6.5/10
3,434
39 user 38 critic

Downhill Racer (1969)

M/PG | | Drama, Sport | 9 January 1970 (Canada)
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Quietly cocky Robert Redford joins U.S. ski team as downhill racer and clashes with the team's coach, played by Gene Hackman. Lots of good skiing action leading to an exciting climax.

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Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
...
Machet
...
...
Reporter
...
Kenneth Kirk ...
D.K.
Oren Stevens ...
Kipsmith
Jerry Dexter ...
Engel
Walter Stroud ...
Carole Carle ...
Lena
Rip McManus ...
Devore
Joe Jay Jalbert ...
Tommy Erb
Tom J. Kirk ...
Stiles
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Storyline

David Chappellet is a mean-spirited skier, who profits from another skier's injury to gain a spot on the American Olympic team. His roommate sums up his goals when he observes of David, "He's not for the team, and he never will be"; but precisely who the David is that David is so fiendishly striving for we're never to learn. He develops a short-lived relationship with Carole Stahl, a glamorous European woman even more capricious than himself. Chappellet's identity trouble are exacerbated by the fact that he is an "Event" as well as a personality; and more astute minds than his own have difficulty where the one leaves off and the other takes over. Director Michael Richie's ("The Candidate") feature film debut. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

How fast must a man go to get from where he's at?

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Certificate:

M/PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

9 January 1970 (Canada)  »

Also Known As:

La descente infernale  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,600,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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,  »
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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Debut theatrical feature film directed by director Michael Ritchie after directing in television. See more »

Goofs

During the challenge race between Johnny and Dave (when Johnny crashes) the two skiers first have a pair of red and black skis, but the next shot farther on down the course they both have red skis. See more »

Quotes

Claire: Look, you finished fourth in one race. Don't expect to be given the world.
Chappellet: [testily] I don't expect to be given anything!
Claire: Good. Get in the bus.
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Connections

Referenced in Mary Tyler Moore: Not Just Another Pretty Face (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

That Old Black Magic
Written by Johnny Mercer & Harold Arlen
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User Reviews

An unpolished gem
16 May 2001 | by See all my reviews

Redford gives a low-key performance as a thoroughly unlikable member of the US Ski Team in the late 1960's, and he doesn't become any more likable as the story unfolds. Perhaps that's why the film gets such mixed reviews. The Olympic and racing sequences have an almost-documentary look to them, and for good reason. The story goes that IOC officials refused permission for the film crew to shoot during the actual Olympic events; the producers got around that inconvenience by giving hand-held cameras to cast members so they could shoot crowd scenes and background footage on the sly. It's hard to like David Chappellet, and making him a more sympathetic character might have been easier, but I think it's a much better story as-is. As we know all too well these days, world-class athletes aren't always aren't always the charming heroes we'd like them to be.


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