Number of Times Seen – at least 5 times (Video in the 80’s and 90’s, 2 Aug 2006 and 5 Jun 2019)
Brief Synopsis – Based on the true story of how Terrorists infiltrated the Olympic village and took 11 Israeli athletes hostage during the Munich Olympics in 1972 and the measures made by the German hosts in order to try and save them.
My Take on it – This is a film that I recall first seeing in high school during history class and it has remained fresh in my mind ever since.
This is a film that tells a very powerful and tragic story and does so with a lot of integrity along the way.
The events of September 1972 in Munich are not simple ones and based on the knowledge they had just four years after these fateful events they do a great job depicting things despite a few missteps and misinformation along the way.
The story itself plays out really well and they are able to give us a clear picture on how much the political policies, platforms and positions in the world played out in a forum in front of the world and how they affected the events and how they would move forward.
William Holden has always been an actor that I’ve enjoyed watching and he does a wonderful job here as the German Police Chief trying to do all he can to ensure the safety of the hostages.
Holden plays him in a sympathetic light and knowing the full information about these events makes his performance stand out even more as being a realistic one.
Franco Nero is also great here as the lead terrorist and he allows us to see why his character does all that he does based on his beliefs even if we don’t condone or agree with those beliefs.
This film manages to take this story and constantly raise the level of suspense slowly by slowly in order for us to see things as they are about to abrupt into total chaos.
Bottom Line – Powerful depiction of the fateful events in September 1972 even if they got some of their information wrong. The story plays out quite well to the effect that we get a clear picture of the various political positions involved and how those positions helped dictate how things would move forward. Holden does a wonderful job as the German police chief who is put in charge of the negotiation process. He plays the character in a very sympathetic way even that makes us want him to succeed in his endeavors of trying to broker a deal for the hostages. Nero is also great as the lead terrorist and makes us easily understand his position on things throughout the story. The film manages to keep raising the suspense level little by little to a point where we see how things are about to explode. Highly Recommended!
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Although it’s not mentioned in this movie, the terrorist also demanded the release of Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof, founders of the German Red Army Faction, who were being held in German prisons. (From IMDB)
Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10)
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