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Breaking Away (1979)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Sport  |  20 July 1979 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 16,458 users  
Reviews: 93 user | 57 critic

A small-town boy obsessed with the Italian cycling team vies for the affections of a college girl.



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Won 1 Oscar. Another 15 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Robyn Douglass ...
Mike's Brother
Lisa Shure ...
French Girl
Jennifer K. Mickel ...
Suzy (as Pamela Jayne Soles)
David K. Blase ...
500 Race Announcer


Best friends Dave, Mike, Cyril and Moocher have just graduated from high school. Living in the college town of Bloomington, Indiana, they are considered "cutters": the working class of the town so named since most of the middle aged generation, such as their parents, worked at the local limestone quarry, which is now a swimming hole. There is great animosity between the cutters and the generally wealthy Indiana University students, each group who have their own turf in town. The dichotomy is that the limestone was used to build the university, which is now seen as being too good for the locals who built it. Although each of the four is a totally different personality from the other three, they also have in common the fact of being unfocused and unmotivated in life. The one slight exception is Dave. Although he has no job and doesn't know what to do with his life, he is a champion bicycle racer. He idolizes the Italian cycling team so much he pretends to be Italian, much to the chagrin... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Somewhere between growing up and settling down... [Australia Theatrical] See more »


Comedy | Drama | Sport


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

20 July 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bambino  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The original "Cutters" team, created in 1984, after the movie's release, never included locals. Race guidelines now dictate that all racers must attend the University. However, in 1961 Normal University had a team in the race, finishing 21st. See more »


The sky alternates between bright blue and cloudy between shots during the race. See more »


[Dave crosses himself on learning of Team Cinzano's imminent arrival]
Mom: Oh, Dave, try not to become Catholic on us.
See more »


Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #22.34 (2005) See more »


Il barbiere di Siviglia: Sinfonia
Music by Gioachino Rossini
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User Reviews

Four men try to cope with the growing pains of living in "smalltown" USA.
6 August 1998 | by (Fort Collins, Colorado) – See all my reviews

This movie is a wonderful depiction of four Indiana men who try to grow up and make decisions about their futures. They all have their own problems to deal with but all need each other in dealing with their situations. Being outcasts in town, they turn to each other for hope and understanding. Being "less privileged" than others their age, they learn to make the best of what they have...each other. This is a great movie about growing up and how everyone deals differently with the obstacles they are dealt with. Dennis Christopher leads this all-star cast in a movie that should be watched by the young and old. It is a compelling saga of how these young men conquer the everpresent problem of trying to fit in.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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