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The First Olympics: Athens 1896 HD online

The First Olympics: Athens 1896  HD online
Language: English
Category: TV Series / Drama / History / Sport
Original Title: The First Olympics: Athens 1896
Duration: 3h 57min
Video type: TV Series
This movie describes the founding of the modern Olympics and concentrates on the creation of the American team and their trials in getting to the Olympics in Athens.
Complete series cast summary:
David Ogden Stiers David Ogden Stiers - Dr. William Milligan Sloane 2 episodes, 1984
Hunt Block Hunt Block - Robert Garrett 2 episodes, 1984
David Caruso David Caruso - James Connolly 2 episodes, 1984
Alex Hyde-White Alex Hyde-White - Arthur 'Skip' Blake 2 episodes, 1984
Benedict Taylor Benedict Taylor - Edwin Flack 2 episodes, 1984
Edward Wiley Edward Wiley - Coach John Graham 2 episodes, 1984
Nicos Ziagos Nicos Ziagos - Spiridon Louis 2 episodes, 1984
Honor Blackman Honor Blackman - Madam Ursula Schumann 2 episodes, 1984
Gayle Hunnicutt Gayle Hunnicutt - Mary Sloane 2 episodes, 1984
Virginia McKenna Virginia McKenna - Annabel Flack 2 episodes, 1984
Bill Travers Bill Travers - Harold Flack 2 episodes, 1984
Louis Jourdan Louis Jourdan - Baron Pierre de Coubertin 2 episodes, 1984
Angela Lansbury Angela Lansbury - Alice Garrett 2 episodes, 1984
Alibe Parsons Alibe Parsons - Myra 2 episodes, 1984

Spiridon Louis' name entered the Greek language in the phrase, "Egine Louis", which means, "Became Louis" or ran quickly.

On the morning of the Final of the 800 Meter Run, Edwin Flack also played in the Men's Doubles Tennis Tournament. He and George Robertson placed third.

Reviews: [20]

  • avatar


    I first saw this as a two-part mini-series in Australia just prior to the 1988 Olympics. I was extremely impressed by it, especially with regards to the role played by Edwin Flack, the Australian runner. It is because of Flack that Australia is one of the very few countries to have competed in all the modern Olympics. While it may not be historically accurate in EVERY detail, I believe the film goes a long way to depict the feeling of adventure and excitement that must have prevailed during those times. My one regret is that I find I am unable to purchase a copy (in any format). If anyone can help me out in this regard - no matter what the cost - I would be most appreciative.
  • avatar


    i've seen this film a number of times. it is a great sports film. it is filmed well, has great actors, and the script has a wonderful storyline.

    In response to this being American Arrogance, you're wrong. the movie doesn't just focus on America, but also British, Greek, and Austrialian athletes. The American athletes don't win everything, and in fact some of them are rude, bad, angry, drunks, and they lose. yeah the American anthem is played a lot, but if you've ever been to an olympics, anthems are played a lot, and the British, Greek, Austrialian and other anthems are also played. In fact in certain points it glorifies Greece, and the world for organizing the first olympic games.

    this is one of those movies that if you like sports, it should def be on your must see list.
  • avatar


    This is one of my favorite sports films.

    It has lots of historically accurate information much like a documentary but is presented in an entertaining narrative format with good story and plot.

    Purists may be annoyed that the casting of the actors doesn't always respect the look of typical athletes in each discipline but it's otherwise pretty realistic.

    The anecdotes around the discus event are hilarious and unforgettable.

    Now if it could only come out on DVD I would buy it instantly.

  • avatar


    I just wanted to point out a few things about the mini-series. It does indeed focus on the American team, but it represents the other countries rather well. It gives an especially good appearance to the Greeks, who are shown as being loyal, caring, and respectful people. Ironically, I think that this mini-series actually cast the worst light on America, who is shown as not even being willing to back up their team (the president at the time, and the ivy-league schools refuse to even back up the American Olympic Team), and at the same time, the Americans are shown with many of their own problems; they can't even manage to get along with each other through most of the mini-series.

    On a completely different note, for those who are looking for it, the series was just released a few days ago in DVD format.
  • avatar


    Without going into a lot of details, let me say that I regard "First Olympics" as one of the finest I have seen in my 70 years. The only problem I had was that it kept bringing tears to my patriotic American eyes!

    Having first seen this film when it was shown on TV in 1985, I many years later special ordered a copy of it for my personal collection. That was one of the best investments I ever made!
  • avatar


    This is a terrific miniseries, a wonderful story splendidly told. The origins of everything from the starting position for sprinters to the impulsive selection of the Star Spangled Banner as the national anthem, this story of the first Olympics in 1500 years is filled with drama, wit, and unforgettable characters.
  • avatar


    This is one of my favorite films on the Olympics. Although is doesn't completely tell the true historical story, as in Bud Greenspan's films, it does tell the story very well. The writer, director, and producer do take some liberties with the facts, but the film does show the trials and tribulation of some of the first "stars" of the revival of the Olympic Games. You will see many faces that go on, in their careers, to bigger and better acting roles, along with some old favorites. A great film that should inspire anybody about working hard towards a goal, and how the outcome can benefit you, even if the outcome is not what you desired. This film is on the level of Rocky and other great, heartwarming sport films.
  • avatar


    I remember watching this mini-series the first time in 1984 with a growing sense of anger and indignation. Having read the comments on this title, I must agree with those from the people in Greece. This was produced to coincide with the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games and, to me, it seemed like nothing more than an exercise in jingoistic, flag-waving American nationalism in which the American athletes are glorified at everyone else's expense. Some other nationalities would have every right to feel deeply insulted at the way they were portrayed in this series. It may, however, help to explain the way in which many American spectators behaved at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and the TV coverage which seemed only interested in events that Americans were likely to win.
  • avatar


    It was great historically. It showed at least once all of the countries that competed and got the winners correct. The acting and directing was consistent. There were also some great shots. Although not outstanding it is a worthwhile film to see

    My score 9.662/10
  • avatar


    "Disappointing" is the best word I could think for this film, especially considering the glowing reviews it receives from some other users.

    One thing that really spoils the film is that it is unabashedly partial(in both senses of the word). Not only does it present a very selective description of the games (focussing as it does on the US athletics team) but it also contains several inaccuracies, most of which serve to exaggerate the difficulties the US team faced.

    What is even more disturbing is that all the omissions and mistakes (?), appear to glorify US sportsmanship to the exclusion of other athletes (with a few celebrated exceptions). For example, the viewer is led to believe that the US won the majority of medals in the Games, when in fact they won only one out of four gold medals and one out of 6 total. Similarly, many athletes are portrayed as caricatures of their respective countrymen (thus we have an arrogant Brit, and a wine-swilling French). This attitude does very little service to the Olympic ideals that the film is supposed to celebrate.

    In conclusion, I believe that this film would appeal to that part of the US audience that is looking for a quick boost of national self-esteem. Those looking for a detailed and historically correct description of the games are advised to look elsewhere.
  • avatar


    I sat last night to see this film being played in Greek television because of the upcoming Olympic Games hosted by my city.Knowing that it is an American film, i had already expected it to focus more on the American athletes story.And i was really ready for it. But what i saw was..., too much!I mean, when a movie has such a title ("First Olympics: Athens 1896"), even being of American origin, you would not expect it to be so propagandizing and, on the same time, ignorant towards other countries' athletes and efforts.The American athletes seem to have all the gifts of nature (strength, smartness, generosity, kindness, politeness...), in contrast to their "sin-athletes" in the Games, who seem being unable even to... speak their thoughts or express feelings.The number of times the American anthem is played during the film must be an all time record in filmography.Megalomania at it's best!It even uses fictionalized facts which ridicules the Greek nation, such as Greek citizens serving the foreign Marathon athletes with wine, in order to help the domestic ones win the race.So much for the Olympic spirit.

    Think of it.Being a Greek and putting a bad mark to a movie whose title is also Greek is something that doesn't make me happy at all.But according to what i have seen, i cannot give it more than 4 out of 10 (being pretty generous actually).
  • avatar


    I just got done watching the DVD of the 1984 NBC Mini Series, The First Olympics and I want to say that I thought it was very thoroughly researched. The details concerning the life of Spiridon Louis may or may not have been true. That's because the details in his life have never been made quite clear. Edwin Flack had, in fact, already finished college by the Games the had commenced and was employed by the accounting form of Price, Waterhouse, and Company. The facts surrounding Robert Garret's participation in the Discus Throw were also 100% accurate, though I don't ever remember reading about a similar incident involving the Shot Put ever having taken place. I supposed some amount of "Literary License" had to be granted in making this fine and historically accurate (for the most part) film.
  • avatar

    crazy mashine

    I saw this movie when it was on TV and have looked for it ever since.

    What amazes me is they do not show it more. THE GOOD news is NETFLIX now has it on DVD (2 disc).

    1984 does not date this film but should be popular today, maybe around current Olympic season.

    This movies has everything, some funny things but not a comedy. Facts, pretty good, great Directing, great acting, great Scenery.

    The actors are very real as today, with modern physical training, they are 'beefed' up but these kids look like what the kids in college looked like in 1896 but were no professional but just good athletes.

    The part about them thinking they were to be nude like the original Olympians is worth watching. And that Greek story about the USA National Anthem was great.

    If you have never seen, you are missing a great treat.

    Come on Sony, get with it. Bring it back to the public.
  • avatar


    Just 10 days before the Athens 2004 Olympics games, I spent my evening watching this film inspired by the title. In the beginning I thought of the movie as a historical description of the first modern olympic games. Unfortunately a more accurate title would be "The American olympic team during the 1896 Olympic games" since this movie is all about it and nothing else. Four hours of lame dialogues, poor acting, historical inaccuracies and the infinite number of the US national anthem add up to one of the worst movies I've ever seen. Minimum comments for the achievements, the training and the difficulties the other athletes came across.
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    Historically awful. Scarcely an accurate moment in 4 hours of ridiculosity. One cannot keep track of the inconsistencies while watching. As with all track and filed movies, nobody bothers to ask for any track consultants. Events and techniques that weren't even created until the next century are shown. From the shots of runners jogging in a 400 meters to the highly overweight actor portraying the high jump and long jump winner, one would have to know absolutely nothing about track to even be mildly entertained. Likely thrown together in 1984 as a tribute to the games just prior to the LA Olympics.
  • avatar


    I was only 12 the first time I saw this mini-series/movie but luckily my parents got it on tape and I watched it over and over until I killed the tape. I was absolutely in love with David Carouso. It is because of this mini-series that am so in love with history and with the olympics that come every few years. It was well written and the cast was incredible. It was wonderful to see the traditions and all the various athletes from various countries and what they had to go through to get to the olympics. It makes me think about how far we have come and what our athletes go through now versus what they went through then. It will be interesting to see what Athens looks like this summer when we all conviene for the new season of Olympics. Should be interesting!!
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    This is one of the most delightful miniseries I've ever seen! We've watched it as a family as part of a unit study on the Olympics. I thought we would learn the history of the first Olympics, but we learned that and so much more. We also discovered an engaging, entertaining, funny, perfect family film.

    There are a few curse words here and there - such as calling someone an "a**," but this was certainly not overbearing. The humor inserted into the film was great.

    I would highly recommend this to anyone!

  • avatar


    A very fine, excellent movie. It was, on the most part, historically correct. The writers took some liberties with the story line. For example: 1) the American team didn't get to Athens during the opening ceremonies, they arrived well in time, and in fact were in Athens almost a full week before the Games started. 2) The American athletes were not as "weak" as most of the athletes from the other countries thought. Most knew of the Americans and their performance prior to the Games. 3) the American swimmer did place, taking second in his event. In spite of a few minor "changes," the movie still is one of the best movies on the start of the Olympic movement. Most people don't know the true story, and that is fine. The movie was a motivational tale, and should be viewed by any athlete who needs that "motivational" push before the big competiton. Few sports movie do that, but there are others out there (Rocky, For The Love Of The Game, Running Brave to name a few). An excellent movie. Don't miss it.
  • avatar


    I ordered this movie by mistake, thinking it was a documentary. What a pleasant surprise. The acting is superb, the sets beautiful and the commentary at the end about the winners brought credence to factual events. Whether the trials and tribulations of the voyage of the U.S. team is factual, I don't know but it brought a bit of 'Hollywood' to the movie. It's long (four hours) but well worth the watch and makes for a good popcorn evening. I give it 4 1/2 jalapeno's.... (hey, I'm in Texas don'tcha know!!!)
  • avatar


    I want to secure a copy of this movie. My son is a triathlete and wants the movie for his personal viewing.

    I know I can purchase it for $140.00 at, but I don't have that kind of money. If it is known when it will be shown on Encore again I could probably tape it. Have been unable to secure this info from Encore.

    If anyone can help me I would appreciate it.

    This is probably not the comments you all want, but thought I would give you a try.

    My son will be competing in the Ironman Triathlon in Clermont, FL in October 2005 and if I could give this to him then it would be great.