Thursday 8 February 2018
The Games (1970)
Despite being a Michael Winner film, my allergy to sports movies and Ryan O'Neal (because he's a faux-Irish arsehole) and slight trepidation when it comes to Michael Crawford, spurred on by years of watching Some Mothers with the gran. It certainly catches the dynamic nature of sports, and the early US scenes (moustache-free Sam Elliott!) are a tantalising glimpse of what Winner could have done with a a US college sex comedy. The Australia scenes pack a punch. And the foreign locations are well-captured. I wish Winner had directed something else down under. Crawford is very Frank in it, a childlike milkman slurping from two straws. The stock footage of Prague seems to be shot from a distance with a handheld camera in secret. Charles Aznavour's quite decent. Stanley Baker does gruff, looking like a middle-aged dad trying to emulate Ringo Starr. The plastic spectators in the stadium are obvious. Weird that Oliver Reed isn't in it, especially as Kent Smith is (who played Oliver Reed in Cat People). In all, a bit of a slog.