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On the Edge (1985)

Bruce Dern , Bill Bailey , Rob Nilsson  |  PG-13 |  DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Bruce Dern, Bill Bailey, Pam Grier, Jim Haynie, John Marley
  • Directors: Rob Nilsson
  • Writers: Rob Nilsson, Roy Kissin
  • Producers: Rob Nilsson, Jeffrey L. Hayes, Karen J. McCabe
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • DVD Release Date: February 8, 2005
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0006SSP8K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #375,836 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "On the Edge" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

A once-promising runner who was unfairly banned from amateur competition twenty years ago sets out to recapture his lost glory and begins to train for one of the toughest races in America, the Cielo Sea.

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great road runner movie June 2, 2002
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Although not quite in the league with Chariots of Fire, I think this is perhaps the best of the "running movies" that followed.
Bruce Dern plays "Wes Holman", a 44 year old former elite 10K track athlete who was driven from the sport by unfair circumstances. Wes attempts a comeback training for a somewhat unique race, a 14.2 mile mountain trail "handicap" race in which runners are started at different times dependent upon their age or sex. It is said that a real race in Marin County, "The Dipsea" served as a model for the movie.
The movie chronicles the Wes' year of training, while also dealing with issues with his father and the athletic governing body, and has re-kindles a relationship with an old flame, played by Pam Grier. The best part of the movie is simply watching the training and finally the race. Some of the stuff with the race is kind of "corny", so to speak, but I think most runners would enjoy the movie just to watch the running.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Where is Pam Grier and why is she gone? February 24, 2006
I have been a distance runner for over 20 years, and have run countless marathons and other races, so I enjoy a good running movie. When I first saw this movie, 20 years ago, I thought it was great. It focused not only on the training and the sacrifices we go through to achieve our goals, but on how it affects other aspects of our lives. It takes a toll on the close relationships we have. It's hard for the ones we love to understand the sacrifices we make for that elusive mistress, the marathon. This movie in its original form explored those issues. What they have now is closer to a documentary, than trying to get to the Soul of running. Why did they have to screw up a good movie. Besides, Pam Grier is beautiful in the original version. Find an old VHS copy with Pam Grier and see the difference.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing film...even the edited version... December 5, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I would contend that the first review on this page misses the boat. This new version is re-edited, but NOT for the reasons mentioned. I can guarantee you that the excising of Pam Greir's character from the film had nothing to do with the provocative nature of an interracial relationship. If they were willing to have Bruce Dern sleep with Pam Greir in 1985, then in today's far more open world, it would certainly not be an issue. Her character was removed from the film for one simple, obvious reason...There was no reason for her to be in the movie. Even back when I was young and watched this film, I always thought to myself, "Pam Greir is gorgeous, but why is she in this movie? She's a completely pointless character that offers NOTHING to the story." Thankfully, they have removed her, which only makes this even more of a running movie, which I like. Besides, the film is now much more appropriate to share with people of all age groups. The DVD is grainy, and the audio wasn't synched well with the video, but this is an incredible movie made by runners, for runners...
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars SENSE OF '60s IDEALISM December 21, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
The premise is that of a talented long-distance runner having spoiled his career by naming too many bigwigs in the hierarchy of amateur athletics as having been "on the take". The runner's dad, an old marxist, didn't see the point of pursuing an athletic career, as opposed to struggling in the political arena, despite his son's carrying off his athletic commitment with a great sense of justice and fair-play.
So, the son comes home and competes in a race he isn't supposed to be in & the old man, over time, gains a broader appreciation of human endeavor, as long as it's done with class & honesty.
Maybe a somewhat predictable story, but Dern carries off the loner-hero-runner who would not close his eyes to corruption with great style (kind of Serpico meets Jim Ryun). I always thought Dern was great in roles that express baby-boomer social concern.
Also, Pam Grier is Dern's girlfriend (that's gotta help, eh?).
Rob Nilsson of San Fran directed this & also the excellent "Northern Lights".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK Running Movie on a Real Running Course! April 28, 2008
This review is from; On the Edge

As a marathon & ultra-marathoner myself, I was pleasantly surprised to find a film that was filmed on a actual race course called "The Dipsea" (called the "Cielo Sea" in the film). I actually ran that course in 2000. Since 1905, the Dipsea race is the second oldest running race in the country (after the Boston Marathon).

The "Dipsea" race course is located along the coast & hills of Marin County which is just north of San Francisco. In the film you get some nice visual images on how tough the course is, but statistically the 7.1 mile course features 9,200 feet of climbing, 671 steps of stairs and the infamous "cardiac hill" at 1,360 feet (which is mentioned in the film). The "Dipsea" course I ran in 2000, was the "quadruple" version (28.4 miles!). Since I ran that course four times in one day, I got a true first hand perspective on how tough that course really was and it was much tougher than what the film could show!

The film features a runner named Wes Holman (played by Bruce Dern who is actuallly a runner himself) who is a 44 year old runner that has been banned from the sport due to a technicality of unfair circumstances, but he yearns to compete again after a 20 year absence from running competitively. Wes goes through a "Rocky-like" montage of training to get in shape for the next "Cielo Sea" race. Wes enters the race as an unregistered runner after all of the registered runners have already started.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Pam Grier version
I just found the VHS version for 25 cents! I've had the edited version for years, but always wanted to see the "Pam Grier" version. Well worth my investment . Read more
Published 12 days ago by Exeter
5.0 out of 5 stars On the Edge
I don't watch movies twice unless I really like them. I've already watched it twice. I'm a former long distance runner and enjoyed the beautiful scenery, the great footage of... Read more
Published 8 months ago by AMM
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING PASSION
Published 21 months ago by AKIS CHR.
1.0 out of 5 stars Unable to play movie
It would not play. "Content error" message. I tried to play it several times on different days. Please refund the cost.
Published 22 months ago by steven e jones
3.0 out of 5 stars A classic running movie
I would give the film a 5 star usually except the version delivered by Amazon was very edited. In fact all the scenes with Pam Greer were cut out.
Published 23 months ago by jlhinte
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME!!!!! BEST RUNNING MOVIE I'VE SEEN!
This movie captures what it means to be a runner in a competitive nature. Although, amateurism is long since gone this movie showed how hard it was to do the right thing and be a... Read more
Published on March 15, 2012 by Skyrunner_7
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible Movie
The product was a good deal and good quality. However, this movie is terrible and I wouldn't recommend waste 2 hours of their life on it.
Published on January 17, 2012 by Freddy Frick
1.0 out of 5 stars Sadly disappointed
First, service was great! Quick delivery. Courteous, etc.

The product was like a nightmare. Read more
Published on August 28, 2007 by Fabrizio-Brucedern fan
4.0 out of 5 stars The Lady Vanishes...a sad hypocrisy
The DVD is grainy, with an out-of-sync audio track, but the story is fine, Bruce Dern does a great job. And where is Pam Grier? Read more
Published on July 23, 2005 by Stephen Shuttleworth
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