HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Bird Island
Variety
Devil to Pay, The
Gypsy
Lost in London
Divorce Italian Style
Becky
Salon Kitty
Misbehaviour
Charles, Dead or Alive
Gretel and Hansel
Mademoiselle
Tunnel, The
India Song
Last Rhino, The
Made in Hong Kong
Ring of Spies
Rom Boys: 40 Years of Rad
Pocketful of Miracles
The Tomb: Devil's Revenge
Sidecar Racers
Space Dogs
Out/Marriage
Safety Last!
Bride Who Has Returned from Hell, The
Show Boat
Savage
City Called Dragon, A
I Used to Go Here
Six Suspects
Still the Water
Not Now, Comrade
I'm Thinking of Ending Things
Wives of the Skies
Two Heads Creek
Next Stop, Greenwich Village
Captain, The
Great Wall, A
Trout, The
Zorba the Greek
   
 
Newest Articles
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
   
 
  Breaking Away Cutters' Way
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, ActionBuy from Amazon
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 4477 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 is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: