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Downhill Racer (1969) Poster

Trivia

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Natalie Wood worked as an assistant behind the scenes of this movie. She typed script revisions, shopped for wardrobe and props, and also appeared, well-disguised, as an extra in some crowd scenes.
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Ten days before filming began, star Robert Redford accidentally drove a snowmobile over a cliff, tearing his tendon and requiring seven stitches in his knee.
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Michael Ritchie replaced Roman Polanski as the film's director. This movie was going to be Polanski's first ever American movie. Producer Robert Evans of the Paramount Pictures studio needed someone to direct Rosemary's Baby (1968) so Polanski was given that project due to the style and themes of some of his recent dark European films. Robert Redford was also considered for the male lead in Rosemary's Baby (1968).
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The movie's poster was as #4 of "The 25 Best Movie Posters Ever" by Premiere.
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Sylvester Stallone was an extra in this movie. He shares a scene with Camilla Sparv and Robert Redford. Seven years later, the producers of Rocky (1976) wanted Redford cast in the role of the film's title character Rocky Balboa but Stallone was determined he wanted to star in it. He did, and he became a big Hollywood star.
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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.
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Star Robert Redford, in the audio-commentary on the DVD, reports that this film was in pre-production for a long time. He was supposed to appear in Rosemary's Baby (1968), and then this pet project of his was to go before the camera. Due to a breakdown in negotiations and his eventual refusal to appear in Rosemary's Baby (1968), this film was canceled at least twice before Redford's production company picked up the film and began moving forward with the project.
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Debut theatrical feature film of Sylvester Stallone who appears uncredited as an extra in the movie playing a restaurant patron. Stallone can be seen wearing a suit eating dinner in a restaurant seated at a table near Camilla Sparv and Robert Redford.
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Debut theatrical feature film directed by director Michael Ritchie after directing in television.
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Costume Designer Edith Head had begun work on this film back in the spring of 1967 when her contract with Paramount Studios came to an end. It is debatable how much of her contribution still remains in the completed film but she regarded this film as one of her 100+ films of her incredibly long costume career.
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The first USA skier to win an Olympic downhill medal was Bill Johnson, who won gold in 1984 - 15 years after the release of the movie.
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Actress Sherry Jackson was one of the early choices to play Robert Redford's love interest but her agent rejected the deal without her knowledge.
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Co-stars Robert Redford and Gene Hackman also appeared in Richard Attenborough's A Bridge Too Far (1977) (but but shared no scenes.
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Producer-director Mark Robson first bought the movie rights to this picture in 1963.
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Director Michael Ritchie around fourteen years later directed the snow-set survivalist comedy The Survivors (1983).
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In real life Robert Redford has lived in a private snow-set ranch in the state of Utah, which is where another snow-set Redford movie, Jeremiah Johnson (1972), was actually filmed, it being made and released about three years after Downhill Racer (1969).
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The film was made and released about six years after its source novel "The Downhill Racers" by Oakley Hall had been first published in 1963. Hall also contributed uncredited to the movie's screenplay.
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The movie's name was changed to "Downhill Racer" from its source Oakley Hall 1963 novel title of "The Downhill Racers" though the two titles still remained quite similar to each other.
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According to the American Film Institute, "racing footage in the film is a mixture of real races (held at Kitzbuhel, Austria, during February and March, 1969) and scenes staged by the company on location in Kitzbuhel and Wengen, Switzerland. American locations were filmed in Idaho Springs, Colorado, and around Golden, Colorado."
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Cameo 

Sylvester Stallone: Uncredited, as a restaurant patron.
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