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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 »
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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 two adult dramas with eroticism starring Mariel Hemingway that were made and released during the early 1980s. The movies are Star 80 (1983) and this movie. Hemingway had also previously appeared in the controversial rape movie Lipstick (1976) and had portrayed a seventeen-year-old high school student who has a liaison with a twice-divorced forty-two-year-old man in Woody Allen's Manhattan (1979), in which Hemingway was Oscar nominated for the Best Actress in a Supporting Role Academy Award. See more »

Goofs

At 1:04:55, there are three shoes on the track, but when seen again at 1:06:26, only one remains. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Tory Skinner: He's awful cute... for a guy.
Chris Cahill: Are you shittin' me? Hey!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rescued from the Closet (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

The Thunderer
Written by John Philip Sousa
Conducted by Henry Mancini
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records
See more »

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User Reviews

A risky film which contains a lot
27 October 2000 | by filmfan1313See all my reviews

I wish to argue against the fact that the film exploits the bodies of women. It is true that the movie was billed, in pressbook releases, as a sports movie featuring toned, "sexual" female bodies (not an exact quote). In this way, the makers may have attempted to make a film that was pleasurable to the male viewer. I do not argue that.

I do say that the end result was a film that handled the sexual situations very well, without exploitation. You have to consider at the time this film was made, 1982, it was (arguably) the first film to have an open lesbian relationship on the screen. The only real way a film could be generally accepted by the public, at that time, would be by containing some sexual content to please the male viewer. Too many feminist groups have identified with the powerful female figures inherent in this movie to really argue that the film exploits women. I believe that it IDENTIFIES women, and how they see each other.

I thought it was an excellent film, that made an excellent social statement of the times. Yes, it is sexist by today's standards... but watching it looking for the sexism ruins the entire experience of the movie. It is a movie in which to enjoy the characters more than the story, because the characters are so vivid.


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