After a young man graduates from a prestigious college, he rebels by preferring a carefree existence rather than the life of fighting the rungs within the treacherous American corporate ... See full summary »
In 1909, when young Paiute Indian Willie Boy returns to his California reservation to be with Lola, whose father disapproves of him, a killing in self defense takes place, triggering a massive man hunt for Willie.
In New York in the late 60s, a politically motivated group of students plans bombings of company offices who do business with dictators in Middle American countries. But when they contact a... See full summary »
Robert Allen Schnitzer
Sonny Steele used to be a rodeo star, but his next appearance is to be on a Las Vegas stage, wearing a suit covered in lights, advertising a breakfast cereal. When he finds out they are ... See full summary »
A biplane pilot who had missed flying in WWI takes up barnstorming and later a movie career in his quest for the glory he had missed, eventually getting a chance to prove himself in a film ... See full summary »
Zandy Allan purchases a mail-order bride, Hannah Lund. He treats her as a possession, without respect or humanity, until their shared ordeal as they struggle to survive develops in him a ... See full summary »
Mike Vecchio and Susan Henderson are preparing for their upcoming wedding. However, they seem to be the only two people at the wedding that are happy. Mike's brother Richie and his wife ... See full summary »
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
Natalie Wood's then husband, Richard Gregson, was one head producer on this picture. She was also a good friend and former high school classmate of co-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 »
On Dave's Olympic run he has black skis at the starting gate and alternating red and black skis while on the course. See more »
[Making some public appearances before various business groups in an effort to garner financial support for the U.S. ski team]
The Europeans simply can't understand why... this country doesn't turn out the world's greatest ski teams. And I'm ashamed to tell 'em the truth. We have the mountains, we have the men, we have the muscle. We don't have the money in this richest nation in the world. Every racer... on a well-equipped winning team... is a foreign sales representative for U.S. ski products....
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For anybody who follows international sports, the characters and organizations in this movie ring true. Whether you follow skating, gymnastics, skiing, or any other essentially solo international sports, you have seen the loners, the chosen stars, the politics, fund raising, and everything else that goes on behind and in front of the scenes.
This movie captures those people and circumstances exceptionally well. As has been noted in the coverage of the Olympics, the parallels to the 2006 US downhill team are stunning. The fact that this movie was made in 1969, with the film style of the day, makes it quite dated. But it is exactly the dated fashions, music, cinematography, skiing equipment, and attitudes that make it a keeper.
Downhill Racer remains the seminal skiing movie (unless one prefers the slob humor of Hot Dog: The Movie), but it's also about bigger themes. Redford is the quintessential American loner, out for his own goals and not interested in serving the needs of his sport, his team, or the international press. It's a character we've seen a thousand times in real life, and it's one who gets deified or demonized depending on his success in the field of sport.
So, view this very dated movie in today's context. You'll be surprised how relevant it is.
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