Story turns on four runners from different nations who eventually compete in a climactic 26-mile marathon in the Rome Olympic Games.
Michael Crawford is the ex-milkman driven to prowess by Stanley Baker; Ryan O’Neal is a fun-loving American college kid – as only Hollywood can define and perpetuate this stereotype; Charles Aznavour is a Czech soldier, forced to return to running as a political pawn; and Athol Compton is the down-under Aborigine exploited by Jeremy Kemp.
Filmed in England, Italy, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Australia and Japan, the pic [from a novel by Hugh Atkinson] is long on production values and nothing else.
Technical adviser Gordon Pirie, a retired British track star and Olympics participant, did a creditable job in the exteriors.
Aznavour, Crawford and Jeremy Kemp come off best.