NADIA (TV movie)

6/11/1984. Syndicated. Day and time vary. 2 hours.
100 min theatrical version released outside U.S.
Biography/Drama.
Code: NAD 6/1984

PLOT

The life of Nadia Comaneci, Olympic gymnast who scored a perfect 10 at age 14.

CREDITS

Writer: Jim McGinn.
Director: Alan Cooke.

CAST

Johann Carlo as teen-aged Nadia Comaneci
Leslie Weiner as young Nadia Comaneci
Talia Balsam as Marta Karolyi
Jonathan Banks as Gheorghe Comaneci, Nadia's father. Listed 2nd of 43 (alpha. list).
Carrie Snodgrass as Stefania Comaneci

CHARACTER

Gheorghe is a gruff but loving dad, who misses Nadia when she's away, and wants her to be happy and to have a normal life. Yells at wife and agent for trying to control Nadia. Good scenes for JB include some wonderful emotional displacement onto the teddy bear he brings Nadia, and watching her win at the Olympics, nervously gripping his arms, and standing silent, tearful and proud, in the middle of the noisy celebration. Great interaction with kids throughout. The script does sentimentalize Gheorghe, but JB makes it work.

COSTUME

Since this is Europe, Gheorghe has a black beret, and a dark fedora. In second half of film he has gray at his temples to show passage of time.

CRITICS

"...does not capture the magic... treatment is trite and superficial… rather routine." Gail Williams, Hollywood Reporter, 7/13/1984

"It's not very good... extremely uninteresting drama... slow and thudding." Los Angeles Times, 7/14/1984, sec.V, p.12, also Los Angeles Times, 7/16/1984, sec.VI, p.10.

"Sports mixed with plenty of appeal to heart and tear ducts." Variety, 5/16/1984

"…an exhausting film to watch—and for all the right reasons. ...her parents (somewhat overplayed by Jonathan Banks and Carrie Snodgrass)..." Alexander Kafka, Washington Post, 7/18/1984 Style p.11.

LINES

"Tricks, that's what you do, tricks?"

"You know how these schools are. Work, work, work - no time to be a little girl."

"But will all this make her happy?"

"Guess who was lonely without you? ...He missed you very much." (Teddy bear)

"I love you, any way you are."

LOCATION

Filmed in Yugoslavia.

SCREEN TIME

11 minutes in 7 scenes, throughout film.