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BREAKING AWAY

title: BREAKING AWAY
year: 1979
cast: Dennis Christopher, Dennis Quaid, Jackie Earle Haley, Paul Dooley, Daniel Stern, Hart Bochner, P.J. Soles
director: Peter Yates
rating: ****

Feel-good classic about teens from the poor side of the tracks, this one distinguished by a confidently upbeat, quirky main character who, while pretending to be Italian, longs to race bicycles with Italy's visiting team. When not peddling around town, Dennis Chrisopher hangs with local slackers Dennis Quaid, Jackie Earle Haley, and Daniel Stern, known as "Cutters" and demeaned by rich kids at the local university. The bicycling scenes are wonderfully shot by action director Peter Yates, and although the class envy gets tiresome, and Christopher's relationship with his parents seems a bit cartoonish, as the big race between the locals and students approaches, each character contributes equally to a fantastic (though predictable) conclusion.
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