Tuesday, November 15, 2011

21 Hours at Munich (1976)

Director: William A. Graham

Starring: William Holden, Franco Nero, Shirley Knight, Anthony Quayle, Richard Basehart, Noel Willman, Georg Marischka, Else Quecke, David Hess

More info: IMDb

Plot: A dramatization of the incident in 1972 when Arab terrorists broke into the Olympic compound in Munich and murdered 11 Israeli athletes.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? Nah.

I was 3 when this happened...just young enough not to remember the events but I did hear about it years later. Not knowing the outcome helps in cases like this. Had I know how this went down in advance it wouldn't hold up as well. It's bizarre seeing Holden (as American as you can get) playing a German. Nero brings a lot of weight to the role as the leader of the terrorists. He's great in everything. Good Lawrence Rosenthal score. As a whole, the picture is pretty good. I wasn't bored for a moment but then I wasn't exactly on the edge of my seat, either. THAT would have been nice and I found the level of tension on the soft side. I reckon that falls on the director, Graham. Of his 116 director credits on IMDb, only 6 were not for TV shows or TV movies. With that many credits it looks like he was a director for hire, someone who could get the job done on time and on budget. Still, it's an interesting film and one that would be a good introduction into the events of the Munich games in '72.

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