Games '74 is a 1974 New Zealand–made documentary film of the 1974 British Commonwealth Games, held in Christchurch, New Zealand from 24 January to 2 February 1974.[1] The full title was Games '74: Official Film of the Xth British Commonwealth Games, Christchurch, New Zealand, 1974.

Games '74
Official Games logo
Directed byJohn King
Sam Pillsbury
Paul Maunder
Arthur Everard
Produced byDavid H. Fowler
Lance J. Connolly
Starringthe competitors
Edited byPaul Maunder
Beth Butler
Stanley Harper
Music byMalcolm Smith
Release date
  • 1974 (1974)
Running time
106 min.

The feature-length documentary in colour and on 35 mm was shot and processed by the New Zealand National Film Unit (NFU). The directors became prominent in New Zealand film-making in the next two decades, and one of the location assistants, one Sam Neill, went on to an international career.

The spectator's-eye camera avoids camera comment. The prime targets are track events, then field events, with “elephantine drama” from the male weightlifters and shots of the marathon which go outside the stadium. There is a surprisingly (for the time) gender-balanced and apolitical narrative which underlines the humanity of the competitors as much as it shows the drama of success and failure” according to Sam Edwards, although “woman’s events receive scant coverage”. Divers are captured in slow motion, and a “series of high jumpers, using similar techniques to cross the bar are edited in collapsed sequence, reminding viewers of salmon exploding up a waterfall”.

The film has been restored and is available on DVD.


  1. ^ "Games 74". NZ On Screen. Archives New Zealand. 1974. Retrieved 11 January 2023.
  • New Zealand Film 1912-1996 by Helen Martin & Sam Edwards p58 (1997, Oxford University Press, Auckland) ISBN 019 558336 1