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.
1976. Chris Cahill and Torry Skinner are US national caliber track and field athletes, Chris in the 100 meter hurdles, and Torry in the pentathlon. Chris has the natural ability to be great but she doesn't possess the confidence or drive, while Torry, who has less natural ability, psychologically knows what it takes to be great, leading to Torry making the Olympic team finishing second in her event, while Chris has a disastrous Olympic trial. Torry can see the potential in Chris, and tries to convince her coach at Cal Poly, Terry Tingloff, to coach Chris, Terry who will only allow Chris to train with the team without his guidance in he only having seen her disastrous performance at the trials. Although not ideal in that no scholarship money is involved, Chris accepts the offer against the wishes of her father, who currently coaches her. In their time together, Chris and Torry embark on a relationship, each seeing in the other what each doesn't possess, their attraction thus sexual as ...Written by
Robert Towne performed three duties on this movie. Towne was Writer, Director, and Producer. This was the first feature film directed by Towne, and it was also Towne's first as a Producer. See more »
At 2:00:00, the runners are more spread out than when seen in preceding or following shots. See more »
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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I believe this movie was the first, and best, movie to treat the relationship between sex and athletic performance in a serious and non stereotypical way. Other films treated athletes as either eunuch/priests whose only concern was their athletic performance, or as over sexed satyrs who required sex as a release and/or distraction from the rigors of training, or sexual relations were gratuitously thrown in as a prerequisite romantic line to draw in a bigger audience.In Personal Best the sexual aspect was actually integral to the plot. We see how sex gets people better opportunities, drives wedges between competitors, and induces self sacrifice--albeit in this case all for naught.I will admit that some of the nude scenes appeared to be gratuitous on the surface, but when you analyze the film you see it was really necessary to show how all those firm toned naked bodies in semi-erotic poses (necessary for maximum athletic performance, I might add) could lead someone down the path to homosexuality.Overall, this movie is a masterpiece of its genre that is interesting, stimulating, and exciting for people of all persuasions.
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