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Breaking Away (1979)

 -  Comedy | Drama | Sport  -  20 July 1979 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 15,503 users  
Reviews: 92 user | 39 critic

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

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Title: Breaking Away (1979)

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

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Sport

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

20 July 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bambino  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Initially, the Indiana Student Foundation promised director Peter Yates 20,000 student extras for the final race scenes. Unfortunately, only 3,000 showed up, causing Yates to change his camera angles. See more »

Goofs

In the Little 500 race the bikes are single-speed with a coaster brake and small gear wheel on the rear hub. In close-ups of Dave pedaling, however, the upper and lower halves of his chain are parallel, indicating the presence of a dérailleur just beyond the edge of the frame. See more »

Quotes

Dad: What is this?
Mom: It's sauteed zucchini.
Dad: It's I-tey food. I don't want no I-tey food.
Mom: It's not. I got it at the A&P. It's like... squash.
Dad: I know I-tey food when I hear it! It's all them "eenie" foods... zucchini... and linguine... and fettuccine. I want some American food, dammit! I want French fries!
Mom: [to the cat, who has jumped up onto the table] Oh, get off the table, Fellini!
Dad: Hey, that's *my* cat! His name's not Fellini, it's Jake! I won't have any "eenie" in this house!
[to the cat]
Dad: Your name's ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cocoon: The Return (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony No. 4 in A major (Italian Symphony), Op. 90
(uncredited)
Music by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sweet but not saccharine
26 May 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film was a pleasant surprise. No sex, no violence, no special effects. Just an incredibly literate and humorous script (which won an Oscar for Steve Tesich) and fantastic performances by the four leads. This is a film for those who still believe that good cinema requires meaningful dialogue and acting that is achingly real in its sincerity. Don't get me wrong: sex and violence have a very real and justifiable place in film; but this movie would have suffered from such a gratuitous inclusion. Peter Yates, the director, has done a fantastic job of pacing the film, and the score, consisting mostly of Rossini overtures, and excerpts from Mendelssohn's "Italian" Symphony (#4 in A Major, Op. 90), is an inspired touch, adding precisely the right atmosphere. This is the kind of low-budget triumph that the film community constantly extols for P.R. purposes, yet never supports with actual awards.


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