DVD Title
Tokyo Olympiad
International Title
DVD Length
Original Length
169 Minutes
169 Minutes
Year of Manufacture
Aspect Ratio
- Menus (English)
Chapters (41)
Audio Commentary by Peter Cowie
- Interview with director Kon Ichikawa
- Includes a 38 pg. booklet that goes over the movie and the 1964 Olympics

Criterion does it again with their release of Tokyo Olympiad, by releasing a DVD with superior video, audio and some exquisite extras. The video quality here is superb: the colors are vibrant and spot on with no signs of color wash, there are scratches on the print but during the course of the 3 hour movie they are rarely noticeable. Noise levels are a mixed bag here: the movie, and extras, appears grainy through out, but the print, excluding the menus, are very sharp with no blur what's so ever. The audio here is excellent, considering the source. The audio, which is presented in its original mono format, is usually spot on with no pops at all. There are several moments where the audio gets scratchy, but that's because of the methods for making the film, which cannot be faulted to the DVD.

The extras are what really make this DVD stand out, as Criterion, once again, goes above and beyond to find extras for another film almost 40 years in age. Peter Cowie's commentary is a excellent extra which runs for almost the entire duration of the near 3 hour film and goes over, in detail, the history of the Olympics, the story behind Asia's first Olympics at Tokyo in 1964 and Japanese cinema in general. The 1992 interview with director Kon Ichikawa, which is filmed in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio, has really high noise levels and yet somehow is blurry as well. This isn't bad enough to detract from the experience, as the extra is a excellent insight into what Kon Ichikawa, director of Princess from the Moon (1987), thinks of the current state of the Olympics and some of the events that took place while filming Tokyo Olympiad. The last, which isn't on the actual DVD, is a 41 page booklet which goes over the movie and the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, and includes a list of all the metal finishes for that event.

Bottom line, this is an awesome DVD, packed with extras, on one of the most famous sports documentaries of all time.

-Anthony Romero