Breaking Away Movie Review Summary

Actors: Dennis Christopher, Dennis Quaid, Daniel Stern, Jackie Earle Haley, Barbara Barrie, Paul Dooley

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Breaking Away

Four "cutters" (people living in a town with a granite quarry) graduate from high school and don't know what to do. One of them, Dave, becomes an avid bicycle rider and adopts Italian mannerisms in honor of his favorite cycling team. His father, a used car salesman, just wants his son to be normal. Dave meets a girl on the University of Indianna campus and she thinks he is an exchange student. When the Italian cycling team comes to town, Dave can keep up with them athletically but he falls prey to their cheating and he learns a sad life lesson. His girlfriend learns the truth and is not amused. The four teens are offered the chance to compete in the University bicycle race and they learn about success and self-esteem.
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The review of this Movie prepared by Joan Zuckerman

Best Screenplay winner “Breaking Away” is a 1979 sleeper filled with precious moments of small-town life, campus antics, paternal wisdom (Paul Dooley), and coming of age from the perspectives of four very different high school graduates.

“Pa-pa, the Italians (cyclists) are coming,” beams Dave Stohler (Dennis Christopher) when he learns his heroes will race in Bloomington, his hometown and site of the University of Indiana. Obsessed, he eats only foods ending with “ini” and convinces a comely coed that he's an Italian exchange student.

With his three inseparable buddies, they spend the summer pondering their futures (“I thought we were gonna waste our lives together.”) Mike (Dennis Quaid), the former high school quarterback, echoes the group's uncertainties, knowing he'll never beat the rich, beautiful-people college kids at anything because, while newer students will always pass through campus, he'll just become, “30-year-old Mike.” Making things worse is the fact that the college kids know they're superior and derisively refer to the locals as “cutters” because of the nearby quarries.

When an altercation lands them all in court, the judge “sentences” them to settle their differences in the bicycle race, in which Dave should be the odds-on favorite.

The review of this Movie prepared by Angry Jim Magin

Dave Stoller and his buddies are working class kids in Bloomington, Indiana. Fresh out of high school, they while away their time at the flooded limestone quarry where many of their fathers earned their keep cutting stone. Hence, they're known as "Cutters" by the snooty college kids. Having won a bicycle race in high school, Dave has become obsessed by the professional Cinzano team and idolizes everything Italian, from language to music. He even pretends to be an Italian exchange student when he meets a cute college coed. Tension and competitiveness between the townies and the university gang inspires Dave and his buddies to try to beat the fraternities in an annual bicycle race, and thereby earn the respect of the college boys as well as their peers. This wonderful 1979 "feel-good" movie rides on heartfelt acting (Paul Dooley's Dad is a standout comic performance), soaring Rossini overtures and Mendelssohn on the soundtrack, and a charming, snappy script that won Steve Tesich an Oscar.
The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus

Script Analysis of Breaking Away

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of movie:    -   1960's-1970's Kids growing up/acting up?    -   Yes Kids:    -   general coming of age story Kind of sports story:    -   bike racing Sports story?    -   Yes

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   unemployed Age:    -   a teen Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Midwest Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   nice, like Andy/Opie/Aunt Bee Misc setting    -   school    -   sports arena

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   no torture/death Any profanity?    -   None

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