Breaking Away

Watch Breaking Away

"The movie that tells you exactly what you can do with your high school diploma!"
  • PG
  • 1979
  • 1 hr 40 min
  • 7.7  (25,221)
  • 91

In the 1979 film Breaking Away, we follow four friends from small-town Bloomington, Indiana, as they try to navigate their lives after high school. The film stars Dennis Christopher as Dave Stoller, a quirky and passionate young man with a passion for Italian cycling and a dream of racing in the Tour de France. His three closest friends, all recent graduates of Bloomington High School, are played by Dennis Quaid as Mike, Daniel Stern as Cyril, and Jackie Earle Haley as Moocher.

Dave, the protagonist of the film, is a boy living in Indiana, who has become obsessed with Italian cycling, taking on a persona he calls "Moscowitz," and learning to speak Italian, much to the amusement of his friends. He works as a cutter at a local quarry but dreams of racing his bike in Italy someday. Despite his father's disapproval, Dave continues to train and get in shape, determined to prove himself to his doubters.

Mike, on the other hand, is struggling to come to terms with his working-class upbringing after getting a scholarship to attend college. He's a talented athlete but doesn't know what he wants from life, and he's trying to figure out how to make the transition from small-town life to something bigger. Cyril, the resident nerd of the group, is a hopeless romantic who is also obsessed with trivia and the local university, while Moocher is the youngest and most impulsive of the group, trying to figure out his life while navigating a rocky relationship with his girlfriend.

The film centers on the rivalry between the local boys and the wealthy Indiana University students. One key storyline involves the university's cycling team, a group of Italian American students led by the aggressive and entitled Rod (played by Hart Bochner). The boys' animosity toward the IU students stems from a feeling of inadequacy in the face of their wealth and education.

Breaking Away is a coming-of-age film that explores themes of class, identity, and friendship. The film's director, Peter Yates, emphasizes the importance of individuality and authenticity, showing how Dave's passion for cycling sets him apart from his friends and family but ultimately becomes the driving force in his life. Dave's love for cycling also brings him closer to a young woman named Katherine (Robyn Douglass), an IU student who shares his passion for Italian culture.

The film's climactic scene is the Little 500, a cycling race held annually at Indiana University. Dave and his friends team up to compete against the Italian team, with Dave carrying his "Moscowitz" persona to new heights to play mind games with their opponents. The film's finale is a testament to the power of perseverance and the joy of fulfilling one's dreams.

Breaking Away received critical acclaim upon its release, was nominated for five Academy Awards, and won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. It remains a cult classic and is beloved for its honest portrayal of working-class youth and the complexities of growing up. The film endures as a heartwarming reminder of the power of friendship, the importance of following your passions, and the value of hard work in the face of adversity.

Overall, Breaking Away is a classic coming-of-age film that explores themes of identity, class, and friendship in a way that feels fresh and honest over 40 years after its release. The film is beloved for its relatable characters, captivating plot, and inspiring message, making it a must-see for fans of classic cinema and anyone looking for a heartwarming story of self-discovery.

Breaking Away is a 1979 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 40 minutes. It has received poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.7 and a MetaScore of 91.

Breaking Away
Where to Watch Breaking Away
Breaking Away is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Breaking Away for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 40 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.7  (25,221)
  • Metascore