On the Edge
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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.
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.Read more ›
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".
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 morePublished 16 months ago by Exeter
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 morePublished 24 months ago by AMM
It would not play. "Content error" message. I tried to play it several times on different days. Please refund the cost.Published on December 21, 2012 by steven e jones
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 on November 25, 2012 by jlhinte
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 morePublished on March 15, 2012 by Skyrunner_7
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
First, service was great! Quick delivery. Courteous, etc.
The product was like a nightmare. Read more
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. Read morePublished on December 5, 2005 by Jordan M. Stone