Saura originally hoped to make a fictional study of the Summer Olympic Games, but he recognized quickly that a documentary approach would be required, and he brought to the project a visual flair and humanism that paid excellent tribute to the Games and to the Catalan capital. The title event, the men’s marathon, was chosen both as symbol and leitmotif, in part because the race took place in the streets of Barcelona, but also because of the effort and endurance required in this most arduous of Olympic events. Saura was excited at the prospect of delivering a film that would run approximately the same length as the time a men’s marathon winner might achieve, hence this director’s cut of Marathon at two hours and ten minutes. More than 120,000 meters of film were exposed by some thirty Panavision cameras during the making of the film.
Starring Larry Bird, Linford Christie, Janet Evans
Director Carlos Saura