Visions of Eight (1973) Script

(camera shutter clicking)

OZEROV: I'm interested in that moment before the contest begins.

It's then that the athlete realizes that he is alone out there, without friends, trainers or teammates.

The tension of waiting, it is most interesting.

NARRATOR: An enormous honeycomb houses athletes from 122 nations as nearly 8,000 champions gather to compete for 195 gold medals.

Some nations bring teams who can be counted on the fingers of one hand.

Others fill three jumbo jetliners.

There are contestants in the first flush of their teens.

Others are veterans of Tokyo and Mexico City.

All are bound by a common fraternity -

They carry the flags of hope.

80,000 people crammed beneath the surrealistic canopy of Munich Stadium, eyewitnesses expecting only the glitter of individual triumphs, unprepared for the shadow of tragedy.

Beyond the stadium and the thousands clustered on the hill, untold millions also wait.

Their eyes - the lenses of the massed cameras stationed in the pits.

Facing the ultimate test, each in his own way seeks an extra strength, a private grace.

Now is the longest moment, the moment before action brings release, the moment before the beginning.

(camera shutter clicking)

ZETTERLING: I chose weight lifting because I knew nothing about it.

And I suppose one thing that really fascinated me was that these men work in almost total isolation and that they are obsessed.

They don't seem to have any life apart from lifting.

I am not interested in sports, but I am interested in obsessions.

MAN (onPA): Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the weight lifting competition, the flyweight entry, group A.

(man repeats announcement in German)

(man repeats announcement in French)

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to introduce the competitors in the flyweight class, group A.


(band: Anthem)





MAN (on PA): The furniture in the Olympic Village has been selected with the advice of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Germany and will be used in barracks after the games.

50,000 mattresses, 269,000 feet of curtain rod and half a million curtain rings have all been lent by the armed forces.


MAN (onPA): The athletes' diet was planned with the help of sports doctors to be healthy and well-balanced.

It was calculated, for example, that the following quantities would be required by the 12,000 athletes during the two weeks of the games -

1.1 million eggs, 1,350 kilos of porridge, 120,000 rolls -

(grunts loudly)

600,000 pieces of toast, 140,000 liters of orange juice, 27,000 kilos of veal, 6,400 kilos of carved liver, 48,000 kilos of beef, 17,000 kilos of boiled ham.

Technology will assist everyone.

The athletes will have optimal conditions.

(grunts) And three large computers will be connected with a data-transmission network.

Together, these computers have around 500 million facts in their memory.

(kitchen staff speaking German)

MAN (onPA): The games of the 20th Olympiad will cost approximately 1,972 million marks.

That is just over £257 million.

(band: March)

(continues) (man grunts loudly)

(spectators applauding, cheering, whistling)

WEIGHT LIFTER: No. Two-and-a... (panting)

MAN: Two-and-a-half? Two and a half.

(spectators shouting) (groans)


(conversing, faint, indistinct)


(spectators shouting)

(applause) (man on PA, indistinct)

MAN (shouts): Ja! (spectators shouting)

Ja! (applause)


Come on. Come on, Perdue!


(weights slam onto floor)

(applause) (chattering)

(man on PA, indistinct)

MAN: Don't talk to him.



MAN (shouts): Come on, Terry!

(spectators murmuring, laughing)


(murmuring, laughing continue)

MAN: Terry, come here. MAN #2: Come on.

(exhaling) (buzzer sounds)

Come on, come on, come on.

(spectators shouting)


Terry! (applause)

(man on PA, indistinct)

(applause continues)

(spectators shouting, cheering)

(applause, cheering)


(hammering, metal clanking)

(clanking continues)

(conversation, faint, indistinct)

(camera shutter clicking)

(spectators cheering)

(cheering fades out)

(people chanting, faint)

(spectators cheering)

(spectators groaning)

(spectators booing, whistling)

(spectators groaning)


(applause continues)

(applause fades)


(spectators applauding)

(applause, cheering)

(spectators chanting)

(spectators cheering, applauding)

(cheering, applause fades out)

(applause fading in)


(cheering, whistling)

What are you doing? Stay here. Stay here.

What's he doing? Come back.

Come back. Shake hands. Shake hands. (spectators booing, murmuring)

MAN: Hold it. Hold it! High, high, high!

Thank you. (booing, whistling continue)

MAN: I don't believe what's going on.

(booing, whistling fade out)

(orchestra: Fanfare, faint)

(spectators cheering)

(cheering fades out)

(camera shutter clicking)

PFLEGHAR: At the first Olympic Games, women were not allowed to be present, even as spectators.

But here in Munich we had the greatest number of women competitors in the history of the games.

I wanted to acknowledge their presence and their contributions.

(speaking German)

(woman #2 translating into French on PA)

WOMAN (on PA): In the name of all competitors, I promise...

(woman continues speaking German on PA)

(woman #2 translating into French on PA)

WOMAN (on PA): ...that we will take part in these Olympic Games

(woman continues speaking German on PA)

(woman #2 translating into French on PA)

(spectators applauding)

WOMAN (on PA): ...respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them.

(applause continues)

(applause fades)

(spectators murmuring)

(murmuring continues, fades out)

(starter pistol fires)

(cheering continues)

ANNOUNCER (on radio): Heide Rosendahl is also competing in the pentathlon and the 400-meter relay, but right now, ladies and gentlemen, everyone is waiting to see if Heide Rosendahl can repeat her world-record performance in the long jump here in the Olympics.

But there's much, much more to the story than just that.

Heide Rosendahl and another Heidi, Heidi Schuller, are two teammates, two friends, two West Germans.

(announcer fades out)

(spectators cheering, applauding)

(spectators gasping)

(announcer speaking German)

(spectators cheering, shouting)

(announcer continues in German)

(soprano singing aria)

(spectators gasping)

(soprano continues singing)

(announcer continues speaking German)

(soprano continues)

(ends) (spectators cheering, applauding)

(camera shutter clicking)

ICHIKAWA: The men who compete in the 100-meter finals cover the distance in about ten seconds.

To catch these fleeting moments, I used 34 cameras and 20,000 feet of film.

I feel this race somewhat represents modern human existence.

I wanted to expose this.

(starter pistol fires)

(starting blocks clanging)

(starting blocks clang)

NARRATOR: Here time is passing four times slower than normal speed.

Things the human eye could otherwise miss come into sight.


They must be seeing something, but they appear to see nothing.


Is it pain? Anxiety?


It's like all of them, but like none of them.


Are they or are they not breathing while running?

It's something medical science has yet to establish.

It's something they can't even answer themselves.

(spectators gasping, murmuring)

(spectators shouting, faint)

(spectators murmuring, chattering)

(murmuring, chattering quiets)

(field announcer speaks German)

(starter pistol fires) (spectators cheering, shouting)

(announcer speaking German)

(announcer #2 speaking French)

(multiple announcers speaking various languages)

ANNOUNCER: It's too close!

It's Valeriy Borzov. Valeriy Borzov. Robert Taylor, second.

(multiple announcers continue in various languages)

(spectators cheering)

(announcer speaking French on PA)

NARRATOR: They run and run.

Modern, mechanized man's thirst for freedom... changes ten seconds into an eternity.

(camera shutter clicking)

FORMAN:Ever since I was a young boy, it was my dream to see the Olympics.

That is, I guess, why I did this picture.

I got to see the Olympics, free. (chuckles)

And had the best seats at the events.



(horn, cowbells continue)

FORMAN: The decathlon.

The toughest discipline in track and field.

It requires the athletes to perform ten different events within two days.

(horn, cowbells continue)


(polka continues)


(spectators applauding)

(portentous anthem)

(chorus singing in German)

(anthem continues)


(pole clanging on ground)

(field announcer speaks German)

(band: Bavarian folk song)


(starter pistol fires)

(band continues, bells clanging)

♪♪ (yodels)

♪♪ (continues)

♪♪ (ends)

FORMAN:So ends the first day.

After the first five events the leader is Kirst, number 333.

Second is Avilov, number 922.

Thank you, gentlemen.

(spectators applauding)

♪♪ (Bavarian folk tune)

♪♪ (continues)

(spectators cheering)

(spectators gasping, murmuring)

♪♪ (guitar, man yodeling plaintively)

♪♪ (yodeling continues)

♪♪ (yodeling continues, rapid tempo)

♪♪ (yodeling continues)

♪♪ (yodeling continues, slower)

♪♪ (band: Bavarian folk tune)

♪♪ (continues)

♪ (ends) (spectators applauding)

FORMAN: The last event - 1,500-meters run.

♪♪ ("Beethoven's Ninth Symphony")

♪♪ (tempo increases)

♪♪ (singing in German)

♪♪ (singing continues)

♪♪ (single emphatic chord)

♪♪ (symphony, singer continues)

♪♪ (symphony continues, chorus)

♪♪ (continues)

(clanging) ♪ (symphony continues, loud)

♪♪ (continues)

♪♪ (ends)

(no audio)

♪♪ (up-tempo Bavarian folk tune fades in)

♪♪ (continues)

♪♪ (ends)

(camera shutter clicking)

LELOUCH: At some point in life, everyone must learn to live with defeat.

I wanted to see how each person accepts that fact, how the losers meet their sudden Ioneliness.

(spectators shouting)

(shouting in native language) (spectators continue shouting)

(native language)

(spectators groaning, cheering)

(referee shouts, indistinct)

(spectators continue cheering)

(no audible dialogue)

(spectators shouting) Nine! Ten!

(boxer speaking, indistinct)

(spectators shouting, whistling)

(shouting, whistling continue)

(no audible dialogue)

(spectators whistling, shouting)

(man on PA, indistinct) (whistling, shouting continue)

(shouting in Japanese)

(horn blows) (spectators applauding)

(man on PA, indistinct)

MAN (on PA): Winner Hetenyi, Hungary.

(spectators cheering, applauding)



(spectators cheering, shouting)

(spectators groaning)

MAN (on PA): On lane five with number 137.

(spectators groaning)

(man on PA speaking French)

Pentathlon moderne.

MAN (on PA): Olympic victory ceremony, modern pentathlon.

(man on PA speaking German)

MAN (on PA): ...Kilpatrick, holder of world record.

(man on PA speaking German)

(spectators booing, shouting, whistling)

(no audio)

(camera shutter clicking)

SCHLESINGER: I was fascinated by the individual effort of the marathon runner, training alone for years for a 26-mile race and competing, finally, with so much more than the race itself.

(measured breath)

(camera shutter clicking)

(beep tone)

♪♪ (radio: Beeping, jingle)

ANNOUNCER (on radio): AFNNews, from the wires of the AP and UPI.

Good afternoon. This is Paul Mackle reporting.

Another deadline has come and gone with no developments reported at Munich's Olympic Village where five Palestinian terrorists are holding nine Israeli team members hostage.

(camera shutter clicking)

Two other Israelis were shot and killed this morning as the guerrillas, armed with submachine guns, forced their way into the Israeli quarters at the Olympic Village.

(radio: Announcer fades out)

(camera shutters clicking)

(helicopter whirring)

It's affected me in that it's put my race a day later.

Really, I've had to stay right at it and try not to think about it at all.

I don't want to think about what happened because I presume I would get emotional about it.

I just want to stay right away from it.

I'm here for one thing, and that's to run a marathon.

And, um, anything that might distract me from that, just, really, I don't want to know about -

Even the village itself, before this happened, the sort of enormity of the stadium and the colors and things like that...

That's not why I'm here for. I'm here to run a marathon, and that's it.

NARRATOR:Ronald Hill, marathon runner.

Age: 34. Weight: 58.06 kilos.

Height: 1.69 meters.

Doctor of science, senior research chemist, Courtaulds, Manchester.

Experiments in the coloring of textile fibers.

(electronic beeping, faint)

All training runs logged since age 17.

Training: Daily, 15 miles, to and from factory.

Friday: Additional five miles during lunch break.

Sunday: Complete marathon course.

Weekly total: 135 miles.

(bell rings) (electronic beeping continues)

HILL: In my own mind, I am the favorite for the race.

I think you've got to go in with this attitude.

So if I don't win, there's gonna be a reason for not winning.

It's not gonna be an excuse.

And there'll be a rational reason why.

The most difficult thing will be facing people back home who expect me to win.

And they'll say, "Well, hard luck, Ron. You know, try again next time."

MAN (faint): With number 194, Ole Ellefsaeter, the Olympic winner of '68.

(radio: Announcer continues, faint)

(field announcer speaking German)

(speaking German)

(spectators applauding)

(shutter clicks)

(electronic beeping)

(voices, electronically garbled)

HILL: In the early stages, it's all purely concentration, concentration, concentration.

Then you begin to bring in the element of fear, that they're gonna catch you.

(Hill's voice distorted, electronically garbled)

Keep it going, 'cause your own first desire, when it gets very hard, is to say, "Bugger this. I'm gonna stop."

(Hill's voice, electronically garbled)

(spectators cheering)

♪♪ (anthem)

(horse whinnying)

♪♪ (anthem continues)


(no audible dialogue)

(slow, deliberate exhaling)

(exhaling continues)

♪♪ (yodeling)

♪♪ (yodeling continues)

(shouts in German)

(bell dinging)

(man speaking German)

(announcer speaking French)

ANNOUNCER:Should see Shorter enter the stadium very soon.

All the markers are down on the track.


And the athlete wearing that number is not in the program.

Well, this could be a hoax.

This man looks to me to be remarkably fresh.

And now Shorter in the stadium.

Well, these Olympic Games again plagued by lack of control.

(spectators cheering)

Frank Shorter, the 25-year-old American...

An American has not won this gold medal in the marathon since 1908, and they have not won a medal since 1924, John.

And his time is 2:12.

Moore congratulates Shorter.

Ran it together in the American marathon championship without racing it out.

And Ron Hill and Don Macgregor are sixth and seventh.

Hill's just under... (spectators cheering)

♪♪ (band: Fanfare)

♪♪ (continues)

♪ (ends) (spectators applauding)

(man on PA speaking German)

MAN (on PA): Olympic victory ceremony is now...

(man on PA speaking German)

(air hissing)

(chattering, indistinct)

(man on PA continues, indistinct) (chattering continues)

(man shouting in German) Nicht, nicht! Nicht!

(no audible dialogue)

♪♪ ("The Star-spangled Banner")

♪♪ (continues)

♪♪ (fades)

♪♪ (trumpets: Fanfare)

♪♪ (fanfare continues)

♪♪ (fanfare ends)

AVERY BRUNDAGE: I declare the games of the 20th Olympiad closed.

MAN: Good!

BRUNDAGE: And in accordance with tradition, I call upon the youth of all countries to assemble four years from now at Montreal, there to celebrate with us the games of the 21st Olympiad.

May they display cheerfulness and concord so that the Olympic torch will be carried on with ever-greater eagerness, courage and honor for the good of humanity throughout the ages.

(spectators applauding)

Auf Wiedersehen! (spectators cheering)

(gunshot salute continues)

♪♪ (drums)

♪♪ (band: Up-tempo instrumental)

♪♪ (continues)

♪♪ (ends)

(door opens, closes)