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The World's Greatest Athlete (1973). "Nanu's brain is still signaling."

Join us for this week's episode "The World's Greatest Athlete". We talk Male objectification, a coaches drive, Honey I shrunk the Asst. Coach, tigers on tigers as kids, stealing women and why you truly never want to be a one man army. Does this movie have us cheering for victory or are we hoping for a misplaced javelin to the jugular? Find out now!


Storyline :Sam Archer is the beleaguered head coach of Merrivale College's many hapless sports teams and individual sports athletes, their poor performance placing his job on the line. Taking a break in Zambia with his assistant Milo Jackson to get in touch with his African roots, Sam believes he sees the answer to all his professional problems in the form of Nanu, arguably the fastest, strongest, and most agile person who he has ever come across, Nanu who also has pinpoint accuracy in his aim. After the death of his missionary parents, Nanu was raised as a jungle boy by Gazenga, an African witch doctor. As Nanu is reluctant to leave his African home, Sam and Milo have to manipulate a way for Nanu to want to attend Merrivale. Gazenga may have his own thoughts of what he wants for his son. Eventually, Nanu does go to Merrivale with Sam and Milo, with the one condition that he bring his best friend, Harri, who he's known since he was a child. Beyond adjusting to western life, Nanu finds that his stay at Merrivale is not always a smooth or happy one as some constituents don't want to see Nanu compete for Merrivale and as Nanu discovers the deception that brought him to Merrivale in the first place. As Nanu may come to his own conclusions of what he himself wants to do which may take into account his tutor Jane, everything in his athletic life at Merrivale may come to a head as Coach Archer has entered him into every event at an upcoming NCAA track and field meet.

Directors: Robert Scheerer

Writers: Gerald Gardner, Dee Caruso

Stars: Jon Amos, Jan-Michael Vincent, Tim Conway, Roscoe Lee Browne, and Dayle Haddon

Awards: Nominee : None

Film Budget: Unknown

Gross Worldwide: $125,000


Other than a sweeping score, no bangers are coming out of this film.


From the Jungle to the Gym...The Greatest Facts!

  1. The scenes where Milo Jackson (Tim Conway) is shrunk to miniature size were extremely expensive to shoot during the time the film was made due to then big cost of constructing such very enormous props. The gigantic telephone itself cost US $7,900 to make whilst the woman's handbag and its chattels totaled to US $15,000.

  2. The name of the educational institution was "Merrivale College" which sounded a lot like "Medfield College" which is the name of a fictional campus used in five other Disney films of the period.

  3. Publicity for this movie during its original theatrical film release declared that the Walt Disney Pictures studio was planning a follow-up film to this pic to also star again actor Jan-Michael Vincent but this sequel never eventuated.

  4. The name of Nanu (Jan-Michael Vincent)'s pet Bengal tiger was "Harri".

  5. The size that Milo Jackson (Tim Conway) was shrunk to was three inches.


This 70s classic is not currently available on Disney+ but can be rented on amazon.

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