In 1909, when young Paiute Indian Willie Boy returns to his California reservation to be with Lola, whose father disapproves of him, a killing in self defense takes place, triggering a massive man hunt for Willie.
A biplane pilot who had missed flying in WWI takes up barnstorming and later a movie career in his quest for the glory he had missed, eventually getting a chance to prove himself in a film ... See full summary »
A vicious Kansas City slaughterhouse owner and his hick family are having a bloody "beef" with the Chicago crime syndicate over profits from their joint illegal operations. Top enforcer Nick Devlin is sent to straighten things out.
It's time again for California's "Young American Miss" beauty pageant, the biggest event of the year for Big Bob Freelander and Brenda DiCarlo, who give their all to put on a successful ... See full summary »
A mountain man who wishes to live the life of a hermit becomes the unwilling object of a long vendetta by the Crow tribe, and proves to be a match for their warriors in single combat on the early frontier.
David Chappellet is a mean-spirited skier, who profits from another skier's injury to gain a spot on the American Olympic team. His roommate sums up his goals when he observes of David, "He's not for the team, and he never will be"; but precisely who the David is that David is so fiendishly striving for we're never to learn. He develops a short-lived relationship with Carole Stahl, a glamorous European woman even more capricious than himself. Chappellet's identity trouble are exacerbated by the fact that he is an "Event" as well as a personality; and more astute minds than his own have difficulty where the one leaves off and the other takes over. Director Michael Richie's ("The Candidate") feature film debut.Written by
The movie's name was changed to "Downhill Racer" from its source Oakley Hall 1963 novel title of "The Downhill Racers" though the two titles still remained quite similar to each other. This ends up working since the title character is really in it for himself, and sets himself apart from the other skiers (with bad attitude and apt skills) from the very beginning. See more »
Creech starts his final run wearing bib #16. When he crashes, he is wearing #11. See more »
[Making some public appearances before various business groups in an effort to garner financial support for the U.S. ski team]
The Europeans simply can't understand why... this country doesn't turn out the world's greatest ski teams. And I'm ashamed to tell 'em the truth. We have the mountains, we have the men, we have the muscle. We don't have the money in this richest nation in the world. Every racer... on a well-equipped winning team... is a foreign sales representative for U.S. ski products....
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This is not your typical sports film, which I think accounts for some of the negative reactions from viewers who expected a rah-rah, underdog-coming-from-behind-to-win tale. It's a dark and ironic story.
Essentially, the movie is a meditation on the "bitch-goddess Success." Redford plays an unlikable character: an overgrown child with no interest in any person or thing other than himself; a taciturn athlete who probably deserves to be called "inarticulate," though it's hard to say, as he clearly has no thoughts to articulate anyway. The dark irony of the film is that he *wins* ... and does so rather more because of, rather than in spite of, his failures as a human being.
As Francis Bacon wrote (400 years ago): "Young men worship the 'bitch-goddess success.' We spend most all of our life pursuing her and only a few succeed in catching her. This goddess demands exclusive worship, and thus, other life pursuits are often left, much to our regret in later life. So, too, this exclusive pursuit can leave us morally flabby."
The movie is also interesting as a reasonably-accurate depiction of the top level of ski racing as it existed in the late '60s. (Incidentally, he's not a professional -- ski racing and, more importantly, the Olympics were amateur at the time; and the event is Downhill (as in the title), not Super-G, which didn't even exist until 20 years later).
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