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Monday, April 3, 2023

B is for Breaking Away

 A to Z Challenge

A Month At The Movies

.#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter B

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

By www.impawards.com, Fair use, Link 

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)

 This is both a well-written and well-acted movie as this monologue by Dennis Quaid will attest.



 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. 

For more A to Z challenge click here

 Next Time: C is for Champion


Amy R said...

Interesting take on a movie that I have not enjoyed in the past. You make it sound more interesting!

John Holton said...

I don't think we've seen this one... have to keep my eye out for it.

Liz A. said...

My brother really liked this one, back in the day. I think he liked the bicycling as he was into that at the time. I haven't thought of this movie in a while.

Joy Weese Moll said...

We went through a long stretch of watching every bicycle movie we could come up with. This was my favorite. I suspect my husband would put the Italian classic The Bicycle Thief above Breaking Away.

Donna B. McNicol said...

I vaguely remember watching this movie and was pretty sure I enjoyed it.

My A to Z Blogs
DB McNicol - Small Delights, Simple Pleasures, and Significant Memories
My Snap Memories - My Life in Black & White

Anne Young said...

Another movie I have watched more than once, the viewings many years apart. I got different things out of each viewing but enjoyed both. I thought it had aged well.

A to Z 2023 Road Trip

#AtoZChallenge 2023 RoadTrip