Walt Disney Productions’ The World’s Greatest Athlete isn’t a particularly well-remembered movie. The sports comedy released 40-years-ago this month (February, 1973) and was quite successful in its day, ending up the 16th highest-grossing film of the year. That’s higher than classics like Sleeper and High Plains Drifter.
Jan-Michael Vincent starred as Nanu, a Tarzan-like orphan from Africa who is fast enough to outrun a speeding cheetah. A desperate-for-success college coach from America, Sam Archer (John Amos) and his assistant, Milo (Tim Conway) discover Nanu and cart him off to the US. Amazement and Disney-approved chuckles await the stunned collegiate crowds. Howard Cosell makes an appearance as a track announcer to provide some 1970s sports authority to the farcical proceedings.
I couldn’t come up with the proper theatrical trailer but here’s a nifty 30-second TV spot from ’73 and a 90-second clip from the film. Disney is offering up the movie for rent if you are so inclined. Run it.
Previously, on Trailer Tuesday: The Swarm