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Downhill Racer (1969)

M  -  Drama | Sport  -  2 February 1970 (Sweden)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 2,450 users  
Reviews: 35 user | 26 critic

Quietly cocky Robert Redford joins U.S. ski team as downhill racer and clashes with the team's coach, played by Gene Hackman. Lots of good skiing action leading to an exciting climax.

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Title: Downhill Racer (1969)

Downhill Racer (1969) on IMDb 6.3/10

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Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
David Chappellet
...
Eugene Claire
...
Carole Stahl
Karl Michael Vogler ...
Machet
...
Johnny Creech
Kathleen Crowley ...
Reporter
...
Mayo
Kenneth Kirk ...
D.K. Bryan
Oren Stevens ...
Tony Kipsmith
Jerry Dexter ...
Ron Engel
Walter Stroud ...
Mr. Chappellet
Carole Carle ...
Lena
Rip McManus ...
Bruce Devore
Joe Jay Jalbert ...
Tommy Erb
Tom J. Kirk ...
Stiles
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Storyline

David Chappellet is a mean-spirited skier, who profits from another skier's injury to gain a spot on the American Olympic team. His roommate sums up his goals when he observes of David, "He's not for the team, and he never will be"; but precisely who the David is that David is so fiendishly striving for we're never to learn. He develops a short-lived relationship with Carole Stahl, a glamorous European woman even more capricious than himself. Chappellet's identity trouble are exacerbated by the fact that he is an "Event" as well as a personality; and more astute minds than his own have difficulty where the one leaves off and the other takes over. Director Michael Richie's ("The Candidate") feature film debut. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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How fast must a man go to get from where he's at?

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

2 February 1970 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

La descente infernale  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,600,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Natalie Wood's then husband, Richard Gregson, was one of the producers on this film. She was also a good friend and former high school classmate of the star, Robert Redford. She provided hair styles for some of the actors, provided wardrobe styles for some of the stars, and was a visible presence on the European locations for the film. See more »

Goofs

During Johnny Creech's (McMullan's) run at Lauberhorn his skis change from black to red. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mary Tyler Moore: Not Just Another Pretty Face (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

Olympic Hymn
(Disques Erato)
Written by Spiro Samara & Kostis Palamas
See more »

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User Reviews

Skiing Into Your Living Room
3 November 2004 | by (Tampa Bay, Florida) – See all my reviews

The appeal of a ski film to those who ski is obvious. But imagine yourself innocent of skiing. Can it hold the attention of the rest of us? Roone Arledge and his "Wide World of Sports" provided one answer, as Jean Claude Killy and his successors skied into American living rooms on many winter Saturdays. "Downhill Racer" seconds the motion.

The late Mike Ritchie, who'd essayed nothing more ambitious than commercials, traveled the World Cup circuit in the 1967-68 winter, accompanied by Aspen novelist Jim Salter, whose screenplay (from Oakley Hall's very different novel) effectively was written in segments the night before each shoot. Almost everything about this production was improvised.

Athletes are not necessarily interesting people. Killy was; stories about him, some even true, are legion. David Chappellet (a young Robert Redford), more typically, reminds one of the astronauts in "2001", with their limited range of expressions and nothing particularly interesting to say. This comes across powerfully in several hilarious interview scenes, with American and European journalists trying in vain to get the young man to say something worth writing down.

Wengen, Switzerland passes for several World Cup race sites. (A Swiss medico wears an armband identifying him as "Arzt", or doctor, at a supposed French venue). The filmmakers also were present in Grenoble for the Winter Olympics, providing a fictional inside look at the Games far different from that of, for example, "Chariots of Fire".

One still doesn't ski, but the pleasures of "Downhill Racer" are undeniable.


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