The World's Greatest Athlete

The World's Greatest Athlete

Synopsis of Movie

Equal parts Disney slapstick fantasy, Tarzan movie and underdog sports flick, The World’s Greatest Athlete had enough zany spirit for several films. With a cast that included Tim Conway, John Amos, a then-unknown Jan-Michael Vincent (later star of TV’s Airwolf) and sportscaster Howard Cosell as himself, the movie continued the Disney sports comedy tradition of Gus and The Strongest Man in the World.

Amos plays college track coach Sam Archer, and Conway is his assistant, Milo Jackson. Faced with yet another dismal team and increasing pressure from Dean Maxwell, the two men are ready to pack it in. But on a trip to the Africa wilderness, Archer and Jackson discover Nanu (Vincent), a born athlete raised in the jungle. The coaches swindle Nanu’s godfather, Gazenga, into letting them take the “world’s greatest athlete” back to the States.

Nanu instantly turns the team around, astounding even the seasoned Cosell. But the two coaches messed with the wrong godfather, and witch doctor Gazenga takes creative revenge, shrinking Jackson to mouse size and wreaking effects-fueled havoc on the way to the championships.

The World’s Greatest Athlete wasn’t the biggest hit in the Disney lineup of 70’s comedy, but it was a wildly fun treat for those who saw it. And thanks to the Disney re-release plan, it’s likely that The World’s Greatest Athlete will be bringing home the gold for years to come.

Movie Release History

1973 - The World's Greatest Athlete

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Movie Studio



Milo Tim Conway
Nanu Jan-Michael Vincent
Coach Archer John Amos
Gazenga Roscoe Lee Browne
Jane Dayle Haddon
Dean Maxwell Billy De Wolfe
Mrs. Petersen Nancy Walker
Unknown Danny Goldman
Unknown Don Pedro Colley
Games spectator Vito Scotti
Unknown Liam Dunn
Unknown Ivor Francis
Unknown Leon Askin
Announcer Howard Cosell
Announcer Frank Gifford

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