A to Z Challenge
A Month At The Movies
Hello and welcome back to A Month at the Movies, my contribution to the A to Z challenge for 2023.
This year I am copying from a myriad of other a to z challengers by reprinting the same synopsis about my theme with every letter. You can skip over this part if you want to.
I love movies and have decided to share with you a movie each day that I have enjoyed to one degree or another. With each entry, I'll give a brief synopsis of the film, share a positive and negative review from Rotten Tomatoes ( a website, I didn't use much at all until preparing for the challenge), discuss its resiliency (the theme of the A to Z challenge this year), and other tidbits like whether the film may appear in my top 100 film list, which I have been revamping this year. I think that's enough in the way of introduction, considering you'll be reading it (hopefully) 24 more times this month.
Film: Breaking Away (1979)
Director: Peter Yates
Breaking Away is a coming-of-age sports movie about four friends from Bloomington, Indiana. The movie features Dennis Christopher, Daniel Stern, Dennis Quaid, and Jackie Earle Hailey. Dennis Quaid and Daniel Stern are probably the most famous of the 4 now, but at the time I only recognized Jackie Earle Hailey from the Bad News Bears films.
The movie takes place in the late '70s in Bloomington, Indiana, a college town in the midwest. Christopher plays the main character Dave Stoller. The movie takes place in the year after Stoller and his 3 friends graduate from high school and are spending their gap year hanging around together when Stoller isn't cycling around Indiana or tormenting his father by cosplaying an Italian cyclist.
The movie does a great job of confronting the divides between social classes and generations. It has humor, introspection, romance, and intrigue while being true to its David vs. Goliath roots. The American Film Institute (AFI) has placed on two of its lists of top 100 films. In 2006 it was named #8 on the list of most inspirational movies. In 2008 The AFI named it 8th on their list of sports moves.
( Left To Right ) Christopher, Hailey, Stern, Quaid
(Photo by John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
Positive Tomato: I seriously can't imagine anyone not liking it. Gene Siskel - Chicago Tribune
Negative Tomato: This timeworn material probably should work, but it doesn't really since, most of the film's angst and conflict seem calculated. Jeremy Heilman - MovieMartyr.com
The movie was filmed entirely in Bloomington, Indiana. If you are interested this video goes back and shows some of the main places where it was filmed.
Resiliency: Resiliency is sometimes pre-meditated as near the end of the movie when Dave and his friends tape Dave's feet to the bike pedals so as the commentators observe they can no longer switch riders for the duration of the race. That scene is a visual reminder to me of the end of Hebrews 12:1 , "And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."
Top 100: When I last made my top 100 list, I wasn't really sure what to do with Breaking Away. I loved it when it first came out but when I saw it last 20 years ago or so I remember thinking it hadn't aged well. I watched it again earlier this year and it really resonated with me again. It would definitely make my top 100 this time out and wouldn't be surprised at all if it broke into the top 50.
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Next Time: C is for Champion