The Games is set during the Rome Olympics of 1960. The film zeroes in on four contestants in the 26-mile marathon race: Brit Harry Hayes (Michael Crawford), American Scott Reynolds (Ryan O'Neal), Czech Pavel Vendek (Charles Aznavour) and Australian Sunny Pintubi (Athol Compton). Scenes of the grueling training sessions are placed in context with the personal dramas of the four men. Hayes is being driven to the breaking point by trainer Stanley Baker, Reynolds is suffering from a dangerous heart condition, Vendek is past forty but obliged to compete by his government and Pintubi is an Aborigine fighting a lifelong battle against prejudice. Erich Segal, himself a former Olympic marathoner, adapted the screenplay of The Games from the novel by Hugh Atkinson.
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