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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

classic

10/10
Author: coors90456 from Left Coast
4 December 2004

I'm now 32. if your not a bowler you may not appreciate the movie. but being a bowler as a kid, this movie was awesome. the story of a typical bowling center employee aspiring to get out of his mediocrity through becoming a professional bowler. showing the usual idiocies dealt with in a bowling center by an employee. and the after hours work that goes on behind the seen at a bowling center, as well as the after hours practice involved in being dedicated to your sport. and of course trying to please the woman while trying to reach your dreams. and the appearances by Dick Weber, Chris Schenkel, and Nelson Burton Jr, just made Dreamer magical to me as a "bowlin alley runt". Dreamer in my opinion by way of integrity, was a million times better than Kingpin. Kingpin made me feel embarrassed to be grouped as a bowler.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A Blast from the Past...

Author: jim6263 from So.California, USA
22 October 2008

Recently seen playing on some Premium cable channel, I agree that it's not all that great a film. But, it was a blast from the past for me, seeing Dick Weber again (who had to be @50 or more when this film was shot), still virtually flawless and youthful-looking as always. They had a tour stop in my home town @4 decades ago -- not televised, as I recall, perhaps wrongly -- in which the PBA Finals (at that time) had the top 2 bowlers (for the week/that tourney) roll a three-game set, head-to-head: in this case, Dick Weber vs. Nelson Burton. As I recall (perhaps wrongly) Burton won (which would have been to my chagrin), but they were outrageously good. Their score was something like 786 to 802 -- No joke! I primarily watched to see if they'd cast an actor who was (apparently) a decent bowler, which they did. But the great character/supporting actor Jack Warden would never have been a Pro with the form I saw in this film. Granted, he was fairly old at the time, but...

I was such a bowling alley rat, practically lived in the place, but not with not near such a gifted physique as Mathieson. I wish I had! But still, my (honest) open bowling average was 225~230. Yeahp, anyone who says bowling is not good, honest exercise should try bowling 120 games a week for a few months/+ -- i.e. alone, or with one friend, open bowling frame after frame with a 15~16# ball... NO sitting down! It's a lot harder if/when one's not yet a good bowler, btw... esp. perhaps for one's blood pressure.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Great movie about a struggling sport!

10/10
Author: Magneto-X from South Carolina
17 August 2002

I thought this movie was one of the best. If you like bowling then you should love this movie. Tim Matheson presents a powerful performance of a struggling bowler trying to join the PBA. This movie puts Kingpin and others like it to shame. It isn't trying to demean the sport of bowling, but show a truer picture of bowling as a sport. I think it does a great job of this!

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Bowling for dollars and sense.

7/10
Author: copper1963 from Staten Island, New York
1 July 2009

Sleeper. "Dreamer" Tim Matheson, an actor I've always liked, is obsessed with exiting--even a ripped open hunk of flesh and a blood soaked bandage is little obstacle--the lower ranks of minor league bowling, and earning his pot-of-gold: his name on a P.B.A. card. Susan Blakely, an actress I've always liked, scores a three-strike turkey as Dreamer's pushy love interest. Old reliable Jack Warden is Matheson's surrogate father, a man who's own gargantuan-sized bag of dreams rivals those of Dreamer. A gaggle of goofy locals hang out at Warden's glitzy bowling emporium, a cheery place where no one is turned away. Comfy. Dreamer's route to stardom is cluttered along the way with squabbles with Blakely, unscrupulous P.B.A. executives and a past opponent with a vendetta. Real-life professional bowler Nelson Burton, Jr. and ABC commentator Chris Schenkel provide much needed color and authenticity. The tournament final is filmed in a crisp and clean style. A couple of promising scenes begin well but fall flat, otherwise the movie unwinds a refreshing look at a slice of life usually not projected on to the big screen. The kind of "little" film that Hollywood has, sadly, almost abandoned.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

This movie is both trite AND hackneyed

Author: Will Frohnhoefer from New York
11 November 1998

Tim Matheson plays a down-on-his-luck aspiring professional bowler. He has an elderly mentor who teaches him to believe in himself. He has a girlfriend who boosts him when he's low. He's got a whole bunch of down-to-earth buddies who support his quest. He triumphs over the mean-spirited bureaucrats who seek to deny him his PBA certification. He enters a national tournament as a last-minute add-on. He becomes a dark horse, striking and sparing his way into the finals, and finally taking the championship from one of his childhood heroes. Just like a thousand other sports-related movies, in fact. Rent Caddyshack or Kingpin instead.

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3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

This Movie is Awesome

10/10
Author: Wilk061904 from Terre Haute, Indiana
25 August 2007

This is One of the Greats. This movie is a classic. This movie tells the story about a pro Bowler in the late 1970's. i read a comment about how this movie wasn't very good. How Pro Bowlers carry 15 bowling balls. That is True know, But in 1979 Pro Bowlers may only carry one bowling ball. Who ever said that does't know much about the sport. For any Bowler this movie is related to them how Hoosiers is related to any Indiana basketball player. It is Great. Sit Back enjoy a Couple of bud lights and enjoy. Tim Matheson is Outstanding. If you are a Bowler this is your movie. I Love IT. You Really understand how it is . How common Bowling Alley Workers try to make it big.

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0 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

One of the worst films ever

Author: dbmax from Indianapolis, Indiana
12 January 2001

Gene Siskel was quoted by Bowlers Journal magazine as saying Dreamer just missed his list of the top-10 worst movies of 1979, and for good reason. It opens with the Tim Matheson character returning from the pro tour on a bus, carrying one bowling ball! For effect, director Nosseck might have had the guy climbing out of a tail-dragging car crammed with several other haggard pros--and several hundred pounds of bowling balls (in realilty, most pros travel by twos in vans or even motorhomes--and carry up to 15 balls from stop to stop). In due course, "Dreamer" meets and alienates the Big Star who happens to run the PBA, portrayed sans dialogue by the great Dick Weber. And for a climax, Nosseck kept the crayon well within the lines, with "Dreamer" facing the Big Star in the All-American tournament--where with each paid admission, fans are given a little flag to joyously wave.

It's always bugged me that Hollywood can't do a good film about pro bowlers, given that many live vagabond lives of sex, booze/drugs and the desperation that comes from being one tournament away from financial ruin. There are some great stories out there on tour.

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0 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Not bad...for a bowling movie

5/10
Author: Tito-8 from North Bay, Ontario
6 April 2000

I almost liked this movie, although I can recognize that this has an awfully familiar story. There were some likeable performances, and even though bowling plays a major part in the film, this isn't nearly as tedious as it might sound. Unfortunately, there's nothing here that hasn't been seen before. It's a perfectly watchable film if you're looking for something bland and unoriginal to kill some time.

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