Downhill Racer (1969)
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...
An ambitious young skier, determined to break all existing records, is contemptuous of the teamwork advocated by the US coach when they go to Europe for the Olympics.
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Critic Reviews for Downhill Racer
An intriguing film that balances skiing and the majesty of Alpine scenery with an absorbing story of hero Robert Redford, young American innocent abroad.
The location skiing sequences, revealing Ritchie's background and interest in documentary styles, are simply astounding, even for those with little interest in the sport.
The best movie ever made about sports -- without really being about sports at all.
It's better than most sports films since it avoids sentimentality and falsely romanticizing its unsympathetic egotistical hero.
... the downhill runs are shot and edited with a visceral quality that takes us off the sidelines and into the skier's perspective.
could be lumped into the convenient category of "uplifting sports drama," but in fact is a challenging deconstruction of all the underdog clichés associated with that genre
Downhill Racer stands as lean condemnation of the calculating underdog clichés Rocky would bring make the norm.
An influential and extremely well-done sports film, worth watching even if you don't normally enjoy films of this type.
Redford, just breaking into superstardom, gives one of his cool, self-centred, cynical performances as an undisciplined Olympic skier.
Audience Reviews for Downhill Racer
One of Redford's best as the American ski team tries to shake up the European dominated sport on its home turf. I particularly enjoyed the small town Yank abroad aspect of the piece though the ski sequences are formidable, exhilarating. And it looks as if they shot it last year, not 40+ years ago.More
I liked the fact that it went away from the total cliches of most sports films and thought it was interesting to see Redford play such a almost souless person whose entire existence is about going faster and ultimately winning. You can't help but think of Redford as ballsy for putting his good looking charmer clout on the line with performances like this. He is not likable in the least sense, but I enjoyed watching him and kind of understood where he was coming from even if he was being a complete asshole about it. I also loved the way the film was shot almost like a documentary and it made you feel as if you were on the slopes with him whereas now they would just prop him up in front of a green screen and call it a day. Overall, just one of those gems from the period that I don't think will ever rise again.More
Well crafted film (about to be released on Criterion) about the US ski team in the late 60's. Micheal Ritchie creates a very real film that is almost like watching a Maysles' documentary at times (who could have foreseen he would go on to make movies like Bad News Bears and Fletch). Redford plays a role he perfected in his career, like Roy Hobbs, a no-nonsense talent who just wants to do the job his way without any b.s.. Hackman also portrays a character he would become well known for, the determined coach. Great camerawork and a great ending.More
A movie like this would come out today and just be turned into a video game. I love how the story is straight forward and there a no sport movie cliches, and the end of film is an amazing payoff...great fucking ending!!!More
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