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
According to "All His Jazz, The Life and Death of Bob Fosse" (1990; Da Capo Press, 1998) by Martin Gottfried, "David Begelman of CMA was looking for a project to interest Bob Fosse after he had completed Sweet Charity (1969). Begelman asked CMA associate Sam Cohn to find something to excite Fosse. Cohn represented Steve Tesich, who had written a screenplay that was being . . . shopped around. It was called The Eagle of Naptown because it was set in Indianapolis. Both Fosse and Begelman were excited about it. They met regularly to work out a production budget. Begelman took the [budget and the] script to David Picker, then president of United Artists, but Picker turned the project down". Ironically, ten years later when the movie was finally made, Tesich won the Oscar for his screenplay, beating out Fosse and Robert Alan Aurthur for their original screenplay for All That Jazz (1979). See more »
During the Little 500 race, before the accident involving Dave Stoller, there's a shot of Dave racing out in front of the pack with his leg bandaged and his feet taped to the pedals. See more »
Well, you could use some help. What if you gave him a job?
I don't want him sellin' used cars!
Why not? It's good enough for you.
Who says its good enough for me?
Damn right, it's good enough for me. But, I don't need any help. And he'd ruin me if I hired him. A weirdo kid like that. Jeez.
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...and unsure of your future. Other reviewers have given good summaries of the film, so I won't go into it. It's interesting though that of the four principle actors, only Dennis Quaid had any kind of career after this, which is very surprising since they were all such strong performances. "Breaking Away" really captures that limbo period right after high school when you're not sure what the future holds. I identified strongly with Dennis Christopher's character - I though I was going to just pump gas or flip burgers for a year before my mom pushed me to go to college. In other words, this is a realistic, character-driven movie - you'll probably find a bit of yourself in one, or several, of the characters. There's also real chemistry here between all the actors. And the photography really captures the beauty of the Midwest (some of you, no doubt, are scratching your heads after reading that). This is a gem - don't pass it up at the video store or when it appears next on TV.
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