Best Movies by Farr
Downhill Racer Poster
Released Runtime Category
1969 101 Drama, Sports Movies, The Criterion Collection
Director Language
Michael Ritchie English
Robert Redford, Gene Hackman, Camilla Sparv

Downhill Racer

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What's it About

A youthful Robert Redford plays downhill skier Dave Chappellet, who gets called up to the U.S. team when another member is injured. While there’s no denying Chappellet’s talent and fearlessness on the slopes, off his skis he exhibits an unfortunate combination of cockiness and aloofness that many, including Coach Eugene Claire (Hackman), mistake for arrogance. Or are they mistaken?

Why we love it

Michael Ritchie's underrated debut film finally gets a first-rate DVD release from the Criterion Collection, and not a moment too soon. “Racer” holds up beautifully, thanks to a script that dispenses with all the sports movie clichés about hero athletes, a pair of dynamic, layered performances from stars-to-be Redford and Hackman, and Ritchie’s breathtaking ‘cinema verite’ that makes us feel we’re right alongside Redford on his heart-pounding descents. This is one feature that, forty years after its initial release, definitely merits another look.

BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"