A sleeper hit in 1979, the feel-good sports dramedy Breaking Away went on to land five Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director (for the ever-eclectic Peter Yates), and Best Original Screenplay (the lone Oscar the film won, for Steve Tesich). It’s a fine little picture, cheerful and low-key, about a group of non-college-bound Bloomington, Indiana teens who clash with with the IU kids—who derisively call them “cutters,” because so many Bloomington townies work in the quarries—and make plans to compete in a local bicycle race. A very young Dennis Quaid, Daniel Stern, Jackie Earl Haley, and Dennis Christopher play the defiant cutters, in a movie that is for the most part a light, crowd-pleasing entertainment, yet still has something substantive to say about class differences, and how it feels for people to work to build homes and universities where they’re ultimately unwelcome. Breaking Away airs on Starz’s Retroplex channel at 10:05 p.m. Eastern.
October 01, 2014 newsreel