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Personal Best (1982)

The intertwined lives and loves of three highly-ranked athletes striving for the national team; Chris bounces between the beds of male coach Terry and her female friend, competitor, and role model Tory.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Patrice Donnelly ...
Kenny Moore ...
...
Roscoe Travis
...
Penny Brill (as Kari Gosswiller)
Jodi Anderson ...
Nadia 'Pooch' Anderson
Maren Seidler ...
Tanya
Martha Watson ...
Sheila
Emily Dole ...
Maureen
Pam Spencer ...
Jan
Deby Laplante ...
Trish
Mitzi McMillin ...
Laura
Jan Glotzer ...
Karen
Jan Van Reenen ...
Yelovitch
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Storyline

The intertwined lives and loves of three highly-ranked athletes striving for the national team; Chris bounces between the beds of male coach Terry and her female friend, competitor, and role model Tory.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 June 1982 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

As Parceiras  »

Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Real life marathon runner Kenny Moore ran the marathon at the 1968 and 1972 Olympics where he finished fourth in the latter. Here, Moore plays an Olympic swimmer and water polo player. See more »

Goofs

During the trials, Chris fouls in the shot put. As it is assumed she made no mark in the event and scored zero points she surely would never have a chance to finish high up in the overall standings, especially after she also had a poor hurdles race. Not scoring in a heptathlon event will cost roughly 20% of your overall score, virtually impossible to make up over the other 4 events. See more »

Quotes

Terry Tingloff: All right, one thing ya gotta understand: I could've been a man's coach. Backfield coach, Oregon State: I had the job, I had the job, I actually had the job. You understand? I had the job. Ah, well. Coach of the year. I was coach of the year last year. You know what that means when you're a womens' coach? Jack shit. I mean I could have coached football. Do you actually think that Chuck Knoll has to worry that Franco Harris is gonna cry 'cause Terry Bradshaw won't talk to him? - Hmm? - Jack ...
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Connections

Featured in The Celluloid Closet (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

It's Over
Written by Boz Scaggs (as B. Scaggs) and David Paich (as D. Paich)
Sung by Boz Scaggs
Courtesy of CBS Records
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User Reviews

 
"Pull my finger!"
8 March 2002 | by (Providence, Rhode Island) – See all my reviews

Mariel Hemingway stars in what is perhaps the most defining film of her career, a vehicle that displays her acting talents at what is probably her own 'personal best'.

In "PERSONAL BEST", Mariel is Chris Cahill, a young and attractive bi-sexual athlete competing at the Olympic Team Trials for the 1980 Olympic Games to be held in Los Angeles. Her character is defined as somewhat naive, but she is guided through her sexuality phase with the help of Tory Skinner (wonderfully played by Patrice Donnelly). Whether the two characters are lesbian or not is beside the point, what "PERSONAL BEST" tries to deal with is the hardship of having a relationship at a trying time in your life. In this case, both Chris and Tory are competing for a place in the Olympic Team and they both help each other emotionally and physically to achieve their goals.

The two girls both deal with sexual confusion which distracts them on and off the field. Their coach is played by Scott Glenn who plays a hard and despicable character who 'pushes' them too hard to achieve their personal best.

"PERSONAL BEST" is filled with unnecessary nudity including countless scenes inside a sauna where you get to see young female athletes baring all. There are also several explicit sex scenes involving Chris and Tory which would probably not be suitable for younger children. One questionable scene involves Chris and a male athlete/temporary love interest in a bizarre toilet scene that has absolutely nothing to do with the movie - but other than that, the rest of the film is quite inspirational.

When the movie isn't trying to be serious, there are some comedic moments including a scene where Chris asks Tory to 'pull her finger'. Another thing "PERSONAL BEST" successfully achieves is building a story around a 'lesbian relationship' without delving into silly stereo-types and cliché's that spoiled other films of the same time (ie. "WINDOWS" and "THE LONELY LADY").

When it all boils down to it, what drove Chris and Tory to achieve their personal best was not endless training and their physical attributes, but their love and friendship for each other which was something that would probably last forever. "PERSONAL BEST" is a film about athletics and it is also a love story.

Yes, Mariel Hemingway has starred in a lot of trash (ie. "LIPSTICK", "SUPERMAN IV: THE QUEST FOR PEACE", "BAD MOON") - but it is "PERSONAL BEST" which I remember her the most for. Patrice Connelly was also a very good actress, but she has since retired from acting after appearing in only two films. This movie brought back a lot of memories about the 70's and the 80's and how innocent love could be in times that weren't so troubled.

I highly recommend this film, not just for sports enthusiasts, but for also those who are seeking a romantic love story.

My rating - 8 out of 10


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