way you cut it, this movie is worth watching.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 57 reviews
122 of 124 people found the following review helpful
The Wonderful (cinematography) Horrible (transfer) of Olympia July 2 2006
By D. C. Hociota - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Olympia is a piece of sport history coated in a magnificent art form. The superlatives aren't enough to describe this documentary; a veritable time machine traveling to an amazing and Orwellian future Valhalla called Nazi Germany.

1936 Olympiad was also well renown for the first to be broadcast on a form of television. This DVD sadly has an image quality comparable to what the citizens of Berlin saw on those twenty five large screens scattered along the City's main boulevards 70 years ago. Having seen some excerpts from "Olympia" in the documentary `The Wonderful Horrible life of Leni Riefenstahl" on DVD, I had great expectations concerning the image quality of this new release. What a disappointment! No one bothered to digitally remove the annoying scratches not mentioning the total absence of any timid tentative of restoration of a decent audio sound. Everything seems like a low resolution transfer from a cheap VHS . Let's hope that some day Criterion Collection will do this film the justice it deserves.
100 of 103 people found the following review helpful
Be Honest Dec 1 2006
By Baron von Munchhausen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
The original, as I viewed it on public television perhaps twenty years ago, was spectacular.

But the problems in this version are not just superficial and are not simply ones that some hyper-purist would notice. They include tiling, caused by extreme compression; scratches and blips galore; grey tonal quality converging on nil, and sometimes making it seem like one is looking through a duststorm; ridiculous cropping of the image, often even cutting off the heads of the subjects. The audio's flaky, too, especially noticeable in the sometimes lurching, but always tinny rendition of the orchestral scoring.

Weirdly, the package seems to have been conceived well, with nice features included. How is it possible, then, to have messed up the technical execution so badly?
124 of 132 people found the following review helpful
Classic Film / Horrible transfer July 6 2006
By Orson Swelles - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
I have been waiting for Criterion to release this for 4 years now. With the technology of restoration of older films vastly improving I must say this is the worst transfer that I have seen of an older film released in the last two years. Don't spend your money on this edition and hope that Criterion will release this in our lifetime!
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
No Subtitles! Good quality transfer. April 1 2009
By Golrab - Published on Amazon.com
I read the small print so I was aware that it was a DVD-R, but I wasn't prepared for it to be in German without subtitles. That being said, it is a better transfer than the edition put out in 2006 by Pathfinder.
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Optical quality? Dec 10 2006
By Anne Caldwell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
I have long owned a VHS copy of Olympia, and it wasn't visually bad, but of course I longed for the improvement a DVD version might bring. This release was a surprise - it seems to be not an optical transfer, but a DVD of the VHS version, horizontal analogue scan lines and all, and visually a disappointment. I realise that a total restoration is expensive and that the market for this kind of thing is relatively small, and I'll live with what I can get, but if Criterion ever releases a restored version, I'll be first in line. Until then, concentrate on the hypnotic, iconic content. As an avowed curmudgeon, I'm offended by yahoo patriots at international sporting events chanting USA!USA! from the bleachers. There they were, in 1936, chanting for Jesse Owens as he won four golds - then and there the patriot war cry seemed right.

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