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Personal Best
Personal Best
Actors: Mariel Hemingway, Scott Glenn, Patrice Donnelly, Kenny Moore, Jim Moody
Director: Robert Towne
Genres: Drama, Sports
R     2008     2hr 4min

Two female runners fall in love while training for the 1980 Olympics.


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Movie Details

Actors: Mariel Hemingway, Scott Glenn, Patrice Donnelly, Kenny Moore, Jim Moody
Director: Robert Towne
Creators: Michael Chapman, Robert Towne, Bud S. Smith, Jacqueline Cambas, David Geffen, Peter Peyton
Genres: Drama, Sports
Sub-Genres: Love & Romance, Sports, Olympics
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 01/08/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 2hr 4min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 11
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, French
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Movie Reviews

All time favorite "jock" movie
J. C. Woods | Malden, MA USA | 06/18/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"So, I'm having a party conversation with a lesbian friend and "Personal Best" comes up. She denounces it as a lousy portrayal of lesbianism. Yeah, I answer, but it is a great sports movie! And it is too. Personal Best is not just a great sports movie, but is also a great bildungsroman ("coming of age" movie). In it the lead character, Chris Cahill (Mariel Hemingway) is involved in a dysfunctional relationship with her father who is a coach. We see little of her family life. The movie revolves around her moving to a new family and getting new parents: Tory Skinner (Patrice Donnelly) and Terry Tingloff (Scott Glenn, who is, you guessed it, a coach). The problem is the tranference of parental relations is confused from the very beginning by a sexual relation between Chris and Tory. The waters are muddled even further when jealousy rears his head between the "parents," and between Tory and Chris who are set in competition against each other by Tingloff. Through it all, Chris grows up so that, when Tingloff comes on to her in a vulnerable situation, she staves him off (unlike Tory in a earlier scene) and begins to develop her own relationships and her own philosophy of competition. The moral of the movie is: To be competitive you don't have to be better than everybody else, just a little bit better than you were yesterday. You don't have to kill the competition, you can love the competition, but always remember, you are the competition."
Exceptional film; one to be enjoyed over and over!
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Whether you viewed this film when it first appeared in the '80s or today, you cannot help but get the feeling that you are right there w/Tory (Patrice Donnelly) & Chris (Mariel Hemingway) competing on the track and struggling through the pains of high level competition. The technical advice given this film is marvelous, thanks in part to co-star Patrice Donnelly.Also, the attraction between the two stars is touching and their ensuing love scenes are gentle and moving. When the two stars struggle in their 3yr long relationship, you (the viewer) struggle right along with them. Unfortunately, the two stars never address the reason for their breakup and one is left w/a feeling of incompleteness.Scott Glenn is very convincing as the coach who falls in love w/Tory and becomes the number one jerk to keep Tory & Chris apart."
Sports and love between two women touch your heart.
J. C. Woods | 05/15/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a film about competition in sports and about the love/sexual atraction between two women. The scenes that capture the more difficult moments in sports competition (the beginning of a 1000 meters, by example)are really good and beautiful. There you can see the high feelings of people that dedicates theirs lifes to win in a sport campus. Otherwise, the love scenes are delicate and very beautiful. You can feel by yourself the feelings between the two women. High feelings. What I really didn't like is the end of the love story. It is not credible and seems to be moralizing. But you have to see this picture. Great photography, great bodies. I saw it when it was new (1983, 1984, I guess) and I saw it now and I find it better than then."
Watching again
Jane M. Wolf | Kingman, AZ | 08/31/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I found myself watching "Personal Best" again after several years. Robert Townde creates a movie of coming of age within the world of sports, focusing on the human bodies of women in training in a veritable and also erotic way. The interweaving of the love affair with the rigors of sports and competition is superb. Patrice Donnelly turns out to be the stronger actress, despite the fact that she is the sportswoman, not actress by trade. This is a classic movie as the first commercial movie with a lesbian scene - well worth seeing."