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|Index||91 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I liked this film a lot but whenever I get on IMDb, I like to look at
the comments where people HATE the film I like just so I can think,
"yeah, that's true", "right, I didn't notice that" and "CRAP, why
didn't I think of that?"
Call me Holden Caulfield but I liked that this film was sort of all over the place, with the Boys, with Dave, with the girl and Dave and the races and everything. That makes it seem more life-like to me when you're not quite sure where it's going and if/when the CLImax is coming.
This is a pretty charming film with Dave being romantically and innocently in love with his life while everyone else is unsure and depressed.
The script, the dialogue, the parents, the cat, the old woman on the porch, the one-liners by Stern, Haley's charm and passion, Quaid's facade and insecurity, the breeziness of Dennis Christopher and his loss of innocence to those free-wheeling italianos- everything comes together to make this a fun, inspiring film.
When the pimply short guy jumps on the bike because the tall, well-built ex-quarterback doesn't have the guts then rides for his life, barely able to reach the pedals- it makes you want to cry.
This is an excellently charming, inspiring film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"I thought that was the whole plan. I thought we were gonna waste the
rest of our lives together."
If you left a small town, you know what that last summer means, and how it feels to watch your circle of lifelong friends drift into an ever-widening ring of disparate strangers. How did Bryan Adams put it? "Jimmy quit, Jody got married..." It's freeing, and it's very sad. Most of all it's terrifying.
And if you grew up a townie next to a swank university, you know how it feels to be outclassed on your own turf... until you learned how to get into fraternity parties by bringing girls, then steal all the liquor while the girls set fires in the kitchen as a diversion. Ah, youth: running out the Chi Omegas' front door with a case of beer, screaming "Save the Bud!" as you stumbled down the steps, then not stopping until you passed all the parked Mercedes and Saabs and got to your beat-up Plymouth Duster. Then you and your townie friends went and had your own party on the top of the drawbridge at Mossdale Crossing, from which you could see the lights of the whole county. Of course, that fire-in-the-kitchen thing only worked twice, and the third time you were lucky not to get slapped with an arson beef on top of a black eye and bruised ribs. And by the time you'd drunkenly fallen off the bridge into Whiskey Slough and swallowed a sunfish - just a little one, but man it hurt coming up - it was time to head off to your own college days.
Uh, too much information?
Anyway, this movie seems to have been distilled from the pure life experience of such a small-town boy. Steve Tesich was a Yugoslavian immigrant who didn't get to America until his teens, but then I guess he did live a version of this story. The whole thing feels true, even colored as it is with some mildly hokey family hijinks. Paul Dooley and Barbara Barrie are exactly the parents you want and hardly ever get. But somebody got 'em. I bet you even knew somebody who had 'em. Coming of age is a bittersweet series of traumas, and if this movie wants to focus on the sweet, what old crank is gonna stop it?
Whatever happened to sweet, anyway? John Ashton as Mike's cop brother is a perfect example of what I mean: a very real guy acting human. That's sweet. Or the cutters jumping in the water to save Mike from drowning, and the confused look on Rod's fascist face as he experiences compassion. Or Dave's dad saying, "You're not a cutter. I'm a cutter." Or Moocher marrying that girl who looks exactly like the girl from PEEPING TOM. Sweet is great. Sweet reminds us that life isn't all bad news. It isn't, you know. Stop watching television and maybe you'll find out.
I saw this film in 1979 with my three best friends from high school,
probably right after we went swimming at the quarry and before cruising
Marymount College for girls and getting into fights with their West
Point boyfriends. Though it was a virtual reproduction of our lives, we
were serious movie buffs and were able to distance ourselves and give
it an objective review: a damn fine "coming of age" film with a smart
script and solid acting all around.
As I watched it again recently, I noticed more funny bits than I had previously, especially in the scene when Dave's parents get romantic: she plucks the flower from her hair as she drops into bed, and he sheds his pocket protector full of pens... I also appreciated more the nuances of the relationship between Dave and his dad, and the scene with them after Dave's race with the Italian team wasn't as mushy this time around.
Not quite an 8 out of 10, but I think the current 7.6 rating is well-deserved, and would have given it a 7.5 myself if I could have.
Whether still young or now old, many small-town and college-town guys who grew up with a tight circle of best friends will relate to this movie, but it's not so much a "guy-flick" that their girlfriends and wives won't enjoy a look into the lives and emotions of young men that women rarely see.
Most coming of age films can't come close to this masterpiece.
The story is fun and engaging right from the first minute. It's about four friends just out of high school avoiding life in general (and especially jobs). The funny part is, they are convinced that it's the cool thing to do. Or are they?
It centers mostly on one young man who has a talent and a passion for bicycle racing. Especially Italian bicycle racing. So much so that he adopts a fake Italian accent much to the chagrin of his father. He's a smart, athletic young kid who knows what he should do, but tries to pretend he doesn't.
Well, like most films, you know where it will go from there. Naturally, it comes down to a big bicycle race and our heroes the Cutters enter against overwhelming odds. However, what sets this one apart from most is that even though I knew what was going to happen, I felt just a little sad when it did because the movie was over.
10 out of 10. And you can watch it with your kids.
Before viewing this Little Gem recently, then looking up its info on
our IMDb.com, it had skipped the old memory that a Small Screened
Network TV Series "BREAKING AWAY"(1980-81). It ran on ABC for that one
season, before being dashed against the rocks by the powerful breaker
waves; like so many other "spinoffs" of feature films, like MR. SMITH
GOES TO WASHINGTON, NORTHWEST PASSAGE, DELTA HOUSE(from ANIMAL HOUSE),
NINE TO FIVE, NO TIME FOR SERGEANTS and most recently, MY BIG FAT Greek
LIFE(from MY BIG FAT Greek WEDDING).
But the feature film, BREAKING AWAY(1979), now that's a different story, all together! (ALL)"Now that's a different story." When Director Peter Yates, a Brit, was asked what his making this film was all about, he said that he wanted to do a movie about 'Class Distinction in America.
"Horrors! What, you say; we have no such thing here!" After all, this is America! Well, whether or not we agree, and we and our sensitive, thin-skinned 'Yankee' feelings are hurt; the idea of getting a neutral outsider's view of things may prove very interesting, even enlightening.
Anyway, Bligh me, Governor! Mr. Yates has been around and by the time of this BREAKING AWAY project, he had turned in such quality, $uce$$ful movies as "THE SAINT" TV Series(1963-65),"DANGER MAN" TV Series(1965-68), Steve McQueen's vehicle BULLITT (1968),Peter O'Tolle in MURPHY'S WAR(1971), Robert Redford's THE HOT ROCK(1972), Robert Mitchum starring in THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE(1973),FOR PETE'S SAKE(1974), MOTHER,JUGS & SPEED(1976) and Peter Benchley's THE DEEP(1977).
All in all, this is a very fine Resume for any Director, and it's only a partial list of his credits! So many films, so un-alike and all were directed by the same Limey! Well, if we're to have an objective look at our own short-comings, Mr.Yates sure looks like our guy! BREAKING AWAY could be broken down to several very important terms. To start with, Middle America is our location. Bloomington, Indiana is the town, the home of Indiana University. Ordinary, for the town folks we meet, the young, the middle aged. Their occupations could be described the same way. Stone Cutters, Store Clerks, Used Car Salesman, all working day in and day out. Perfect examples of what the Nobel Prize Laureate, Saul Bellow, once described as "living their lives in quiet desperation." These decent folk are the real backbone of America and as they go, so goes our Nation. In our Land we have an upward mobility, like nowhere in the World, ever. But, there's no guarantee, for anyone! We all have to gain access to these social stepping. We have to work for it.
All of the possible scenarios are represented by our various characters those who will advance, those who will live in relative working poverty and some who are sort of stuck between, unknowing of any future, or any plans to get to a higher station in life.
We are also privy to the trials and tribulations of the older generation. The parents Raymond Stoller(Paul Dooley), a "Used Car Salesman's Used Car Salesman"and Mother,Evelyn Stoller(Barbara Barrie, Oscar winner Best Supporting Actress)are at that middle age, but still have a spark of youth left. She proves it on one romantic evening and guess what? Dave's gonna have a little brother or sister!(At their age, yet!)
The main thrust of the story involves their son, Dave Stoller(Dennis Christopher)and his fantasies about Bicycle Racers and his romanticizing the Italian Racers in particular. To compete as a cyclist is his ambition;and when the opportunity for a local off campus team of local boys is allowed to enter the Big Annual 4 Man Cycle Team relay, Sponsored by and held on the Campus of Indiana University.
Dave enlists his 3 buddies in a Local "Cutters"Team.("Cutters" being a derogatory term for the locals used by some of the University Crowd, the snobbish ones.) So he is joined by Former High School Jock Mike(Dennis Quaid), Future College Boy Cyril(Daniel Stern) and Newlywed Moocher(Jackie Earle Haley). The compete in the race, which is exciting and well staged & filmed. The race proves to be having been a cohesive effect on all, but is not the climax of the story.
Also, Dave has a propensity to extend his fascination with the Italians and the French to maintaining a dishonest foreign accent in his dealings with women, especially Katherine(Robyn Douglass).
Like any Director, Mr. Yates knows how to wrap things up and leave us laughing. And in the process, he seems to put his own Imprimatur on our way of life, one that does bear the imperfections of class distinction. But it also has rendered these blemishes on our way of life as correctable, if you work at it.
"Breaking Away" is one of the best "coming of age" movies. After high school four friends led by a young Dennis Quaid, try to find their place in the post-high school world.Not quite adults and yet not children either,the four young men begin to drift apart. The one thing that keeps them together is their competition with the towns college kids, and Daves'(Dennis Christopher) obsession with bicycling.Eventually a bicycle race gives the group a chance to prove their worth.The sub-plot involving Daves father is unusual.Raymond Stoller(Paul Dooley) is having doubts about his own life as his son struggles to find his way."Breaking Away" is an excellent movie about growing up, without the mindless sex and profanity that saturates most movies directed at young people.
I was on a plane from Calgary to Frankfurt, unsuccessfully trying to
sleep. I knew they were gonna show a movie next, called Breaking away,
but I had never heard of it and so didn't know what to expect. From the
very first minutes, though, I was hooked.
At first, it was simply because these four sexy guys - walking around, basking, swimming - really turned me on; but after a couple of scenes I wasn't only interested in them physically, but also emotionally. Who couldn't fall in love with Eric, the energetic cyclist who dreams of being Italian and sings Figaro while shaving his legs? His vibrant spirit and unceasing pursuit of his desires are a charm that on its own could have saved an entire movie from oblivion.
But there is so much more to enjoy here. As an example of one of the finest eras in American cinema, it is a masterpiece. It captures the summer, the city, the time, the people. It is as much a film about universal themes - the price of dreams, the hunt for love, the clash of generations, the bonds of friendship - as it is one about an America that is lost forever.
When my plane had landed, I had forgotten most of it - I had had breakfast, some rest, and listened to music. I still had one last plane to catch to Amsterdam. But flashes of a beaming Eric on his bicycle kept coming back to me. Reading only small bits here on IMDb about this film brought everything back to me, and I felt compelled to share in everyone's enthusiasm. And encourage all of you who haven't yet seen this gem, to go and do so. You will not be disappointed.
I have loved this movie since the first time I saw it in college in
1979. It has held surprisingly well, which I cannot say about many of
the movies from my youth.
The writing & story are top notch, the acting, especially by Paul Dooley and Barbara Barrie, are on the mark.
I won't recount the plot, but, in a nutshell, this is a movie about choices and sticking to what you believe, and in the end, the consequences that you reap from those choices.
No grand special effects, and no epic implications, just a movie about everyday people told in an engaging way that allows the viewer to be drawn into the story, which is laced with humor, drama and some fine music.
UPDATE (July 2013) Interesting to note that my older children, especially my older sons, have watched this movie repeatedly and have found elements of humor and reflection that I either missed or forgot over the years.
In my mind, this film and story make the case that by early 21st century standards (over the top special effects, highly stylized musical scores and trendy movie genres), this movie still merits viewing, which proves that a good story and acting will always find an audience, regardless of when and by whom it was produced.
This movie is truly an underrated classic and very deserving of 4
stars, it has a great cast, Daniel Christopher as Dave, who really did
think he was Italian and someone we can all relate to when it comes to
accomplishing out dreams but having something that holds you back, and
his friends, a group of charming misfits, the kind've guys who seem
nice but most people just pre- judge them as a bunch of freaks. The
four make up every kind've person, Dave, the dreamer, Mike, the washed
up one with many past regrets, Cyril, the silly one, and of course
Moocher, the runt. Next we have Jackie Earle Haley of Bad News Bears
fame (but you don't understand, that's Kelly Leak!) as Moocher, playing
the only one you could actually consider normal in that four. Cryril,
the silly one, but deep down you could sort've tell something in his
life depressed him and he covered it by wisecracks and jokes at the
worse times. And Dennis Quaid as Mike, he was a bit of an ass, but you
can't help but feel sorry for him and all the mistakes he's made.
There are supposed coming of age stories all the time now, but this is a true one, there at the time where everyone is most confused, after graduation, the first big step in life. And they all stuck together. At the beginning, they are completely different from who they are at the end. There are also great yet subtle comedic bits (Cyril saying something about these two people getting together on a rock and rants on and on and Moocher just says "Their married now", when Dad says "I'm not papa I'm your god damn father!". When they run over the frisbe, etc.)
In general it's got the recipe for a perfect movie, great acting, realisticness, just the right bit of intensity added with a pinch of comedy.
We all know that eventually, the children are going to want to do
things differently from the parents. "Breaking Away" portrays that to
the extreme. Having graduated from high school in Indiana, Dave Stoller
(Dennis Christopher) is very much into bicycling, and specifically the
Cinzano team in Italy. So, hoping to become a cyclist himself, he
begins acting as Italian as possible - even putting on an accent for a
female classmate. His parents are uncomfortable with this, but his
friends (Dennis Quaid, Daniel Stern, Jackie Earle Haley) like it. Only
Dave himself knows what to do with his life.
This movie will probably teach you all that there is to know about the bicycle world. You might even feel like getting on a bicycle and riding around town yourself. Very well done.
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