American marathon runner Michael Andropolis sets his heart on representing his country at the Olympic games. Meanwhile his marriage has fallen apart and his children have no respect for him...
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Joe Don Baker
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American marathon runner Michael Andropolis sets his heart on representing his country at the Olympic games. Meanwhile his marriage has fallen apart and his children have no respect for him. He sets out on his task with determination and hope that his success will resolve his personal problems. Written by
Col Needham <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Around the time of its theatrical release, Michael Douglas once said of running for this film: "Nirvana does not come every morning but its a good way to lose weight. I sleep better, except when I over-do it, then I have a restless sleep. But I haven't been in such good shape since high-school. I've a better disposition - you must have noticed that! More energy, more stamina and my mind is much sharper." See more »
My memory of this film is probably not congruent with the reality, but for an eight year old kid I was deeply impressed. The story is of about a talented but grandiose marathoner runner who's fear of failing keeps him form fully engaging in commitments. He is under-employed, separated/divorced and estranged from his children. He pins all his hopes and identity on becoming an Olympic champion but intentionally slacks off during the close finish of the Olympic trials coming in fourth. His self-esteem being incapable of surviving an honest defeat. But after an injury to one of the other runners he is selected for the team anyway. During the actual race it seems that he plans to make good on his talents and takes a commanding lead until he slips and falls on the wet pavement dislocating his arm. At this point my memory is a little vague but for some reason he finally gets it: his self worth can't be determined by the alloy of his medal but by the test of character that is the highest symbolism of all athletic competition, and so he decides to finish the race for himself. The man who couldn't bear to ever be second only shot, now, is last, and he is alone running against himself. In his defeat he wins the victory of redemption and walks away with a prize far more valuable then an Olympic Gold Medal. I would very much like to risk the disappointment of seeing this film again as it was probably, outside of Black Beauty, the biggest cinematic impact on me before I turning ten.
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