Academy Award Winner Morgan Freeman Narrates More Than Gold
One-Hour Special Debuts Sunday, February 14, at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and Chronicles Owens’ Iconic Performance at 1936 Olympic Games
Documentary Explores Historic Berlin Olympics and Intersection of Sports, Culture and Race in Turbulent Years Leading up to WWII
Film Features Interviews With 1936 Olympians, As Well As Historians David Clay Large and Pellom McDaniels III
Stamford, Conn – February 11, 2016 – Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman narrates NBC Sports Films’ latest project, More Than Gold: Jesse Owens and the 1936 Berlin Olympics, a one-hour documentary which chronicles Jesse Owens’ historic performance at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany. Debuting Sunday, February 14, at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC, More Than Gold follows Owens’ journey during the Berlin Games, and explores the context and historical impact of the 1936 Olympics.
“More Than Gold will invite viewers inside the story of a pioneering athlete, who in the face of racial discrimination at home and the horrific theories and practices of Nazi Germany, performed at his best under immense pressure,” said Mark Levy, Senior Vice President, Original Productions and Creative, NBC Sports Group. “Viewers will experience the Games through the compelling memories of Jesse’s surviving Olympic teammates, who were eye-witnesses to those events.”
Through interviews with former Olympic teammates, historians, and family members, More Than Gold highlights the magnitude of Owens’ performance, and explores how his victories in the 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay, and long jump in Berlin inspired generations who followed him.
More Than Gold features interviews with three members of the U.S. team who competed in the 1936 Olympics, Adolph Kiefer (gold medalist, 100-meter backstroke), Iris Cummings Critchell (200-meter breaststroke) and John Lysak (doubles canoe), as well as 1948 U.S. Olympic team member Herbert Douglas, Jr. (bronze medalist, long jump). Historians David Clay Large and Pellom McDaniells III spotlight Owens’ continuing legacy and the historical context of the Games, in particular how Owens’ victories disrupted Adolf Hitler’s plan that the 1936 Games would validate the Nazi theory of Aryan racial superiority. The film also features Owens’ daughters Beverly Owens Prather, Marlene Owens Rankin and Gloria Owens Hemphill.
Additionally, More Than Gold features archival footage from the 1936 Berlin Games, including restored elements from Olympia, the official film of the 1936 Olympics by German director Leni Riefenstahl.
“Those of us who followed the 1936 Games will always say that it was the foundation from which we sprung from. We had nothing else. We were not in baseball, basketball or football. We weren’t in any other sport,” said Douglas, Jr.. “Those athletes on the 1936 team, it was a turning point for African Americans in sports.”
“Jesse Owens was the hero of every member of the 1936 Olympic team,” said Kiefer. “We all wanted him to win. We wanted him to win four medals. I’m just sorry it wasn’t five. He’s number one and always will be.”
For a preview of More Than Gold, click here.
More Than Gold complements the February 19 nationwide release by Focus Features of the new movie Race, which tells the incredible story of Owens’ quest to become the greatest track and field athlete in history as he readies for the 1936 Olympics. Race is an enthralling film about courage, determination, tolerance, and friendship, and an inspiring drama about one man’s fight to become an Olympic legend. Directed by Stephen Hopkins, Race, which is rated “PG-13,” stars Stephan James as Jesse Owens, and Jason Sudeikis, Academy Award winner Jeremy Irons, Carice van Houten, Shanice Banton, and Academy Award winner William Hurt. Focus Features is a division of NBCUniversal. For more information about Race, click here.
More Than Gold is the latest project produced by NBC Sports Films and NBC Olympics. Additional projects include Center of Attention: The Unreal Life of Derek Sanderson, which aired during the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, Lokomotiv, Space Race, Long Way Home: The Jessica Long Story, and Nancy & Tonya, which aired during the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Their Finest Hour, which aired during the 2012 London Olympics, and Operation Yellow Ribbon, which aired during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
More Than Gold is produced by Matthew Allen, Senior Feature Producer, and Phil Parrish, Senior Producer & Editor, NBC Sports Group.
ABOUT NBC SPORTS FILMS
NBC Sports Films, a division of NBC Sports Group, was founded in 2015 and produces sports documentaries that air across NBC, NBCSN, NBC Sports Regional Networks, and NBC Sports Digital’s platforms. Using the story telling abilities of the Emmy Award-winning production units that produce NBC Sport’s coverage of the Olympics, Sunday Night Football, and the Stanley Cup Final, NBC Sports Films shines a spotlight on historical moments and compelling stories that stem from the myriad of signature sports properties in the NBC Sports Group portfolio.
—NBC SPORTS GROUP—