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BOSTON PUBLIC RADIO
Fri August 3, 2012
Films of Olympic Proportions
What do the plight of the underdog, international tension and personal perseverance all have in common? Each is a theme that we see play out every four years when the Olympics come around. They're also themes that we see unfold on the silver screen — from "Chariots of Fire" to "Personal Best."
Film critic Garen Daly talks through the movies that really illustrate what is both great and tragic about the Olympic games.
Here's his take on a few classic Olympic films.
Daley: "When these tragedies happen in a place where you think you are safe. And you think we are going for the ideals of humanity. It becomes that much more of an exclamation point."
Daley: "The essence [of the film] is simply that here is someone who is not strong enough to be a good runner. But he does become a great runner."
Daley: "Kurt Russell gives a really good performance...this is classic American mythology. Classic American themes embodied in a hockey team. A bunch of ordinary kids slew David."
Jim Thorpe-All American
Daley: "Let's put this in perspective. This is 1951. There weren't very many biopics done on anybody that weren't appealing to anybody but 10 year old boys. This is an adult. And it talks about an adult theme."
Chariots of Fire
Daley: "We're talking about the end of the true amateur—someone who is doing it for god and for country—versus the professional amateur is doing it for reasons that are more understandable to the public."