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100 Years of Olympic Films, 07: St. Moritz 1948/London 1948
SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.33:1 Standard
  • English PCM Mono
  • French PCM Mono
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • None

100 Years of Olympic Films, 07: St. Moritz 1948/London 1948

Blu-ray
Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: André Michel, Castleton Knight
2017 | 229 Minutes | Licensor: International Olympic Committee and the U.S. Olympic Committee

Release Information
Blu-ray | MSRP: $399.95 | Series: The Criterion Collection
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Release Date: December 5, 2017
Review Date: December 18, 2017

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SYNOPSIS

Spanning fifty-three movies and forty-one editions of the Olympic Games, 100 Years of Olympic Films: 1912Ė2012 is the culmination of a monumental, award-winning archival project encompassing dozens of new restorations by the International Olympic Committee. The documentaries collected here cast a cinematic eye on some of the most iconic moments in the history of modern sports, spotlighting athletes who embody the Olympic motto of ďFaster, Higher, StrongerĒ: Jesse Owens shattering world records on the track in 1936 Berlin, Jean-Claude Killy dominating the Grenoble slopes in 1968, Joan Benoit breaking away to win the Gamesí first womenís marathon in Los Angeles in 1984. In addition to the impressive ten-feature contribution of Bud Greenspan, this stirring collective chronicle of triumph and defeat includes such documentary landmarks as Leni Riefenstahlís Olympia and Kon Ichikawaís Tokyo Olympiad, along with captivating lesser-known works by major directors like Claude Lelouch, Carlos Saura, and Miloö Forman. It also offers a fascinating glimpse of the development of film itself, and of the technological progress that has brought viewers ever closer to the action. Traversing continents and decades, reflecting the social, cultural, and political changes that have shaped our recent history, this remarkable movie marathon showcases a hundred years of human endeavor.


PICTURE

Continuing on through Criterionís box set 100 Years of Olympic Films the seventh disc contains two films covering the first set of Olympic Games after WWII: Andrť Michelís Fight Without Hate, covering the Winter Games, and Castleton Knightís XIVth Olympiad: The Glory of Sport, covering both the Winter and Summer Games. There are no specific notes on the restorations for either film but they have either been done in 2K or 4K resolution.

The Glory of Sport marks the first colour film in the set and itís yet another big surprise. Iím not sure what materials were used for the restoration, whether the 3-strip negatives or a print a generation or two out were used, but the end results are striking regardless. The colours look wonderful, vibrant and keeping that Technicolor look. The snow during the first portion of the film (covering the Winter Games) looks really spectacular, balanced well as to not kill detail, all tracks and drifts and the like clearly visible. The rest of the film, covering the Summer Games, doesnít have the same bright look thanks to the browns and greens of the track field, but again the colours look beautiful and are saturated well, while still keeping a Technicolor look. Itís also worth noting I didnít detect any issues with colour separation or bleeding at any point during the film. In all itís a striking Technicolor restoration.

Fight Without Hate is a black and white film but no less impressive. Contrast looks lovely, the image delivering distinct tonal shifts in the grays, strong blacks and whites, and excellent shadow detail. Textures look nice throughout, the fine details of the various sweaters and fur coats that appear popping off of the screen, and the scratches in the ice from the figure skaters are clearly visible.

Both films have also been restored extensively, damage rarely an issue during either film. Though there are a few shots that can be a little out of focus detail levels are otherwise superb. Grain is present and rendered naturally, though maybe looking a bit more impressive in Fight Without Hate, and digital artifacts are not a problem. Theyíre both, in the end, very film-like.

For whatever reason I wasnít expecting much from either of these films but again this set just continues to surprise me. Itís easy to tell an overwhelming amount of work has been put into them and it has paid off extensively as they both look exceptional.

9/10

All Blu-ray screen captures come from the source disc and have been shrunk from 1920x1080 to 900x506 and slightly compressed to conserve space. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality.

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Fight Without Hate

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Fight Without Hate

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Fight Without Hate

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Fight Without Hate

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Fight Without Hate

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Fight Without Hate

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Fight Without Hate

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Fight Without Hate

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Fight Without Hate

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Fight Without Hate

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XIVth Olympiad: The Glory of Sport

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XIVth Olympiad: The Glory of Sport

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XIVth Olympiad: The Glory of Sport

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XIVth Olympiad: The Glory of Sport

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XIVth Olympiad: The Glory of Sport

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XIVth Olympiad: The Glory of Sport

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XIVth Olympiad: The Glory of Sport

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XIVth Olympiad: The Glory of Sport

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XIVth Olympiad: The Glory of Sport

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XIVth Olympiad: The Glory of Sport

AUDIO

Both are sound films, Fight Without Hate a French film, Glory of Sport English, and both come with lossless PCM 1.0 mono tracks. Neither are terribly dynamic, with the narration found on Fight sounding particularly flat, but itís easy to hear what is being said, music sounds fine, and neither present any obvious damage.

6/10

SUPPLEMENTS

The only disappointing aspect to this set is that there are no on-disc special features to speak of. The set does come with an incredibly thorough 216-page hardbound book, featuring material on the restorations by Adrian Wood along with essays covering the films, all written by film scholar Peter Cowie. It also filled with photos from the various events. Cowie writes an essay for each film found on this disc, giving some background to the makers behind Fight Without Hate and explaining itís rather joking tone (trying to offer levity after the war) and admitting some of the humour hasnít aged particularly well. He then writes about specific events presented in each film and brings up notable athletes. (The grade given here refers to the supplements for the set as a whole, which, in this case, is just the included book.)

5/10

CLOSING

Another batch of surprising restorations, the two films found on this disc look exceptional.




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Purchase From:
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