IMDb > Breaking Away (1979)
Breaking Away
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Breaking Away (1979) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 18 | slideshow) Videos
Breaking Away -- A small-town teen obsessed with the Italian cycling team vies for the affections of a college girl.

Overview

User Rating:
7.7/10   17,712 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
Popularity: ?
Up 44% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer:
Steve Tesich (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for Breaking Away on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
20 July 1979 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Somewhere between growing up and settling down... [Australia Theatrical] See more »
Plot:
A small-town boy obsessed with the Italian cycling team vies for the affections of a college girl. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won Oscar. Another 15 wins & 9 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Getting it figured out is like a bicycle race See more (97 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Dennis Christopher ... Dave

Dennis Quaid ... Mike

Daniel Stern ... Cyril

Jackie Earle Haley ... Moocher

Barbara Barrie ... Mom

Paul Dooley ... Dad
Robyn Douglass ... Katherine

Hart Bochner ... Rod

Amy Wright ... Nancy

Peter Maloney ... Doctor

John Ashton ... Mike's Brother
Lisa Shure ... French Girl
Jennifer K. Mickel ... Girl

P.J. Soles ... Suzy (as Pamela Jayne Soles)
David K. Blase ... 500 Race Announcer
William S. Armstrong ... 500 Race Official
Howard S. Wilcox ... 500 Race Official
J.F. Brière ... Mr. York (as J.F. Briere)
Carlos Sintes ... Italian Rider
Eddy Van Guyse ... Italian Rider
Alvin E. Bailey ... Stone Cutter
Harold Elgar ... Stone Cutter
Floyd E. Todd ... Stone Cutter
Robert Woolery ... Stone Cutter
Russell E. Freeman ... Stone Cutter
Jimmy Grant ... Black Student Leader
Gail L. Horton ... Fight Spectator
Woody Hueston ... Owner of Car Wash
Jennifer F. Nolan ... Anthem Singer
Nora Owens ... Woman
Douglas Rafferty ... Sports Announcer
Bill Ringgenberg ... Race Starter
John W. Ryan ... University President (as Dr. John W. Ryan)
Morris Salzman ... Blond Guy
Tom Schwoegler ... Team Captain
Mike Silveus ... Homecoming Car Kid
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Gregg Forrest ... (uncredited)

Tom Ohmer ... Fraternity Jock (uncredited)
Bart A. Reed ... Student (uncredited)

Directed by
Peter Yates 
 
Writing credits
Steve Tesich (written by)

Produced by
Art Levinson .... associate producer
Peter Yates .... producer
 
Cinematography by
Matthew F. Leonetti (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Cynthia Scheider (edited by)
 
Casting by
Jane Feinberg 
Mike Fenton 
 
Art Direction by
Patrizia von Brandenstein  (as Patrizia Von Brandenstein)
 
Set Decoration by
Lee Poll 
 
Costume Design by
Betsy Cox 
 
Makeup Department
Marvin G. Westmore .... makeup artist (as Marvin Westmore)
 
Production Management
Art Levinson .... unit production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
William S. Beasley .... second assistant director (as Bill Beasley)
Michael Grillo .... assistant director (as Mike Grillo)
 
Art Department
Mark Wade .... property master
 
Sound Department
Bud Alper .... production mixer
Neil L. Kaufman .... assistant sound editor
Michael Moyse .... sound editor
Dan Sable .... sound editor
Theodore Soderberg .... re-recording mixer (as Ted Soderberg)
Paul Wells .... re-recording mixer
Douglas O. Williams .... re-recording mixer
Brydon Baker III .... sound (uncredited)
Leslie Gaulin .... assistant sound editor (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Ira Anderson Jr. .... special effects
 
Stunts
Conrad E. Palmisano .... stunt coordinator
Diamond Farnsworth .... stunts (uncredited)
Conrad E. Palmisano .... stunt double: Dennis Christopher (uncredited)
Conrad E. Palmisano .... stunt double: Dennis Quaid (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
James Glennon .... camera operator
John J. Linder .... key grip (as John Linder)
Mike Weathers .... gaffer
Don Smetzer .... still photographer (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Victoria Snow .... costumer: ladies
 
Editorial Department
Jonathan Cohen .... assistant editor
Jonathan Day .... assistant editor
 
Location Management
Michael King .... location manager (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Leonard A. Engel .... music editor (as Len Engel)
John Neal .... scoring mixer
Lionel Newman .... conductor
Herbert W. Spencer .... orchestrator (as Herbert Spencer)
Val Stuart .... singer: opera arias
Patrick Williams .... music adaptor
 
Transportation Department
Jerry F. Johnson .... transportation coordinator (as Jerry Johnson)
 
Other crew
William S. Armstrong .... technical advisor: "Little 500"
James Koehler .... location auditor
Ana Maria Quintana .... script supervisor
Elise Rohden .... production coordinator
Gary Rybar .... bicycle coach
Gary Rybar .... bicycle rider
Tom Schwoegler .... bicycle coach
Tom Schwoegler .... bicycle mechanic
Gary Russell .... stand-in (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
101 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The Aug. 4, 2003, issue of Sports Illustrated listed "Breaking Away" as #8 on their list of the top 50 sports movies of all time.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: At the end of the movie, Dave and the French girl are riding their bicycles away from the music school towards the main library. Then when they ride past Dave's dad, they are in front of the music school, about 400 feet back from where they were in the previous shot.See more »
Quotes:
Mike's Brother:How are you fellas doing?
Cyril:Well, we're a little disturbed by developments in the Middle East, but...
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Bury Me Not On The Lone PrarieSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
67 out of 73 people found the following review useful.
Getting it figured out is like a bicycle race, 29 March 2004
Author: reviewr from la

In a bicycle race, "breaking away" describes the often-desperate solo move a rider makes in a bid to win the race. Most riders are bunched together for shared protection against the wind, and to keep an eye on their rivals--a group is always more efficient than an individual. But in moments of confusion, a single rider might just get a jump on the group and, with superhuman effort, beat the odds against going it alone and emerge victorious.

In "Breaking Away" we follow the exploits of four misfits just out of high school who contentedly contemplate a future as dead-enders. They aren't particularly smart, athletic, or good-looking, and they lack any sense of direction in their lives. Moreover, as townies, or "cutters" in a college town, they wear a spell of invisibility in their dealings with the students--the differences are painfully obvious. When they hang out on campus or lamely try to chat up the co-eds, they might as well be ghosts haunting a town they used to inhabit. Something happened when they graduated from high school and didn't go on to college: they became cutters, no better than servants, in their own confused eyes.

When we meet Dave Stoller (Dennis Christopher) we think, here's a guy who might be able to break out of his own rut. He seems to be a kid with a little more on the ball than the others. But then we see that he's also the most confused--by far. Dave is wrapped up in a fantasy world where he's an Italian bike racer, a champion of a sport virtually unknown in America at the time. That Dave's charming misfits of friends take him and his delusions in stride shows us the bond of their friendship and shared misery, and just how far off the map they've all slid.

After a chance encounter with a beautiful sorority girl (Robyn Douglass) Dave pretends to be an Italian exchange student in an effort to woo a girl he believes would otherwise be way out of his reach. He draws on his obsessive knowledge of Italian culture and his own quirky charm to fool the girl into seeing him as someone fresh and new, an outsider, but not a misfit. The romance seems to be going somewhere, and Dave feels he's finally breaking away.

While Dave is conducting his fraudulent personal life he also has an opportunity to race with the Italian bike racers he had worshiped from afar. It's his chance to get recognition from the masters of the sport. He may not have much going as a cutter, but he's certain the Italians will see his racing ability and welcome him as one of their own. But when he shows that he can keep up with them in the race, naively hoping for their approval, they throw him into a ditch. Dave's fantasy world comes crashing down.

When Dave realizes that the Italians will fight to protect their turf just as much as the Americans he resents, his first reaction is to give up--"everybody cheats" he says resignedly. And he rejects the friends who had looked to him for something more--his three chums and their own struggles, and the sorority girl, who had seen in him something special.

Only Dave can save Dave, but it is his father's hard words that prompt him into action. To Dave and his friends, a "cutter" is someone who doesn't measure up to the college kids who are going somewhere in their lives. They affect being misfits because a misfit is one rung on the ladder above how they see themselves, which is as losers. But Dave's father points out that "cutters" were the original stonecutters who built the grand buildings on the campus. They may not be college-educated, Dave's father says, but to them "cutter" is a badge of honor for the hard-working men who built something real out of the flat earth. Dave will never be a "cutter", he says, meaning a man of accomplishment, unless he finds something equally real to do with his own life.

The Indiana Little 500 is a bike race the university holds that is taken very seriously by the groups that participate. At the time, it was the largest race in America, and fraternities counted some of the best American bike racers on their squads. But to Dave and his friends who are invited to race, it is a chance to prove to the students (and themselves) that their lives so far weren't just wasted time.

Yes, Dave is a gifted bike racer, but we already knew that. But the Little 500 (and life) requires that one rely upon not just inner strength, but the creative use of the strengths of others. It is a team race. What Dave learns when testing himself against these college students that he never felt would give him the time of day, is that the biggest obstacle to his own success was himself.

"Breaking Away" is a rich visual tapestry of life lived outside the spotlight. The characters are not fancy or sophisticated, and their life goals are simple and well within reach. It is themselves they struggle with, and their perceptions of themselves. "Breaking Away" is the story of kids who had let their own self-image degrade to the point that a fantasy world, and a life of bitter resentment, seemed like their best option.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (97 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Breaking Away (1979)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
When Paul Dooley says 'He's turned into an Iti!' deeveebee
Mom and dad..perfectly hysterical Pmdmnym
Idaho sign rhondarobinson
Dennis Christopher nottie_hottie16
Breaking Away (HD) on Google Play pcapewell
an all-time favorite chatard86
See more »

Recommendations

If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Dazed and Confused Bend It Like Beckham Saint Ralph Totally F***ed Up Adventureland
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Comedy section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.