This is a 1969 American drama directed by Michael Ritchie, based on the 1963 novel "The Downhill Racers" by Oakley Hall.
The film is about a talented downhill skier who joins the United States ski team in Europe to compete in international skiing competitions.
His drive to become a champion and his success on the slopes alienate his coach and teammates.
After a second successful year of races, he wins the gold medal at the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble.
Although the film shows the esthetic beauty of the skiing and its surrounding scenery, its depiction of the brutal realities of competition isn't deep enough.
The director should've delved into the mind and body of the brutal, breath-taking ordeal.
I wouldn't quibble with the reviewer who called this slow, but I don't think that's a flaw in this film, which offers a more nuanced, psychological take on the usually cliched sport film. It was one of Robert Redford's first roles and he's impossibly young looking and a bit of jerk. Gene Hackman and Swedish actress Camilla Sparv co-star. This was Michael Ritchie's first film and he would work again with Redford on "The Candidate." There are some stunning ski sequences in this somewhat overlooked film from the New Hollywood era.
"How fast must a man go to get from where he's at?" Apparently very slow because this movie moved slower than a tortoise race. The acting was good, the cinematography was good, the writing was good, but all together it was just ok. Polanski was set to direct this but Paramount gave him Rosemary's Baby instead...Thank God!!!! Rosemary's Baby, hell, anything Polanski has ever done, is superior to this.
Great cinematography and Redford shows some real acting chops.
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