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Stohler escapes into a world of Italian bicycling, picking up the lingo, the accent, and a good share of the talent of his heroes. He is also the scourge of his father's life. The used-car salesman (Paul Dooley) doesn't understand his son's affection for bicycling or, for that matter, his pride in being a "Cutter."
Breaking Away rehabilitates the word heartwarming as Tesich's uncommonly intelligent script gives us well-rounded characters and a potent sense of place. The grandstanding finale--the real life "Little 500" bike race--gives the film a perfect, crowd-pleasing end. However, the film never sacrifices the development of characters for the action. Dooley is especially effective in one of those once-in-a-lifetime roles. The lifelong character actor's place in film history is established with this indispensable performance. --Doug Thomas
Top Customer Reviews
Obviously, this was a cheaply done DVD release by Fox of a film that deserves a deluxe special edition. Besides the lack of extras, interviews, and audio commentary, I could not believe the poor sound quality of the DVD digital transfer: street scenes, crowd scenes, etc. sounded like they were recorded in a digital bucket! We had to turn down the sound during the pivotal Little 500 scene, because the digital garbage was so annoying.
Having seen this many times on tape, I know that the sound of this low-budget film was not always good, but it was never horrible until this cheap digital mastering. Fortunately it does not completely ruin the experience of this wonderful film, but I wouldn't be in any hurry to replace a VHS tape with this DVD!
Fox, fix your mistake and treat this film properly!
Two of the four had ideas for college athletics, but are aimless now that their high school careers are over and do not provide structure. There are several excellent scenes depicting their confusion and disappointment over what to do next. My favorite is when the four are watching Indiana football practice. Ex-football player Dennis Quaid still keeps in shape, and he says that he can't bring himself to light the cigarettes he keeps in his mouth because he can't get give up his opinion that he was a pretty good high school quarterback and should be on the college gridiron. Now he's just "20-yr old Mike". Eventually he will be just "30-yr old Mike" and then just "40-yr old Mike". Every year there will be new contenders for starting quarterback, and "every year it's not gonna be me." Daniel Stern, as Cyril, has to overcome his dad's low expectations and too-willing acceptance of failure even though Cyril is a talented person.Read more ›
But having an affinity for things Italian or for bike racing is not necessary in order to enjoy this 25-year-old classic. What is necessary is an appreciation for small things and memories about the mysterious period between adolescence and adulthood. If that describes you, then chances are you'll enjoy this touching film.
Amid the praise I should say that the DVD package is only average: the original trailer and teaser are there, but it would have been nice to have some commentary from director Peter Yates, some of the actors, or from critics who were fans of the film. A "Making of Breaking Away" mini feature would have also been a welcome addition.
One note: Breaking Away is a very American film, and so I'm not so sure how much of it will hit home with foreign viewers.
This is not just a "feel-good-coming-of-age" story. This FILM is a profound and intelligent comedy of an inner search for an identity. What self-aware human being hasn't confronted the blinding journey of the Self? Should I go to college and major in Business? Or should I become an Italian and race bicycles? Heck, I'm in my forties and sometimes I still don't know who I am.
PAPA (WORRYING ABOUT DAVE)-played hilariously by Paul Dooley.
"He's gonna be a bum, Evelyn... An Italian bum."
Everyone in this FILM is searching. Except for maybe Moocher. Socrates would have loved this movie.
MAMA (WAXING PHILOSOPHICAL)-played brilliantly by Barbara Barrie.
"I think you should come home singing... with a trophy. Do all those things while you can."
Everytime I see this FILM, the tears well because I knew every single one of these guys growing up and I always fell in love with the girl I couldn't have.
DAVE (IN THE PANGS OF AMORE)-impeccably played by Dennis Christopher.
"I have such a pain in my heart, mama. I'm in love."
THE WHOLE CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM ARE AMAZING. AND I HOPE THEY ALL READ THIS.
DENNIS CHRISTOPHER!! BELLISSIMA!! BELLISSIMA!!
I have a great sentiment for this FILM and as soon as I get my copy I'm heading straight to MAMA's house to watch it with her. This FILM is to AMERICAN CINEMA, as THE BEACHBOYS are to AMERICAN ROCK AND ROLL. Good vibrations, bambina!!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A classic movie about small town USA and a must-see for all cycling enthusiasts.Published 3 days ago by K. R. Bois
I have watched this movie sooo many times over the last 4 decades. It is one of my all-time favorites. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Brian Rutherford
Always fun to watch. Especially around Tour de France time. Every time we watch it becomes more endearing.Published 1 month ago by Thomas Lynch
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