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Visions of Eight is a 1973 American documentary film offering a stylized look at the 1972 Summer Olympics. Produced by Stan Margulies and executive produced by David L. Wolper, it was directed by eight different directors. It was screened out-of-competition at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival.[1] It was later shown as part of the Cannes Classics section of the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.[2] Some visuals of the Munich stadium from the documentary were used in Without Limits.[3]

Visions of Eight
Visions of Eight FilmPoster.jpeg
Film poster
Directed byMiloš Forman
Claude Lelouch
Yuri Ozerov
Mai Zetterling
Kon Ichikawa
John Schlesinger
Arthur Penn
Michael Pfleghar
Produced byStan Margulies
Written byDavid Hughes
Deliara Ozerowa
Shuntaro Tanikawa
Music byHenry Mancini
CinematographyArthur Wooster
Alan Hume
Daniel Bocly
Michael J. Davis
Rune Ericson
Walter Lassally
Jorgen Persson
Igor Slabnevich
Ernst Wild
Masuo Yamaguchi
Edited byDede Allen
Catherine Bernard
Jim Clark
Lars Hagstrom
Edward Roberts
Margot von Schlieffen
Distributed byCinema 5
Release date
  • August 10, 1973 (1973-08-10)
Running time
110 minutes
CountryUnited States



Wolper asked eight directors to select their own crews and create a segment which would capture some aspect of the Munich Games.


Alan Hume shot the segment The Fastest for director Kon Ichikawa. Arthur Wooster shot The Longest for director John Schlesinger, and Walter Lassally directed the photography for Arthur Penn's segment The Highest.[4]


Visions of Eight won the best documentary award at the Golden Globe Awards, held in 1974 for films which were released in 1973.

Peter Rainer of Bloomberg News wrote that, "Schlesinger’s is the only segment that fully acknowledges the Black September terrorist attacks, in which 11 Israeli athletes and coaches, and a West German policeman, were murdered."

Rainer continues, "Penn’s entry begins daringly. Not only is the imagery a slo-mo crawl, it’s also out of focus and the soundtrack is silent. Gradually the visuals sharpen, the stadium sounds come up, but, for the most part, the pole vaulters rising into the sky remain superslow abstractions. Along with his great editor Dede Allen, who cut Bonnie and Clyde, Penn anatomizes the action without ever losing sight of the fact that these athletes, including USA’s Bob Seagren, are men and not gods (as Riefenstahl might have us believe)" — referring to Leni Riefenstahl's 1938 documentary Olympia.

Rainer sees French director Claude Lelouch's segment as a welcome contrast to the other directors' worshipful heroic depictions: "Lelouch’s The Losers ... shows us a boxer who rants in the ring after his defeat; wrestlers gamely trying to fight after tearing ligaments and dislocating limbs; swimmers treading befuddled in the pool after their last losing lap."[5]


It is available at the Criterion Collection as part of the 100 Years of Olympic Films set. [6]


  1. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Visions of Eight". Retrieved April 20, 2009.
  2. ^ "Cannes Classics 2013 line-up unveiled". Screen Daily. Retrieved April 30, 2013.
  3. ^ Hartl, John (October 4, 1998). "Movies -- Prefontaine's Tragic Life Gets Another Onscreen Run". The Seattle Times. Retrieved December 30, 2013.
  4. ^ Alan Hume, Gareth Owen, Peter Rogers (2004). A Life Through the Lens: Memoirs of a Film Cameraman. McFarland & Company. p. 84. ISBN 9780786418039.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  5. ^ Peter Rainer, "Munich Olympics, Murders Caught in 'Visions of 8' July 28, 2012
  6. ^ Announcing 100 Years of Olympic Films

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