HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Angel Has Fallen
I Lost My Body
At First Light
Free Ride
Crawl
Transit
Blank Check
Mad Monk, The
Wind, The
Holly and the Ivy, The
Atlantique
Now, Voyager
Wolf's Call, The
Nostalghia
Nightingale, The
Eighth Grade
Irishman, The
Betrayed
Lords of Chaos
Operation Petticoat
Dead Don't Die, The
On the Waterfront
Last Faust, The
Moonlighting
Art of Self-Defense, The
Ironweed
Booksmart
Prisoners
Beach Bum, The
Kill Ben Lyk
Into the Mirror
Support the Girls
Werewolf
Little Monsters
Spider-Man: Far from Home
Horrible Histories: The Movie - Rotten Romans
Pentathlon
Anna
Moulin Rouge
Ray & Liz
   
 
Newest Articles
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
   
 
  Breaking Away Cutters' WayBuy this film here.
Year: 1979
Director: Peter Yates
Stars: Dennis Christopher, Dennis Quaid, Daniel Stern, Jackie Earle Haley, Barbara Barrie, Paul Dooley, Robyn Douglass, Hart Bochner, Amy Wright, Peter Maloney, John Ashton, Lisa Shure, Jennifer K. Mickel, P.J. Soles, David K. Blase
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Action
Rating:  8 (from 1 vote)
Review: Four friends from an Indiana town are finding the period between leaving school and getting a job is a strange one. Currently their favourite thing to do is go off to one of the old quarry sites and swim in the water there, chatting and deciding their lives are headed precisely nowhere. Dave (Dennis Christopher) on the other hand has big dreams of being a champion cyclist just like his Italian heroes, and is in love with all things Italian as part of his obsession, much to his used car salesman father's consternation. When Dave arrives home, his father (Paul Dooley) is determined to have it out with him - or he does until he walks in on Dave shaving his legs. For aerodynamics, of course.

Breaking Away was a sleeper hit in 1979 which won a well-deserved Oscar for its screenwriter Steve Tesich. It's essentially the old, old story of the underdog competing in sport, but it was the characters that made it all ring so true and not be yet another stream of clich├ęs; most movies in this genre could have taken a leaf out of its book. Based in part on a real life friend who, like Dave, was a dedicated cyclist and fan of all things Italian, the sense of growing up in a town that lives in resentment of the local university was one aspect of how vividly realised the production was.

One nice element of the film is that while almost everyone else in the film is cynical, jaded even, Dave is the true optimist who has found a passion in life that helps him get through what to his friends is a long ride to nowhere in particular. The other friends are played by Dennis Quaid (Mike), the angry at the world ex-football star, Jackie Earle Haley (Moocher), who wants to get married and is easygoing until his lack of height is mentioned, and Daniel Stern (Cyril), the intelligent but goofy one who like Dave makes a move to apply to the university as a try at bettering himself.

These four actors are never less than convincing in their roles, both individually and as screen pals and their banter always sounds natural. Although if there's a relationship that betters this, it's the one between Dave and his baffled father. Their scenes together are highly amusing and as the story progresses, surprisingly touching, with Dave unsure of whether his dad wants him to improve his lot in life, by going to university for example, or staying true to his roots and getting a local job. This means his cycling is what he channels his ambition into, or he does until one fateful race.

Dave is such an engaging character, and so affectingly performed by Christopher, that it saddening when he suffers his first real setback on meeting the genuine Italians who are not as pleased to see him as he is to see them. We have watched him romance a student, Kathy (Robyn Douglass), by assuming the guise of an Italian exchange student - although how she fell for that accent we'll never know - but he places that in jeopardy too. What's left is to compete in the film's climactic race along with his friends as the team of "Cutters" (as the locals are called) and despite the ending being in little doubt, you're still cheering them on. You wish for Dave to rediscover his joie de vivre, and if the film's cycling metaphors may be overstretched, the charm of the enterprise is such that you leave Breaking Away truly feeling better. "Bonjour, papa!"
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3993 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Peter Yates  (1929 - 2011)

British director with some range, originally from theatre and television. After Summer Holiday and Robbery, he moved to Hollywood to direct Bullitt, with its car chase making waves. There followed The Hot Rock, The Friends of Eddie Coyle, Mother, Jugs & Speed, The Deep and touching teen drama Breaking Away before he returned to Britain for the fantasy Krull and The Dresser. Spent most of his final years working back in America.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: