Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: TBD

Breaking Away Details


[[Performer~P13052~Dennis Christopher~dennischristopher]] stars as a recent high school graduate in Bloomington, Indiana, who is caught with his friends -- [[Performer~P58161~Dennis Quaid~dennisquaid]], [[Performer~P112705~Daniel Stern~danielstern]], [[Performer~P29701~Jackie Earle Haley~jackieearlehaley]] -- coasting between high school and deciding what to do with the rest of their lives. The four friends are snobbishly looked down upon by the college students of the town as "cutters," since they were born in Bloomington and their parents worked in the local limestone quarries that built the university. [[Performer~P13052~Dennis Christopher~dennischristopher]]'s character Dave wants to be a champion bicycle racer and he idolizes the Italian racing team -- so much so that he speaks, thinks, and acts Italian, all to his father's (Paul Dooley) forlorn exasperation. Dave falls for a college girl ([[Performer~P19884~Robyn Douglass~robyndouglass]]), but is ashamed to admit he is a cutter and poses as an Italian exchange student to impress her. Dave is particularly excited when his heroes -- the Italian racers -- come to town for a race. But they are even more snobbish than the college students and rely on dirty tricks to keep Dave from winning a race against them. After that ordeal, Dave throws away his false identity and convinces his friends to enter the university's "Little 500" bicycle race against the college students. This light-hearted and heartwarming tale was a surprising word-of-mouth success at the box-office and won several awards, including an Academy Award for "Best Screenplay." ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

  • Release date:December 26, 1979


Awarded by
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Barbara Barrie Best Supporting Actress 1979 Nominee
National Board of Review Paul Dooley Best Supporting Actor 1979 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Peter Yates Best Director 1979 Nominee
Directors Guild of America Peter Yates Best Director 1979 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Peter Yates Best Director 1979 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Peter Yates Best Picture 1979 Nominee
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Dennis Christopher Most Promising Newcomer 1979 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Dennis Christopher New Star of the Year - Male 1979 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Patrick Williams Best Original Song Score and Its Adaptation or Adaptation Score 1979 Nominee


Dennis Christopher
as Dave Stohler
Dennis Quaid
as Mike
Daniel Stern
as Cyril
Paul Dooley
as Mr. Stohler
Jackie Earle Haley
as Moocher
Barbara Barrie
as Mrs. Stohler
Robyn Douglass
as Katherine
Hart Bochner
as Rod
Amy Wright
as Nancy
P.J. Soles
as Suzy
Peter Maloney
as Doctor
Lisa Shure
as French Girl
John Ashton
as Mike's Brother


Peter Yates
Peter Yates
Art Levinson
Matthew Leonetti
Patrick Williams
Composer (Music Score)
Cynthia Scheider
Patrizia Von Brandenstein
Art Director
Betsy Cox
Costume Designer
Bud Alper
Sound/Sound Designer
Marvin Westmore