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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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on 22 October 2013
The details on this tell you that it has been dubbed into English - NOT TRUE ! I am in the UK and as this was ordered from USA it took a few weeks to arrive. The picture quality is rather grainy - but this not my problem. Why do they state this is dubbed into English and on the back of the DVD it says "not dubbed - presented in original format" I checked and watched the first hour. No subtitles ! Then why say that there is in the product description ?
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on 29 May 2015
I have not watched this actual disc as yet but I paid practically nothing for it. Riefenstahl's work is outstanding and the work she did for the 1936 Olympics was breathtaking. Other films by her are well worth watching provided you realise that she was first and foremost an artist. She never claimed to be a Nazi and regretted making Triumph of the Will. Some have rated her Olympics work as among the finest ten films ever made.
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on 19 May 2010
On the pure cinematographic point of view Leni Riefenstahl is a genius (on the same level of Orson Welles). On the historical point of view the nazi salute of the french delegation with the spanish civil war in the background lends credibility to the ambiguity of the trio Hitler-Stalin-West.
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on 12 October 2008
This is a fantastic documentary and became the blueprint for subsequent documentaries.
Riefenstahl was an interesting character ruthlessly self centred, duplicitous, promiscuous but seems to have a magneticism and real ability at editing films (she shot indeterminate amounts of film and had open access to any official news footage). An unapologetic Nazi despite her apolitical assertions. Attractively fascinatingly evil.
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