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Personal Best (1982)

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The intertwined lives and loves of three highly-ranked athletes striving for the national team; Chris bounces between the beds of male coach Terry and her female friend, competitor, and role model Tory.

Director:

Robert Towne

Writer:

Robert Towne

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mariel Hemingway ... Chris Cahill
Scott Glenn ... Terry Tingloff
Patrice Donnelly Patrice Donnelly ... Tory Skinner
Kenny Moore Kenny Moore ... Denny Stites
Jim Moody ... Roscoe Travis
Kari G. Peyton Kari G. Peyton ... Penny Brill (as Kari Gosswiller)
Jodi Anderson Jodi Anderson ... Nadia 'Pooch' Anderson
Maren Seidler Maren Seidler ... Tanya
Martha Watson Martha Watson ... Sheila
Emily Dole ... Maureen
Pam Spencer Pam Spencer ... Jan
Deby Laplante Deby Laplante ... Trish
Mitzi McMillin Mitzi McMillin ... Laura
Jan Glotzer Jan Glotzer ... Karen
Jan Van Reenen Jan Van Reenen ... Yelovitch
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Storyline

1976. Chris Cahill and Torry Skinner are US national caliber track and field athletes, Chris in the 100 meter hurdles, and Torry in the pentathlon. Chris has the natural ability to be great but she doesn't possess the confidence or drive, while Torry, who has less natural ability, psychologically knows what it takes to be great, leading to Torry making the Olympic team finishing second in her event, while Chris has a disastrous Olympic trial. Torry can see the potential in Chris, and tries to convince her coach at Cal Poly, Terry Tingloff, to coach Chris, Terry who will only allow Chris to train with the team without his guidance in he only having seen her disastrous performance at the trials. Although not ideal in that no scholarship money is involved, Chris accepts the offer against the wishes of her father, who currently coaches her. In their time together, Chris and Torry embark on a relationship, each seeing in the other what each doesn't possess, their attraction thus sexual as ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 June 1982 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

As Parceiras See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$5,672,311

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,672,311
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

The Geffen Company See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film co-starred a real-life Olympic athlete. Maren Seidler competed at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. Donnelly was once ranked fourth in the world for hurdles and third in the world for the pentathlon. This film was her movie debut. See more »

Goofs

During the trials, Chris fouls in the shot put. As it is assumed she made no mark in the event and scored zero points she surely would never have a chance to finish high up in the overall standings, especially after she also had a poor hurdles race. Not scoring in a heptathlon event will cost roughly 20% of your overall score, virtually impossible to make up over the other 4 events. See more »

Quotes

Terry Tingloff: All right, one thing ya gotta understand: I could've been a man's coach. Backfield coach, Oregon State: I had the job, I had the job, I actually had the job. You understand? I had the job. Ah, well. Coach of the year. I was coach of the year last year. You know what that means when you're a womens' coach? Jack shit. I mean I could have coached football. Do you actually think that Chuck Knoll has to worry that Franco Harris is gonna cry 'cause Terry Bradshaw won't talk to him? - Hmm? - Jack ...
See more »


Soundtracks

What a Fool Believes
Written by Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins
Sung by The Doobie Brothers
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Pretty good track flick
18 April 2004 | by mmorgan-7See all my reviews

The best part of this film is you get a look at Eugene, Oregon, the mecca of track and field in the early 1980s. Mariel Hemingway is pretty convincing as a pentathlete. She is tall, very fit and moves with much of the grace of a hurdler. Of note is that most of the others in this film, with the exception of Scott Glenn were actual world-class athletes. Jane Fredrick and Kate Schmidt were top women and Al Feuerbach was a champion shot-putter. Kenny Moore, who plays Hemingway's male love-interest is cast as a water polo player. In reality Moore, who does a very good job finished 4th in the Olympic Marathon, was numerous events, but was cursed with running at the same time as Frank Shorter (has a bit part playing a TV announcer). Moore was also a frequent contributor for Sports Illustrated. This is not a genre-defining movie (if there is a genre of this type), but it is quite watchable and gives one a hint of the life of track athletes in the era before they were allowed to be paid above the table.


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