6.3/10
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29 user 16 critic

Personal Best (1982)

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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.

Director:

Robert Towne

Writer:

Robert Towne

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mariel Hemingway ... Chris Cahill
Scott Glenn ... Terry Tingloff
Patrice Donnelly Patrice Donnelly ... Tory Skinner
Kenny Moore Kenny Moore ... Denny Stites
Jim Moody ... Roscoe Travis
Kari G. Peyton Kari G. Peyton ... Penny Brill (as Kari Gosswiller)
Jodi Anderson Jodi Anderson ... Nadia 'Pooch' Anderson
Maren Seidler Maren Seidler ... Tanya
Martha Watson Martha Watson ... Sheila
Emily Dole ... Maureen
Pam Spencer Pam Spencer ... Jan
Deby Laplante Deby Laplante ... Trish
Mitzi McMillin Mitzi McMillin ... Laura
Jan Glotzer Jan Glotzer ... Karen
Jan Van Reenen Jan Van Reenen ... Yelovitch
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Storyline

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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 June 1982 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

As Parceiras See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$99,797, 7 February 1982, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$5,672,311
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

The Geffen Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

One of a late 1970s and early 1980s mini-cycle of films centering around women athletes. The movies include Blue Skies Again (1983) (baseball), Goldengirl (1979) (athletics), The Miracle of Kathy Miller (1981) (athletics), Hockey Night (1984) (ice hockey), Quarterback Princess (1983) (gridiron), this movie (pentathlon), Gregory's Girl (1980) (soccer), and Heart Like a Wheel (1983) (drag racing). 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 (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

You Make Loving Fun
Written by Christine McVie
Sung by Fleetwood Mac
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records
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User Reviews

 
Hemingway matures in the course of this film--and as an actress takes some risks
24 March 2001 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

"Personal Best" opens with a beautiful shot: a lone spot of sweat on the cement as the camera pans slowly upwards to Mariel Hemingway's tense profile as she prepares for a race. Soon afterward, however, the actress opens her mouth and out comes this little girl voice with a puny range. It's only natural to think this is going to be a tough role for Hemingway to pull off, but I believe she has done it. Gay-themed dramas are always something of a risk for the actors involved, yet Hemingway takes her sprinting character from naive mouse to sexy girlfriend to adult in the course of "Personal Best" and becomes a better, stronger actress in the process. Although an excessively barbed film with two gratuitous sub-plots (both involving men: a manipulative coach and an eleventh-hour boyfriend for Mariel), the picture has great '70s atmosphere, good race scenes, some funny, raunchy humor, and an even-handed, focused look at two women in love (lesbian lover Patrice Donnelly is a very moody cuss, but that's certainly no reason to drag in the boyfriend, which is where the movie starts hedging its bets). Two-hours-plus of Mariel Hemingway may sound like too much, but she's very good here; she carries most of this film on her shoulders and pulls off some very tricky sequences. This was her own 'personal best'. **1/2 from ****


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