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Downhill Racer

Downhill Racer(1969)

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Downhill Racer An ambitious skier sacrifices... MORE > $19.47 Regularly $29.95 Buy Now blu-ray

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  • Racing downhill indeed

    • Jeff Boston
    • 9/5/16

    Character study of a male (definitely not a man) with little character whom shows no interest and thus makes no time to study anything, as everyone around him soon learns and his old man found out long ago. Good contrast between a "we first" depression era/WW 2 father whom is all about preparing for the future, and his "me first" baby boomer son. This film spoke for millions of families, particularly fathers and sons, divided by the biggest generation gap in U.S. history. Redford was hot in '69, Hackman was getting hotter, but there has been nary an actor in Hollywood quite as hot as Sparv. Stunning.

  • downhill racer

    • kevin sellers
    • 1/29/15

    It's interesting that Redford considered the part of Dave Chaplin to be his best, since it is the only time I can recall where he played a complete and utter shit heel. Not sure if I agree with him, actually. I'm kinda partial to his take on Bob Woodward, myself, but there is no denying the excellence of Redford's performance and this film, the first of Michael Ritchie's 70s and early 80s mordant and/or satirical examinations of American culture (that included "The Candidate," "Bad News Bears," "Smile," and "Fletch.") Fine, terse screenplay by novelist James Salter that surrounds Redford's egomaniacal jerk of a skier with an interesting group of subordinate characters, like a coach (a good early Gene Hackman performance) with little respect for Chaplin's "me first, team second" attitude, but who is forced to put up with him to gain the gold; a distant father who is clearly uninterested in his son, which furnishes a clue as to why Chaplin is the way he is, and a teammate who is everything Chaplin is not and whom Chaplin both respects and scorns. About the only "off" note is provided by Chaplin's German girlfriend, played by Camilla Sparv, who is sexy as all hell but who, alas, cannot act. A bit too much love making slash cross country skiing stuff with her and Bob drags this picture down to an A minus.

  • The Loneliness of a Downhill Skier

    • Delving Eye
    • 1/27/15

    Wonderful cinematography. Interesting look at the makings of a champion in a solo sport -- in this case, a "team" effort acts as a hindrance to the main character's performance. Redford plays a ruthless competitor, comfortable only on a ski slope, less so interacting with people. He considered this to be his best film as an actor. He's right. (His best film as a director is "Ordinary People," hands down.) Thanks for showing this, TCM. Can't wait to watch it tonight -- while the snow drifts outside!

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