Olympic Movies Take Pelham Picture House in Run-up to London 2012 Games. Yessss! Cool Runnings Makes The Cut!

An Olympics-themed film program sounds like the kind of project that would drive most cinema curators bonkers.  I mean, there's  Jim Thorpe: All American, if you want to tell a really sad tale at a moment when we're supposed to be stoking the thrill of American victory.

And then there's Cool Runnings, which I've long thought of as the ideal film for herbal triathletes: mighty-lunged consumers of pot, hash and Salvia.

Lucky for Westchester residents, The Pelham Picture House, a non--profit film organization operating out of a beautifully restored 1921 single-screen  movie house in Pelham, NY has risen to the challenge with Faster, Higher, Stronger: The Olympics on Film.  Through Thursday, the eve of the Games' star-studded opening ceremony in London, the theater is showing a creatively curated selection of pictures that captures the highs, lows and entirely made-up madcap comedy that the Olympics have produced.

On Wednesday, the schedule  includes Walk, Don't Run, the 1966 film which starred Cary Grant in his last role. He plays a businessman who can't find lodging during the 1964 Tokyo games. Grant ends up sharing an apartment with Samantha Eggar and fixing her up with an American athlete played by Jim Hutton. Hijinks ensue.

Also on the schedule:

Miracle, the 2004 picture that stars Kurt Russell as the coach of the 1980 Olympic hockey team who brought home gold after defeating the Soviet team against all odds.

Yung Chang's China Heavyweight documentary, which follows former Chinese boxing star and state coach Qi Moxiang as recruits Olympic hopefuls from the impoverished villages of Sichuan province.

Other films that have already played in the program include Laurens Grant's documentary Jesse Owens, the Oscar-winning One Day in Munich, about the Palestinian organization Black September's kidnapping of athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics, and Warrior Champions, Craig and Brent Renaud's documentary about disabled Iraq War vets pursuing the Olympic dream.

Jim Thorpe: All American did not make the cut, but Cool Runnings, a comedy inspired by the 1988 Jamaican Olympic bobsled team, gets multiple screenings on Wednesday and Thursday.

Leave your blunts at home, though.  The late, great John Candy is in the movie, and just looking at him can produce uncontrollable fits  of laughter even when you're totally straight.

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