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The First Olympics Athens 1896 (1984)

David Ogden Stiers , Alibe Parsons  |  NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: David Ogden Stiers, Alibe Parsons, Keith Edwards, Dave King, Rolf Saxon
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: August 5, 2008
  • Run Time: 237 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001A4YNPI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,966 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The First Olympics Athens 1896" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

The inspiring story of a rag-tag team of amateur American athletes that stunned the sports world comes to life in this dramatization of the first modern Olympic games revived in 1896. Veteran Actor Louis Jourdan stars as Baron Pierre du Coubertin, a relentless visionary who sets out to renew the ancient Olympic games after 1500 years. Dr. William Sloane (David Ogden Stiers) is the Princeton professor who pulls together the first American team with 13 unlikely boys and a meager supply of sports equipment. Competing in events that had never been seen in the United States before the Americans went on to Athens and secured the winner's post despite almost insurmountable odds.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The First Olympics - First Rate February 13, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
This is a magnificent and wonderful movie about the Olympic Games of 1896 in Athens... the first Olympics in 2000 years. The characters are generally well cast, the dialogue is fitting, and the relations between characters is well developed. I don't know if all the scenes are historically accurate, but I know that a great deal of it is... especially the names of the athletes, the results of the events and the Olympic Stadium in Greece. Although centered around the American team and its athletes, there is considerable attention paid to the lives of athletes from other countries, most notably Greece and Australia. Unfortunately a couple of the athletes portrayed could have been played by actors who were more appropriate for the events they were in, and you'll pick them out right away.
This is a FAMILY MOVIE, no sex, no vulgar language, nothing that shouldn't be seen by anyone in your family. It is a true classic in my mind, and one which I enjoy watching on a regular basis. Now, if it would only come out on DVD I'd buy it in an instant. There's so much garbage out there on DVD, why can't this and other classics be brought out on DVD?
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
"The First Olympics - Athens 1896" tells a story that is a far cry from the spectacle the world witnessed tonight in Salt Lake City. In an effort to promote peace, the Baron Pierre de Courbertin (Louis Jordan) wants to revive the Olympic movement. Athletes from around the world will gather in Athens in 1896 and the Baron thinks it is important that the United States field a team. David Ogden Stiers plays William Sloane, a professor of classic studies who agrees to put together the American team. If the stories told in this charming slice of history are not true, please do not tell me. For me the focal character is young Robert Garrett (Hunt Block), who kisses his mother (Angela Landsbury) goodbye and goes off to compete for honor and glory. But neither Robert or the good professor know anything about the sports in the Olympics beyond what they can learn from reading Homer and looking at pictures of Greek urns while the maid has to show the boys how to run the high hurdles. This results in an awkward moment at a fundraiser where the team concludes they are suppose to compete in the nude like the ancient Greeks. The American team receives no governmental support and the Ivy League schools are against in; their uniforms are white with stripes representing their college colors. The first part ends with the Professor left behind as the team sails off to Europe, at which point he learns that the Greeks follow a different calendar and the team will not get there until the final day of competition. That means the second part starts with a mad dash across the continent to arrive in Athens in time. Read more ›
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Family Favorite August 19, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
This movie (originally shown as a mini-series in 1984) combines humor, athleticism, history, drama and patriotism into a delightful 4 hours! Children and adults will enjoy it equally. Though it takes a decidedly American bent, the movie is originally based in fact. The names and countries of origin of the winners are true. It is unclear how much else is true, but it doesn't matter! The length allows for more character and plot development than the average feature film so that by the end, the viewer feels connected to the characters. As children, my sisters and I watched it over and over. As adults, we continue to enjoy it!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The First Olympics October 23, 2002
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
The movie The First Olympics is not just an educational movie it also demands your attention for the full 4 hours and 40 minutes. In fact at demands my attention as well as my siblings that everytime we visit our grandparents house in Utah we have to watch it, even if it means staying up until early in the morning. It shows how the first olympics of modern days actually was and what American athletes, as well as other athletes went through, both on their way there and at the Olympics. I would definetely suggest this movie to anyone!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First Olympics is Great! December 17, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
This movies mixes history, sports, humor and drama in a wonderful mix suitable for any age. In an age without moving pictures, the first American Olympic team trys to figure out from history books the events and sports equipment used by the Greeks in the ancient games with some surprising results, innovative techniques, and humorous interpretations! Athletes from other countries are also featured. Great family film!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This movie depicts how the current Olympics were renewed. It encompasses the trials and tribulations of getting atheletes from various natons, how they were trained and how they faired at the 1896 Olympics. Told with humor and suspense this is a "must have" for anyone who enjoys the Olympics. Filmed in part in Athens, the the beauty of the sites and the marvelous sound track only enhance this film. Parts will have you cheering, smiling, blushing and crying. It always brings me goosebumps whenever I see this film. Enjoy!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Olympic Romance February 18, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Romance might not be the first thing one thinks of when one sees a movie about athletics, but the story of Greece's Spiridon Louis provides a touching tale of love. He is devoted to his beloved Eleni and wants to do anything for her. She worries about the long separation and says if he did not wait for her, she'd understand. Then came one of the most touching lines of the movie, "I would run twice as far for my Eleni." Great family story!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and funny!
This is one of my favorite movies; the story of the first modern Olympics. I love the characters and their ingenuity. It is quite long, but it is worth the time. Read more
Published 20 days ago by J. Schmidt
5.0 out of 5 stars Great family movie
It is a good family movie based on the true story of the 1896 Olympics held in Greece. The story line followed characters from several countries. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Gina M. Knarr
5.0 out of 5 stars feel good.
Historically based but of course dramatized. Uplifting, feel good.
Published 1 month ago by Anne M. Stone
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
Great movie for the family, especially if you like sports or history. It's amazing how unprepared we were but beat everyone.
Published 2 months ago by Denise T. Hendrix
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
I watched this mini-series many years ago and have been looking for it on DVD. Now that I have it I am remembering how much I enjoyed it.
Published 2 months ago by Scaromuch
4.0 out of 5 stars Intertaning history!
Saw this when it first came on TV and wondered why it was never rebroadcast. I found it informative and funny. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Will Talk
5.0 out of 5 stars A must family to see.
We all loved it. Great story and good actors.It was refreshing to watch a movie without bad language or nudity.
Published 4 months ago by MARIO C. ALMANZA
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, we get to feel like eye witnesses!
This film is one of rare writing, directing, producing, acting and (true) story. The facts are here and presented in a beautiful way. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Joe David Solis
5.0 out of 5 stars The First Olympics Athens 1896
Great movie! I have seen it many times in the past and finally found the DVD. Had to have it.
Published 6 months ago by Emily Shemanski
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring Movie
This movie, while not completely accurate historically, is a great insightful sports movie with something for everybody. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Janice L. Marshall
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