|Directed by||Peter Yates|
|Written by||Steve Tesich|
|Produced by||Peter Yates|
|Starring|| Dennis Christopher |
Jackie Earle Haley
|Cinematography||Matthew F. Leonetti|
|Edited by||Cynthia Scheider|
|Music by||Patrick Williams|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$20 million|
Breaking Away is a 1979 American coming of age comedy-drama film produced and directed by Peter Yates and written by Steve Tesich. It follows a group of four male teenagers in Bloomington, Indiana, who have recently graduated from high school. The film stars Dennis Christopher, Dennis Quaid, Daniel Stern, Jackie Earle Haley, Barbara Barrie, Paul Dooley, and Robyn Douglass.
Breaking Away won the 1979 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Tesich, and received nominations in four other categories, including Best Picture. It also won the 1979 Golden Globe Award for Best Film (Comedy or Musical), and received nominations in three other Golden Globe categories.
As the film's young lead, Christopher won the 1979 BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer and the 1979 Young Artist Award for Best Juvenile Actor, as well as getting a Golden Globe nomination as New Star of the Year.
The film was ranked eighth on the List of America's 100 Most Inspiring Movies compiled by the American Film Institute (AFI) in 2006. In June 2008, AFI also announced its 10 Top 10—the best ten films in ten classic American film genres—after polling over 1,500 people from the creative community. In that poll Breaking Away ranked as the eighth best film in the sports genre.
Tesich was an alumnus of Indiana University Bloomington. The film was shot in and around Bloomington and on the university's campus.
Dave, Mike, Cyril, and Moocher are working-class friends living in the college town of Bloomington, Indiana. Now turning 19, they all graduated from high school the year before and are not sure what to do with their lives. They spend much of their time together swimming in an old abandoned water-filled quarry. They sometimes clash with the more affluent Indiana University students in their hometown, who habitually refer to them as "cutters", a derogatory term for locals related to the local Indiana limestone industry and the stonecutters who worked the quarries. (The term "cutters" was invented for the movie, because the real name "stoners” was deemed unusable because of its perceived link to marijuana.)
Dave is obsessed with competitive bicycle racing, and Italian racers in particular, because he recently won a Masi bicycle.His down-to-earth father Ray, a former stonecutter who now operates his own used car business (sometimes unethically), is puzzled and exasperated by his son's love of Italian music and culture, which Dave associates with cycling. However, his mother Evelyn is more understanding and prepares Italian dishes for him.
Dave develops a crush on a university student named Katherine and masquerades as an Italian exchange student in order to romance her. One evening, he serenades "Caterina" outside her sorority house by singing Friedrich von Flotow's aria "M' Apparì Tutt' Amor", with Cyril providing guitar accompaniment. When her boyfriend Rod finds out, he and some of his fraternity brothers beat Cyril up, mistaking him for Dave. Though Cyril wants no trouble, Mike insists on tracking down Rod and starting a brawl. The university president (real-life then President Dr. John W. Ryan) reprimands the students for their arrogance toward the "cutters" and, over their objections, invites the latter to participate in the annual Indiana University Little 500 race.
When a professional Italian cycling team comes to town for a race, Dave is thrilled to be competing with them. However, the Italians become irked when Dave is able to keep up with them. One of them jams a tire pump in Dave's wheel, causing him to crash, which leaves him disillusioned. He subsequently confesses his deception to Katherine, who is heartbroken.
Dave's friends persuade him to join them in forming a cycling team for the Little 500. Dave's parents provide T-shirts with the name "Cutters" on them. Ray privately tells his son how, when he was a young stonecutter, he was proud to help provide the material to construct the university, yet he never felt comfortable on campus. Later, Dave runs into Katherine, who is leaving for a job in Chicago; they patch things up.
Dave is so much better than the other competitors in the Little 500 that, while the other teams switch cyclists every few laps, he rides without a break and builds up a 3/4 lap lead. However, he is injured in a crash. Bleeding and in pain, he comes in for a rider change. After some hesitation, Mike, Cyril, and Moocher take turns pedaling, but their dithering has cost them the lead. They fall further and further back. Finally Dave has them tape his feet to the pedals and starts to make up lost ground; he overtakes Rod, the current rider for the favored fraternity team, on the last lap and wins.
Ray is proud of his son's accomplishment and takes to riding a bicycle himself. Dave later enrolls at the university, where he meets a pretty French student. Soon, he is extolling to her the virtues of the Tour de France and French cyclists.
The Little 500 bicycle race that forms the centerpiece of the plot is a real race held annually at Indiana University. A reenactment of the race was staged for the film in the "old" Memorial Stadium on the IU campus, which was demolished in 1982, four years after Breaking Away was shot.[ citation needed ]
The team is based on the 1962 Phi Kappa Psi Little 500 champions, which featured legendary rider and Italian enthusiast Dave Blase, who provided screenwriter and fellow Phi Kappa Psi team member Steve Tesich the inspiration for the main character in the movie.Blase, together with team manager Bob Stohler, provided the name of this character: Dave Stohler. In the 1962 race, Blase rode one hundred thirty-nine out of two hundred laps and was the victory rider crossing the finish line, much like the main character in the film. Blase himself appears in the movie as the race announcer.
This section possibly contains original research .(April 2011)
The scenes filmed in and around Bloomington, Indiana,were filmed during the summer of 1978. Prior to filming, cyclists Ira Schaffer and Gerry Bretting helped introduce Dennis Christopher and Hart Bochner to the world of bicycle racing after director Peter Yates met Gerry Bretting at Wilshire West Bicycle store. Schaffer and Bretting spent several weeks with Christopher and Bochner. Many of the scenes in the movie were filmed on the Indiana University campus; glimpses of the Indiana Memorial Union are in the background of Dave's ride through campus. Dave Stoller's house in the film is located at the corner of S. Lincoln St. and E. Dodds St. The pizza restaurant in the film ("PAGLIAI'S") is now Opie Taylors on the east side of North Walnut Street, across from the Monroe County Courthouse. Other scenes were filmed outside the Delta Delta Delta sorority house (818 E. 3rd St) and along Jordan Street.
Dave's "ecstasy ride" on the wooded road after first meeting Kathy (where his bike tire blew) was filmed on the "West Gate Road" in Indiana's Brown County State Park, 14 miles (23 km) east of Bloomington on State Road 46.
Two other scenes were filmed on W. 7th St.: one at Fairview Elementary, the other three blocks east near the intersection of W. 7th St. and N. Madison (the old railroad tracks have since been removed). A scene in which Dave runs a red light in front of his father was filmed at the southwest corner of the Monroe County Courthouse, at the intersection of College St. and W. Kirkwood Ave. (a few seconds before he runs it, the light is visible as he rides by the courthouse and sees Moocher and Nancy). The starting-line scene of the "Cinzano 100" bicycle race was at the intersection of Indiana State Roads 46 and 446 on the city's eastern edge.
The abandoned limestone quarry where Dave and his friends swam is on private property in Perry Township south of Bloomington. It is located at the end of East Empire Mill Road off old State Road 37 and is illegal for visitors to trespass. Rooftop Quarry, as it is referred to locally, was originally known as Sanders Quarry or The Long Hole. Access to the quarry has been made difficult by its owners, Indiana Limestone Company, to discourage people from swimming and jumping into the quarry citing safety concerns.
The used car lot ("Campus Cars") that Dave's father owns was on S. Walnut St., and was a real used car lot for many years, but now has two small commercial buildings on the property; it is located at 1010 S. Walnut St. Next door is the local Honda motorcycle franchise seen in the background of the "Refund? REFUND??" scene; the Honda franchise was demolished in early 2019.
The film features music by Felix Mendelssohn, Gioachino Rossini and Friedrich von Flotow. The music was adapted by Patrick Williams.
Tesich and Yates worked together again on Eyewitness (1981) and Eleni (1985). Tesich would go on to write another cycling-themed film, American Flyers (1985), starring Kevin Costner.
The film received positive reviews upon its release. Roger Ebert called it "a wonderfully sunny, funny, goofy, intelligent movie that makes you feel about as good as any movie in a long time. It is, in fact, a treasure ... Movies like this are hardly ever made at all; when they're made this well, they're precious cinematic miracles." 's Janet Maslin wrote that, even though "the cast is unknown, the director has a spotty history, and the basic premise falls into this year's most hackneyed category ... the finished product is wonderful. Here is a movie so fresh and funny it didn't even need a big budget or a pedigree." The Variety magazine review concluded that "though its plot wins no points for originality, Breaking Away is a thoroughly delightful light comedy, lifted by fine performances from Dennis Christopher and Paul Dooley." Critic Dave Kehr, however, gave a later, somewhat dissenting opinion: "Released at a time when any small-scale film earned critical favor simply by virtue of its unpretentiousness, Breaking Away probably looked better in context than it does now." However, he conceded that "Peter Yates lends the film a fine, unexpected limpidity, and the principals are mostly excellent." On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 95% based on 41 reviews, with a rating average of 8.2/10. The website's critical consensus reads: "At once a touching, funny coming-of-age story and a compelling sports film, Breaking Away is a delightful treat."The New York Times
The film is used to highlight one of "The Rules" for cyclists (i.e. Rule 43 Don't be a Jackass): "Remember when the Italian pro team came to town to race and Dave, in his exuberance, was able to ride with them in the front while speaking their native language? [...T]he Italian rider jam[s] a frame mounted pump into Dave's front wheel, causing him to crash out. That guy was a jackass. And he wasn't even funny. [...] Don't be a jackass."
The film grossed approximately $20 million in North America.
The New York Times placed the film on its Best 1000 Movies Ever list.
|Academy Awards||Best Picture||Peter Yates||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actress||Barbara Barrie||Nominated|
|Best Screenplay – Written Directly for the Screen||Steve Tesich||Won|
|Best Original Song Score and Its Adaptation or Adaptation Score||Patrick Williams||Nominated|
|British Academy Film Awards||Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles||Dennis Christopher||Won|
|Golden Globe Awards||Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy||Won|
|Best Director – Motion Picture||Peter Yates||Nominated|
|Best Screenplay – Motion Picture||Steve Tesich||Nominated|
|New Star of the Year – Actor||Dennis Christopher||Nominated|
|Writers Guild of America Awards||Best Comedy Written Directly for the Screen||Steve Tesich||Won|
|Young Artist Awards||Best Motion Picture Featuring Youth||Nominated|
|Best Juvenile Actor in A Motion Picture||Dennis Christopher||Won|
|AFI's 10 Top 10||Sports films||8th Place|
|AFI's 100 Years...100 Cheers||Most inspiring films of all time||8th Place|
A short-lived television series based on the film, also titled Breaking Away , aired in 1980–1981 and starred Shaun Cassidy. Barrie, Haley and Ashton reprised their roles in the prequel series.
The film inspired the song "One For the Cutters" by The Hold Steady, which appeared on their 2008 album Stay Positive .
The 1992 Bollywood film Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar , starring Aamir Khan, has certain similarities to Breaking Away. However, the director Mansoor Khan stated that he only became aware of Breaking Away after the likeness was brought to his attention. Both films have several thematic similarities, including friendship, class barriers, bicycle racing, and parental relationship, but are distinctly different films, with different narratives, characters, motivations, treatment and racing rules.
It Happened One Night is a 1934 pre-Code American romantic comedy film with elements of screwball comedy directed and co-produced by Frank Capra, in collaboration with Harry Cohn, in which a pampered socialite tries to get out from under her father's thumb and falls in love with a roguish reporter. The screenplay by Robert Riskin is based on the August 1933 short story "Night Bus" by Samuel Hopkins Adams, which provided the shooting title. Classified as a "pre-Code" production, the film is among the last romantic comedies created before the MPPDA began rigidly enforcing the 1930 Motion Picture Production Code in July 1934. It Happened One Night was released just four months prior to that enforcement.
Monroe County is a county in the U.S. state of Indiana. In 1910 the US Census Bureau calculated the nation's mean population center to lie in Monroe County. The population was 137,974 at the 2010 United States Census. The county seat is Bloomington.
Lemont is a village located in Cook, DuPage, and Will counties in the U.S. state of Illinois, and is a suburb of Chicago. The population was 16,000 as of the 2010 census. Lemont is home to Argonne National Laboratory and other heavy industrial sites, and has a substantial European immigrant population.
Bloomington is a city in and the county seat of Monroe County in the central region of the U.S. state of Indiana. It is the seventh-largest city in Indiana and the fourth-largest outside the Indianapolis metropolitan area. According to the Monroe County History Center, Bloomington is known as the "Gateway to Scenic Southern Indiana." The city was established in 1818 by a group of settlers from Kentucky, Tennessee, the Carolinas, and Virginia who were so impressed with "a haven of blooms" that they called it Bloomington.
Jack Earle Haley is an American actor and director. His earliest roles included Moocher in Breaking Away (1979) and Kelly Leak in The Bad News Bears (1976), The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training (1977) and The Bad News Bears Go to Japan (1978). After spending many years as a producer and director of television commercials, he revived his acting career with a supporting role in All the King's Men (2006). This was followed by his performance in Little Children (2006), for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Stojan Steve Tesich was a Serbian-American screenwriter, playwright, and novelist. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 1979 for the film Breaking Away. Inventor of the term post-truth.
Children of Heaven is a 1997 Iranian family drama film written and directed by Majid Majidi. It deals with a brother and sister and their adventures over a lost pair of shoes. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1998.
The Little 500, is a track cycling race held annually during the third weekend of April at Bill Armstrong Stadium on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. It is attended by more than 25,000 fans each April.
American Machine and Foundry was one of the United States' largest recreational equipment companies, with diversified products as disparate as garden equipment, atomic reactors, and yachts.
Dennis Christopher is an American actor. He is best known for his roles in Breaking Away (1979), Fade to Black (1980), It (1990), Chariots of Fire (1981), and Django Unchained (2012). He has appeared in nearly 40 movies and made-for-TV movies since 1975.
Peter James Yates was an English film director and producer.
The Women's Little 500 is a bicycle race held annually at Bill Armstrong Stadium on the campus of Indiana University Bloomington. The race is modelled after the men's Little 500. The race has been run the Friday before the men's race, since its conception in 1987. It consists of half the distance of the men's race: 100 laps around the quarter-mile cinder track (410-meters) at the Bill Armstrong Stadium. Racers usually compete in teams of four, but teams can be as few as two, as long as that was the number of team members with which they qualified for the race. These teams usually have a common bond such as living in the same residence hall or being members of the same sorority, or they simply are an independent group with common interests. Each team is only given two bikes on which to ride and therefore, must compete in a relay-style that is rare in other races.
Bill Armstrong Stadium is a 6,500-capacity soccer-specific stadium and velodrome located in Bloomington, Indiana. The stadium is home to the Indiana Hoosiers men's and women's soccer teams. It also hosted the NCAA Men's Soccer Championship in 1988, and is home to the annual Little 500 cycling race, which was featured in the 1979 Oscar-winning movie Breaking Away.
Tenth Street Stadium was a stadium in Bloomington, Indiana, United States. Originally named Memorial Stadium, it was primarily used for college football, and was the home field of the Indiana University football team between 1925 and 1959, prior to the opening of the new Memorial Stadium. The stadium held 20,000 people and was built in 1925. It replaced Jordan Field which had been the home field for the program since 1887. The stadium was renamed Tenth Street Stadium in 1971. It was later used to host the Little 500 and was used in the 1979 movie Breaking Away. The stadium was demolished in 1982 and the site on which it once stood is now a green space and recreation fields in the center of campus known as The Arboretum.
John William Ryan was an American academic administrator who most notably served as the President of Indiana University for sixteen years.
Breaking Away is a 1980 American comedy-drama television series that was based on the 1979 film of the same name. It was created by Steve Tesich, who wrote the original film, and the film's director Peter Yates served as Executive Producer.
Masi Bicycles is a manufacturer of road, track, cyclocross and commuter bicycles based in Vista, California, United States.
Roadmaster is an American bicycle brand currently owned by Pacific Cycle, which in turn is owned by Dorel Industries of Canada.
Dave Blase is an American cyclist whose story served as the inspiration for the film Breaking Away.
One Day in April is a 2015 feature-length documentary produced by Life Is My Movie Entertainment. The film follows four teams of college cyclists as they prepare for the Indiana University Little 500, a collegiate bicycle race held each year in Bloomington, Indiana.
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