Genres: Comedy, Drama

Peter Yates's flag-waving film stands with To Kill a Mockingbird and American Graffiti as one of the best films about small-town Americana. Steve Tesich won an Oscar for his semi-biographical screenplay about four 19-year-...  more »


Movie Details

Genres: Comedy, Drama
Sub-Genres: Comedy, Drama
Format: DVD
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: Spanish

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Movie Reviews

A classic
Eric J. Lyman | Roma, Lazio Italy | 06/05/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I don't want to make a bigger deal out of this movie than it deserves. It's not a world-changer and the ending is a bit predictable, but it is a wonderful and charming coming of age story and an honest look at small-town America. And cycling and Italians play central roles -- a plus for an American cyclist living in Italy, like me.But having an affinity for things Italian or for bike racing is not necessary in order to enjoy this 25-year-old classic. What is necessary is an appreciation for small things and memories about the mysterious period between adolescence and adulthood. If that describes you, then chances are you'll enjoy this touching film.Amid the praise I should say that the DVD package is only average: the original trailer and teaser are there, but it would have been nice to have some commentary from director Peter Yates, some of the actors, or from critics who were fans of the film. A "Making of Breaking Away" mini feature would have also been a welcome addition. One note: Breaking Away is a very American film, and so I'm not so sure how much of it will hit home with foreign viewers."
Film: 5 stars; DVD: 1 star
George | Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA | 03/02/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This is a fabulous film, one of my all-time favorites: a funny, bittersweet, character-driven masterpiece of small-budget filmmaking, shot in a town I lived in for five years. Obviously, this was a cheaply done DVD release by Fox of a film that deserves a deluxe special edition. Besides the lack of extras, interviews, and audio commentary, I could not believe the poor sound quality of the DVD digital transfer: street scenes, crowd scenes, etc. sounded like they were recorded in a digital bucket! We had to turn down the sound during the pivotal Little 500 scene, because the digital garbage was so annoying. Having seen this many times on tape, I know that the sound of this low-budget film was not always good, but it was never horrible until this cheap digital mastering. Fortunately it does not completely ruin the experience of this wonderful film, but I wouldn't be in any hurry to replace a VHS tape with this DVD! Fox, fix your mistake and treat this film properly!"
A touching story of small-town America.
Roger J. Buffington | Huntington Beach, CA United States | 05/04/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is a truly touching story about a young man from a working-class background growing up in a college town. Most of the townspeople (called "cutters" by the college students who look down upon them) work or worked in the nearby rock quarry, managing at most a modest middle-class status. This story is primarily about this friction between social classes, and one young man's successful ascent out of his own social class and into college. And it is about more than that. The method by which he succeeds inspires the whole town to be proud of their solid, working class roots, and affirms the fact that in America we need not be bound by our social class, and indeed with brains, ability, talent, and yes, guts, a person can achieve anything.

The protagonist is an amateur bicyclist, and the struggle is initially about his attempt to break into the ranks of amateur bicycling. This theme is woven into the social class divisions of the town, which are an obstacle to his dreams. In the end, (no spoiler here) he succeeds in a dramatic way. This film succeeds in being both significant and very funny.

A fine film that the whole family can enjoy together."