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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)
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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

The movie featured a number of real life athletes including Jane Frederick (pentathlon), Jodi Anderson (pentathlon), Deby Laplante (hurdles), Pam Spencer (high jump), Maren Seidler (shotput), and Kenny Moore (marathon). All these performances were motion picture debuts. See more »

Goofs

At 1:06:26, a blue shoe to the left of Chris' marker is no where near the marker, but at 1:06:42, it is next to the marker. See more »

Quotes

Terry Tingloff: The high jump is a masochists event-it always ends on failure.
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Connections

Referenced in Ellen: The Puppy Episode: Part 2 (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

DIANABOL
Written and Sung by Allan Feuerbach
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User Reviews

 
Best movie I've ever seen about sports and the competitive spirit
6 August 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a beautiful and understated film about people trying to get the best out of the interaction of their personal lives with their sports performance. This is a very realistic, documentary-like film, and not everybody wants that from a film. If you want predictable, this isn't it: this film is human. You see these people go through real changes, as logical, illogical, fickle and precarious as life can be. The acting is top-notch, including the real-life athletes in scripted parts. Scott Glenn and Mariel Hemingway do some of their best work here. Patrice Donnelly is one of the most gorgeous women I have ever seen. The relationship depicted between her and Hemingway is complex, intelligent and non-exploitative. Just don't assume it's a 'typical' lesbian relationship-- it's THEIR relationship and has its own progression with which some will identify and some won't. It's definitely a superior alternative to what gay men were presented with around the same time: 'Making Love', which is soap-opera cheesy and ruined poor Harry Hamlin's movie career before it could get much of anywhere (and, to his credit, he is still proud of having done the role). Any lesbian who thinks 'Personal Best' is patronizing, really needs to see 'Making Love'.

Few movies make me nostalgic, but 'Personal Best' does, very much so-- I wish I could time-warp back to Eugene in 1976! It's got that 'natural' '70s vibe to it, and it is sometimes heartwarming to see people without cellphones or computers. All around this film makes the athletes larger-than-life and gets under their skin in ways few films have ever done, and I'm not a sports-oriented person, let alone given to watching track-and-field. The shot-put scene at the Olympic trial at the end is one of many marvelously-conceived sequences which literally make me feel like I'm in the action, as the athletes in slo-mo coil into position with the shot, getting eye-to-eye with the camera just before they all spring forth at once in a nice feat of editing.

The DVD release of this film is a little confounding because, even though it's widescreen, the image quality is really not much better than a good VHS copy. There is a lot of visual noise, especially obvious on dark backgrounds (like the credits), which was very disappointing to see-- it seems that a DVD release does not guarantee quality, just compatibility. But at least it's available, whereas the VHS is becoming very hard-to-find except on Amazon (can't believe I've never even seen one at Goodwill). I would love to see this film restored to its full magnificence.


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