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Breaking Away
Title | Breaking Away
Author | Starring: Dennis Christopher & Dennis Quaid
Type | DVD
Rating | 10
Notes | Originally released in 1979. Peter Yates's flag-waving film stands with To Kill a Mockingbird and American Graffiti as one of the best films about small-town Americana. Steve Tesich won an Oscar for his semi-biographical screenplay about four 19-year-olds who don't know what to do after high school. Dave Stohler (Dennis Christopher) and his three friends--ex-football star Mike (Dennis Quaid), wily comedian Cyril (Daniel Stern), and tough kid Moocher (Jackie Earle Haley)--are doomed to live in the college town of Bloomington, Indiana, where the local kids (nicknamed "Cutters"--a derogatory reference to quarry workers and their blue-collar families) are looked down on by the uppity students of nearby Indiana University.

Stohler escapes into a world of Italian bicycling, picking up the lingo, the accent, and a good share of the talent of his heroes. He is also the scourge of his father's life. The used-car salesman (Paul Dooley) doesn't understand his son's affection for bicycling or, for that matter, his pride in being a "Cutter."

Breaking Away rehabilitates the word heartwarming as Tesich's uncommonly intelligent script gives us well-rounded characters and a potent sense of place. The grandstanding finale--the real life "Little 500" bike race--gives the film a perfect, crowd-pleasing end. However, the film never sacrifices the development of characters for the action. Dooley is especially effective in one of those once-in-a-lifetime roles. The lifelong character actor's place in film history is established with this indispensable performance.
Purchase/Additonal Info |

|| Member Feedback   [add your comments]
Geoff Miller Photographer
Portage | MI | USA
Comments | [02/02/04] I confess, this film was about 60% of the reason I decided to go to Indiana U. (Class of '86). This film, along with Fandango, are probably the best two "I'm 19-21 and what the heck am I gonna do with the rest of my life?" flicks. I could really identify with the characters of Dave and Cyril. It's heartwarming and funny at the same time.
Rating | 10

Alex Miroshnichenko Photographer
Foothill Ranch (Irvine) | CA | USA
Comments | [01/21/04] See this movie - it is a classic - in my top 10 all-time best sports flicks. Great story line with solid/interesting characters, good action, a little romance, great father/son storyline, lots of racing ... two thumbs up for sure!
Rating | 10

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