Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Spartakiada was released with the subtitle The Red Olympiad. A documentary propaganda piece pure and simple (or may not so pure and not so simple), the film is a recap of the athletic competitions held in Moscow in 1928 under the aegis of the Soviet Physical Culture Council. The viewer is supposed to be overwhelmed at the enormous strides made by Russian athletes since the formation of the Council in 1923. American filmgoers tended to nod off by the film's halfway point, inundated as they were by endlessly repeated shots of clean-limbed Soviet youths exercising in regimented unison. Even those critics who lauded the film's excellent photography were prone to suggest that Spartakiada would have been twice as effective at half the length.