7.7/10
19,388
101 user 66 critic

Breaking Away (1979)

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A small-town boy obsessed with the Italian cycling team vies for the affections of a college girl.

Director:

Peter Yates

Writer:

Steve Tesich
Reviews
Popularity
4,796 ( 372)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dennis Christopher ... Dave
Dennis Quaid ... Mike
Daniel Stern ... Cyril
Jackie Earle Haley ... Moocher
Barbara Barrie ... Mom
Paul Dooley ... Dad
Robyn Douglass ... Katherine
Hart Bochner ... Rod
Amy Wright ... Nancy
Peter Maloney ... Doctor
John Ashton ... Mike's Brother
Lisa Shure Lisa Shure ... French Girl
Jennifer K. Mickel Jennifer K. Mickel ... Girl
P.J. Soles ... Suzy (as Pamela Jayne Soles)
David K. Blase David K. Blase ... 500 Race Announcer
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Storyline

Best friends Dave, Mike, Cyril and Moocher have just graduated from high school. Living in the college town of Bloomington, Indiana, they are considered "cutters": the working class of the town so named since most of the middle aged generation, such as their parents, worked at the local limestone quarry, which is now a swimming hole. There is great animosity between the cutters and the generally wealthy Indiana University students, each group who have their own turf in town. The dichotomy is that the limestone was used to build the university, which is now seen as being too good for the locals who built it. Although each of the four is a totally different personality from the other three, they also have in common the fact of being unfocused and unmotivated in life. The one slight exception is Dave. Although he has no job and doesn't know what to do with his life, he is a champion bicycle racer. He idolizes the Italian cycling team so much he pretends to be Italian, much to the chagrin... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The movie that tells you exactly what you can do with your high school diploma! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance | Sport

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian | French

Release Date:

20 July 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bambino See more »

Filming Locations:

Highway 37/Dixie Highway See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$17,702, 15 July 1979, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$16,424,918
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Debut feature film of actor Daniel Stern. See more »

Goofs

The stadium for the final bike race is obviously mostly empty, with spectators being moved around. See more »

Quotes

Mike: You know, I used to think I was a really great quarterback in high school. I still think so too. Can't even bring myself to light a cigarette, cause I keep thinkin' I gotta stay in shape. - You know what really gets me though? I mean, here I am, I gotta live in this stinkin' town and I gotta read in the newspapers about some hot shot kid - new star of the college team. Every year its gonna be a new one. And every year its never gonna be me. I'm just gonna be Mike. Twenty year old Mike. Thirty ...
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Crazy Credits

Introducing

Robyn Douglass See more »


Soundtracks

M' apparì tutt' amor
(uncredited)
from "Marta" (Italian version)
Music by Friedrich von Flotow
Sung by Dennis Christopher
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User Reviews

 
Sweet but not saccharine
26 May 2002 | by jwalzer5See all my reviews

This film was a pleasant surprise. No sex, no violence, no special effects. Just an incredibly literate and humorous script (which won an Oscar for Steve Tesich) and fantastic performances by the four leads. This is a film for those who still believe that good cinema requires meaningful dialogue and acting that is achingly real in its sincerity. Don't get me wrong: sex and violence have a very real and justifiable place in film; but this movie would have suffered from such a gratuitous inclusion. Peter Yates, the director, has done a fantastic job of pacing the film, and the score, consisting mostly of Rossini overtures, and excerpts from Mendelssohn's "Italian" Symphony (#4 in A Major, Op. 90), is an inspired touch, adding precisely the right atmosphere. This is the kind of low-budget triumph that the film community constantly extols for P.R. purposes, yet never supports with actual awards.


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