'Breaking Away' director Peter Yates dies

January 10, 2011
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Peter Yates' film "Breaking Away" served as my intro to Indiana.

Sixteen and on a date in a New Jersey theater in 1979, I saw that there was a universality to my small town thoughts. Apparently four "cutters" in Bloomington had the same sense of aimlessness that I saw around me—the same desire to punch the bully, kiss the girl, please the parents and win the big race.

Yates' film—which, except for the silly freeze frame at the end, still holds up beautifully—was on my mind when I flew out to Indianapolis for a job interview. It was on my mind when I delivered my eldest daughter to Indiana University. And it's on my mind now, as I note this weekend's passing of Yates. He was 82.

The credit most noted for the director is "Bullitt," where his San Francisco car chases helped define the cop film genre. But I'll take "Breaking Away" bike races over those hill-hopping pursuits any day.

As one would expect, "Breaking Away" is among the films being screened at IU Cinema's inaugural season. It will be playing April 10-11.

So when did you first see "Breaking Away"?

Your thoughts?

ADVERTISEMENT
  • My Favorite Hoosier Film
    I first saw "Breaking Away" at the Artcraft Theatre in my hometown of Franklin when it came out. From the first line--"He was as normal as apple pie. Now look at him."--you realize this is so much more than a mere sports movie.

    While I love "Hoosiers" and "Rudy," "Breaking Away" remains my favorite movie about Indiana. The brilliant casting--especially of Paul Dooley playing the retired stonecutter and wise-quipping dad to a first big role by a young Dennis Quaid--captures so much of the richness and frustration of how we interact with family and friends that transcends a group of townies in late '70s Bloomington. I find myself re-watching it every April.

    Peter Yates' mastery at direction transforms Steve Tesich's wonderful script into a location shoot that truly captures the location.

    While "Bullitt" and "The Dresser" will no doubt command the headline of Yates' obituary, I will long appreciate his wonderful portrayal of Hoosier life, wit, and values.
  • Steve Tesic Scree Play of Breaking Away
    Don't forget Steve Tesich, who wrote the prize-winning screen play. Grief-stricken over the destruction of his native Yugoslavia by "humanitarian intervention", and PR defamation of his people, the Serbs, his health failed and he died of a broken heart.
  • Universal
    I saw it when it first came out, as a senior in high school in suburban Washington, DC. I was not a biker or a sports fan, and I knew nothing about Indiana (even less about small towns). But it was a very powerful movie. When I went away to college that fall I met someone from Bloomington, Indiana and the first thing I said to her was something about the film, how much I loved it and possibly something about how real it all seemed. I remember an eye roll and a "don't ask" comment, leading me to believe that Bloomington was somewhat embarrassed about its portrayal. Today my son attends IU and is planning to ride for his dorm in the Little 500, with his roommate part of the Cutters team. He has not yet seen Breaking Away but I have encouraged him to do so. All teens should.
  • Breaking-Away
    I watch the movie every year just before the Hilly Hundred...pure, delightful, Indiana!
  • SR 67
    I think about some portion of that movie every time I am on IU's campus. "The duel" with the semi driver on SR 67 is one of my favorite scenes.
  • FACT
    FACT: The male stunt rider for the lead, including the infamous "duel" with the semi driver on SR 67, is now a transgendered female.
  • wasn't it SR 37
    It's been awhile since I've seen the movie but I thought the scenes with the semi driver were on SR 37.
  • Great Film
    I was an IU freshman when the movie was being shot in Bloomington. At that time, it had a running title of 'Bambino'. I was taking an into film class at the time and the professor was anticipating the movie to be a forgettable 'B' flick. Wrong! I was fortunate to be in the crowd scene when the trophy was being presented to the Cutters after they won the Little 500. The old 10th Street Stadium was a great venue. The experience was great fun and it was a pleasant surprise for the movie to be such a hit and an Oscar winner.
  • Bullitt
    You've had 2 days now to proof read your article, care to correct the title of the film that influenced all car chase scenes since then. It's called Bullitt. Thank you.
  • Fav line
    My favorite line: REFUND?? REFUND?? Whenever that movie is on - no matter what time day or night, I ALWAYS have to watch it!
  • Indiana Pride
    I saw Breaking Away when I was a teenager, growing up in Ft. Wayne. I completely identified with the stifled, predestined existence that he shattered. It gave me the courage to follow my own dreams and move to NYC. Still love that movie!

Post a comment to this blog

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
  1. Uh, sorry Johnnie, but you are incorrect. Despite the assertions by yourself and various defenders and captains, sports attendance is NOT off significantly at most sporting events in the US. Variances in attendance has been in the range of single digits, both + & - for years now. MLB has had most of its best overall attendance nubers in the last decade, and that trend has been consistent for most major sporting events. The number one issue cited by most fans when asked about attendance is the overall cost of attending. The presence of HD and big screen televisions in home doesn't even register, as a factor for not attending an event. VALUE in the product is the key, and apparently is something lacking in the current ICS. What other explanation is there when with what is routinely touted as the "best" racing on the planet, fans are staying away in DROVES. A "close" title battle into the last event at Fontana, with the "cars and stars" of the ICS, and who showed up? MAYBE 8K. Sorry, but HD TV isn't to blame for that kind of fan apathy.

  2. Do you need finance to establish your business ? Are you interested in getting a loan at 3% from our private company? If so please Email: suntrust_oil@blumail.org

  3. If she was worth the $ the public outcry over direct tv dropping them would have kept them on their dishes as we have seen with other companies. I too quit watching channel 13 after she showed up since I left channel 8 because of her all show rather than production results. When Randy on 8 corrected her she had a big head and incorrectly challenged his correction for pronunciation of a city. Other antics while she matures was too much for me with her very inaccurate forecasts. All the forecasters were predicting rain until Thursday except Chris. They predicted sunny on Thursday but instead of rain until Thursday upon which the sun would finally make it out in full glory Chris was right on the money just as I too predicted looking at the radar on weather.gov. One thing I love about Angela is the fear you can see in her every time it thunders in the winter. It far exceeds the entertainment value of her body language (high heel noise drags, depression, etc) when her forecasts are so incorrect. Her hair stands on end, you have to see it!!!

  4. Good Day, Apply For A Loan I am Mr Fernadez Antonio, a private Loan lender and a cooperate financial for real estate and any kinds of business financing. I also offer Loans to individuals, Firms and cooperate bodies at 3% interest rate We offer any kind of loans. email us via fernadezloaninvest@outlook.com LOAN APPLICATION FORM First name:......................... Middle name:......................... Last name:........................................ Date of birth (yyyy-mm-dd):....................... Gender:........................................... Marital status:................................... Total Amount Needed............................... Loan Duration.................................... Address:.......................................... City:............................................. State/province:................................... Zip/postal code:.................................. Country:.......................................... Phone:............................................ Fax:.............................................. Mobile/cellular:.................................. Monthly Income.................................... Occupation:....................................... Best Regard, Mr Fernadez Antonio.

  5. i will love to share my testimony to you all the people in world i got married to my husband about 2 year ago we start having problems at home like we stop sleeping on the same bed,fighting about little things he always comes home late at night,drinking too much and sleeping with other women out side i have never love any man in my life except him. he is the father of my child and i don't want to loose him because we have worked so hard together to become what we are and have today .few month ago he now decided to live me and the kid,being a single mother can be hard sometimes and so i have nobody to turn to and i was heart broken.i called my mom and explain every thing to her,my mother told me about DR.okoro how he helped her solve the problem between her and my dad i was surprise about it because they have been without each other for three and a half years and it was like a miracle how they came back to each other. i was directed to DR. okoro on his email:okorospell@gmail.com and explain everything to him,so he promise me not to worry that he will cast a spell and make things come back to how we where so much in love again and that it was another female spirit that was controlling my husband he told me that my problem will be solved within two days if i believe i said OK So he cast a spell for me and after two days my love came back asking me to forgive him i Am so happy now. so that why i decided to share my experience with every body that have such problem contact Dr okoro the great spell caster on his email addresses spellcasterforlove@outlook.com

ADVERTISEMENT