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  • Full Frame
  • English: Dolby Digital Stereo
    English - Hearing Impaired
  • Featurette - Before and After film restoration
  • Production notes - Extract highlights from an original 1956 Games Official Souvenir Program
  • Animated menus

Olympics - The Official Films - Melbourne 1956

Warner Vision/Warner Vision . R4 . COLOR . 104 mins . G . PAL


Forty Four years ago saw the Olympics come to Australia, let alone Melbourne, for the first time. The "Friendly Games", as they became to be known, were captured on film in this documentary that brings us the highlights of the games in its extended 104 minute presentation.

Looking back at Melbourne in that era is a real eye opener. The sight of a fresh looking Flinders St station, the Olympic Village in Heidelberg, the MCG, the Olympic Swimming pool at the Entertainment center, a whole DVD full of Melbourne from an age that many of us will not have been able to experience, quite possibly the most fascinating bit of footage of Melbourne I've seen that has stirred cravings inside me for more.


For 44 year old footage, this is a very good looking image that is sure to surprise many of you out there.

Whilst the quality of the film-stock used in combination with poor lighting in some indoor conditions produces some ordinary looking imagery, the rest of the documentary more than makes up for it.

The quality ranges from scenes that seemed to be filmed yesterday to images that seemed to be filmed more than twice the age of the actual stock, all without producing any glaring MPEG issues to speak of in contrast to the other 2 Olympics DVDs released of late. This one by far outshines even them in terms of effort.


Included on this disc is a 2 channel soundtrack that provides a somewhat surprising sound stage for such an old piece of archival footage.

Mixed in to the original soundtrack elements and the original narration are snippets of narration from Sandy Roberts as he provides some 'restoration' themed notes of his own which seemlessly blends in with the rest of the audio.


Given the lack of extras on the previous Olympics DVDs, I was surprised to see the collection on this disc that puts them to shame for both quantity and quality.

  • The main extra included here is the Film Restoration piece that discusess at length how the old footage had deteriorated and how the IOC took it upon themselves to restore and archive as much footage as they could from the recent Olympics. The best part of this feature is the split screen imagery of the old on new footage that is literally produces a night and day difference.
  • The original Souvenir Programme section provides some snapshots of an actual programme provided courtesy of a collector, something rare indeed.
  • Also included are a nicely Animated Menu aswell as some nicely structured Featured Sports chapter menus for easy and quick access.


I found this DVD irresistable to say the least as did many others I watched it with who DID attend the Friendly Games. It brought back memories for them and a sense of history for me that only the Olympics can.

Highly recommended for Collectors.

  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=345
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