Sunday, August 15, 2004

Wee Geordie, star of the 1956 Olympics

Poster by Jack Davis, 1956; rubberoid souvenir statue of Geordie; original 1955 UK poster.

A number of movies have been made about the Olympic games, including official films such as the 1936 Olympia, 1956 Rendevouz à Melbourne, 1960 The Grand Olympics, 1964 Tokyo orimpikku, 1972 Visions of Eight. There also a number of theatrical features with an Olympics theme: Charlie Chan At the Olympics, Million Dollar Legs, One in a Million, A Million to One, The 500 Pound Jerk, and a personal favorite, a film I loved as a child, Wee Geordie.

A heart-warming story set in the rugged scenery of beautiful Scotland, this classic Scottish comedy stars Bill Travers in the title role. The plot revolves around a small boy called Geordie McTaggert, whose school mates bullied and teased him as "Wee Geordie" because of his small stature. He decided to send away for a "Charles Atlas" weight-lifting course that he'd seen in a comic book ad. In a few years he builds himself up into a tall, strong young man who competes successfully in hammer-throwing at the Highland Games, and then goes on to compete at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games - all the while remaining a endearingly naive Highlander.

Click to read more about Wee Geordie and the Melbourne Olympics.

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