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|Index||91 reviews in total|
The film 'Breaking Away' is at its core, a film about trying to break
beyond the barriers that people have in front of them, and those that they
place on themselves. It's about working class buddies just out of high
school, and the lack of hope they seem to feel about their futures. They
have a rivalry with the 'rich kids' going to the nearby University of
Indiana, and end up in a direct competition with them, in the form of a
bicycle race. The culmination is a bit corny, but we want these guys to
succeed, because they are the classic underdogs.
The movie has a lot of heart, the friendship between the guys is portrayed with realism, and the relationship of the main character of Dave Stoller, an amateur bicycle racer and dreamer, with his parents, is something special. Also,the classical music peppered throughout the film, particularly during the bike racing, is perfect. This is a feel good film, and a nostalgic look back at the the late 1970's.
Alright, it reminds me of just when I was out of college and EVERYONE
was talking about this movie. I saw it and was completely hooked. How
can you not like this movie with so many good and young and coming
It's a solid story and I met someone from Bloomington Indiana who was so completely wholesome and was amazed that I knew the school song (from this movie).
Many sections of the movie are just hilarious. In Austin we didn't have equivalent to 'cutters', but for some reason, the University loved this movie, too.
If you've never seen this classic, now's the time to try it out. OK, t takes me back in time, but it's still a hidden classic of the times.
When "Breaking Away" debuted in 1979, it made quite a splash. It was a
'small' film that suddenly broke out from the crowd--gaining a lot of
critical attention as well as an Oscar. Now, over 30 years later, I
decided to watch the film for a second time--mostly because I barely
remember it and because it's an important film from this era.
The film is about a group of young high school graduates who are not going to college, aren't particularly interested in working and are afraid of growing up. Additionally, they seem to have a chip on their shoulders, as these so-called 'Cutters' are jealous of the local college students. As for the students, they seem to feel the Cutters are beneath them. One way that these so-called losers can finally feel important involves an upcoming bicycle race--and David (Dennis Christopher) hopes to prove something to himself and the community. Can he and his three working-class friends (including Dennis Quaid and Daniel Stern) somehow end up winners?
While a lot of folks adore this coming of age story, I felt very mixed about it. It was exceptional and some of it I really liked (Paul Dooley's character was great as was Barbara Barrie's), but some I didn't. I particularly had difficulty caring for the kids. The Cutters seemed like jerks--as were the college students. Making any sort of connection with them was tough for me. But, the film did combine nice music, a rousing finale and a lot of nice sports clichés into an enjoyable, though perhaps slightly overrated film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is definitely one of those films I never would of heard of without being in the book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, and it was also because of some good names in the cast and an award win, from Oscar and Golden Globe nominated director Peter Yates (Summer Holiday, Bullitt, The Deep). Basically best friends Dave Stoller (BAFTA winning, and Golden Globe nominated Dennis Christopher), Mike (The Day After Tomorrow's Dennis Quaid), Cyril (Home Alone's Daniel Stern) and Moocher (A Nightmare on Elm Street's Jackie Earle Haley) have all just graduated from high school in Bloomington, Indiana. They are all deciding what to do next in their lives, but until then they spend a lot of their time swimming in an old abandoned water-filled quarry, and they clash with Indiana University students. Dave, who has a passion for Italian music and the culture, which concerns his father Ray (Paul Dooley), has an obsession with competitive bicycle racing, his mother Evelyn (Oscar nominated Barbara Barrie) is very supportive of these things. Dave has a crush on university student Katherine (Robyn Douglass) and puts on an Italian accent to romance her, but she is does already have boyfriend Rod (Hart Bochner), and he has his gang beat up Cyril after mistaken identity. Soon after this there is the announcement a professional Italian cycling team coming to town for a racing event, and Dave is keen to participate as well, but the team cause to get depressed after a crash. He does come back, and he gets support from his father, and after some incidents in the race Dave has his feet taped to his bicycle pedals, Moocher, Cyril and Mike all watch in hope, and on the last lap he overtakes Rod to win the race, and after the trophy glory he decides he'll enrol at the university. Also starring Amy Wright as Nancy, Peter Maloney as Doctor and Halloween's P.J. Soles as Suzy. Christopher is a talented young leading character, Quaid, Stern and Haley who would all go on to bigger things do really well as they are young as well, and in her scenes I can see why Barrie was nominated an award, the material that would inspire the Brat Pack genre are all amusing, the cycling scenes are good watching, and the dialogue is witty and also sensitive, so all in all it is a likable comedy sports drama. It won the Oscar for Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, and it was nominated for Best Music for Patrick Williams and Best Picture, and it won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture - Musical/Comedy, and it was nominated for Best Screenplay. Good!
I'm not much of a biker, and by that I mean I haven't ridden a bike
since I was probably ten, but there's something inspiring about Peter
Yates' Breaking Away that almost makes me wish I had kept it up.
Breaking Away is about teenager Dave Stoller and his buddies in the
small town of Bloomington, Indiana. Dave is obsessed with the Italian
cycling team and longs to be Italian, speaking the language and
listening to the music. He also vies for the affection of a college
girl in an almost Romeo and Juliet fashion. Dave and his friends are
what are known as cutters and they are despised by the college students
of the town. But this doesn't stop Dave from serenading the beautiful
Catherine under his sentimental Italian guise. Breaking Away is a
charming film that is plenty of fun to watch.
There isn't a whole lot to this film and it doesn't' intend to be much. It isn't hard hitting or dark in any way. It is a very innocent film that isn't much more than a delightful use of an hour and forty minutes of your time. This is a lighthearted film that doesn't demand any sort of harsh criticism or intense focus. Take this film as it is and just enjoy it. It is plenty worth it to just sit through the film, which is fairly short anyways, and enjoy it not as something grand and life changing, just a pleasant little film that has fun with what it's doing and will bring about warm and happy feelings in you if you just take it for what it is.
Breaking Away succeeds greatly from a character standpoint as all four of the main characters are plenty likable. They are portrayed excellently by the actors in this film and we really get the sense that these four really are lifetime buds. There really isn't anything to criticize about them as characters. They have their flaws but it makes them human. And thats what this film is more than anything. Human. It is a nice story that doesn't make us think and it doesn't hit hard emotionally, but it can be easily enjoyed as a pleasant story that is believable enough for your typical underdog story.
You wont find anything revolutionary or groundbreaking here but you will find a simple and heartfelt story that will please you for the hour and forty minutes that you watch it unfold. There isn't too much more to this film other than just a happy tale of success and friendship. It is well written, well directed, well acted, and is just an all around well put together film. It isn't something I would watch again, but I don't regret giving it a shot.
Many comments for this film describe the small town effect and how this charming comedy captures the feelings of such a place at such a time in teen boys lives.... but what of us others who saw BREAKING AWAY in other countries under completely different conditions? well I ran a little beach side cinema at the time and I was only 24... fresh from college and 5 years out of my own teens. In Australia we so well identified with this film, as we also have with many others like THE OUTSIDERS or RUMBLEFISH or RACING WITH THE MOON or maybe even KISS ME STUPID... but what was universal about this hilarious film is the fact that it captures humorously and generously a true rite of passage for all boys and their well meaning parents.. whether they be wealthy or working class or idyllic Australian... Even though the characters and their parents were not like mine or that of their friends, I somehow felt as though they all were the people I could easily know if I lived somewhere else. THE PAPER CHASE is probably a great sort-of sequel to BREAKING AWAY without that ever having been planned that way. What a great time 1979 was and films like this just made it so. BREAKING AWAY captures the era and the towns and the kids and the country as well as the America everyone elsewhere was interested in. Hot sunny days in Anywhere USA, by the river or at the swimming hole with funny silly friends.... and suddenly it was all over and we had to get serious about working. I ran BREAKING AWAY many times often on hot summer nights at my seaside holiday resort cinema, a small town by the sea with an annual influx of wealthy tourists who only came once a year. Everyone identified with it and they all cheered many times, sitting in a warm cinema with all the doors and shutters open to let a breeze through. BREAKING AWAY makes me love my life and 1979 as much as I loved the films of that year. It is a truly evocative film. The opening scene in the spectacular quarry is an absolute attention getter and the film weaves an elating set of characters and themes and hilarious situations together so well right up to the thrilling bike race climax. A genuine crowd pleaser and a particularly effective film for teens to love watching with their parents.
So, as our "hero" discusses the Tour De France at the end of the movie, there is one thing to consider. One of the Italians is actually John VandeVelde a six-day track racer back in the day and the father of Christian VendeVelde who finished fifth in the 2008 Tour De France. Christian has been a pro cyclist for several years and rode as a domestic for Lance Armstrong helping him win the Tour De France in 1999 and 2001. Christian wore the white jersey as best young rider in 1999. He also finished 3rd in the 2008 Tour of California and wore the leaders jersey in the 2008 Tour of Italy after the first stage. Vive VandeVelde!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A friend of mine knows the screen-writer and told me to check out the movie so I did with little expectations and was totally surprised as how good it was. The acting was the most surprising part. I really like everyone and I actually think Dennis Quaid was the weakest. The ending was cliché and I knew they were going to win, but that did not matter to me as I watch it. The writing was not quite Oscar caliber in my opinion, but I am not sure who it was up against, but it was not bad. Surprisingly my favorite parts of the movie, was when David was training and the music got me really pumped and going even thought it was classical. I really liked how the soundtrack was timeless and really added to the whole feel of the movie. Maybe I need to be younger to really appreciate the movie, but I still loved it and would not mind watching it again.
Breaking Away was not just surprisingly good, it was surprisingly
EXCELLENT. I never thought I would be as intrigued by a movie about
life in rural Indiana as I was. The story was well written and the
acting was stellar as well. I loved Dave Stoller's character played by
Dennis Christopher, and Raymond Stoller (Paul Dooley) was great as the
unintentionally funny father.
It was a classic tale of the haves and the have-nots with the have-nots being the "Cutters". In any other movie I'm sure I would not have watched nor rooted for a cyclist like I did in this movie. You couldn't help but root for the Cutters. They epitomized the typical everyday, blue collar, hard working American and their winning was a win for everyone like them. A great movie.
I loved this movie from the start. After seeing it in a theater, I
caught it every time it played on TV and eventually bought the VHS and
then the DVD. This film does what all great films should do-- it
creates a world and lets you come in and live there for awhile. Each
character is so strongly drawn that you really feel you know them. The
story is almost irrelevant. You just go along for the ride (on a
bicycle, of course)and observe human nature. The Midwest setting is
also a bonus. It is nice to see a film set in Indiana rather than
California or New York.
The father-son relationship is revealing and comical without being trite. The buddies are like the guys you may have grown up with, flawed and somewhat stupid at times, but loyal and goodhearted. I don't want to say too much about the story because you need to just sit back and get into it on your own. You may end up buying your own copy, too.
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