HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Whale Island
Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires
Don't Breathe 2
Closing Time
Cryptozoo
Weathering with You
Rim of the World
Love & Basketball
JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time
Trapped
We Need to Do Something
Falbalas
Vanguard
A-X-L
Injustice
Bigfoot Hunters
Armitage III: Polymatrix
Girls Nite Out
Moxie!
Five Women for the Killer
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
   
 
Newest Articles
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 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 5126 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: