Downhill Racer Review and DVD Features
Nov 6 1969
Behind the Scene and other Major Plot Points
First person camerawork
That was pretty cool
Ski Products Mentioned
I only heard of Head skis and saw Carrera snow goggles. Any others anybody noticed?
What model year was that Porsche?
What a car! Complete with a blond-beauty! Anybody know what year that Porsche was? Let me know.
1967 Porsche 912
he drives a 912 in spy game also
it is a 911T. it is obvious in one scene. You can see the 911T badge. When David is driving, and they are approaching the town, you can hear the distinctive, throaty sound of the flat 6. 912’s don’t sound like that.
Desperately seeking quote! (‘You can win”)
There is just a great moment near the end of the film where Redford’s character is about to take the Big Run and the coach grabs him and says *something* like, ‘Don’t just go out there. You can do more than just finish. You… can… win.’
i just watched this last night and he says “you can win this.”
Natalie Wood worked as an assistant behind the scenes of this movie. She typed script revisions, shopped for wardrobe and props, and also appeared, well-disguised, as an extra in some crowd scenes.
The movie’s poster was as #4 of “The 25 Best Movie Posters Ever” by Premiere.
American director Michael Ritchie‘s theatrical film debut after directing in television.
Richard Gregson- Producer of the Film
Natalie Wood’s then husband, Richard Gregson, was one of the producers on this film. She was also a good friend and former high school classmate of the star, Robert Redford. She provided hair styles for some of the actors, provided wardrobe styles for some of the stars, and was a visible presence on the European locations for the film
RT/Meta Critic Review
The best movie ever made about sports — without really being about sports at all.(Click here to see)
An influential and extremely well-done sports film, worth watching even if you don’t normally enjoy films of this type.(Click here to see)
The image is absolutely stunning. This enhanced transfer represents an incredible achievement in film preservation and/or restoration. Save a very few shots that look slightly stained or otherwise damaged, the movie looks like it was shot yesterday. The bright snowy whites contrast wonderfully with eye-popping colors on racing suits, skis, cars, and buildings. The film’s rare blacks are deep and solid. This forty-year-old low-budget film (about $2 million) looks absolutely terrific.
The mono soundtrack is good, but not great. Some of the mixing is oddly aggressive at points, and the eccentric, minimalistic score by Kenyon Hopkins is sometimes harsh on the ear. Still, the soundtrack is generally pleasing and dialogue is clear. Sounds of the schussing competitors are well-timed and help build tension during the races.
Criterion has included a few very interesting bonus features. First and foremost is an interview piece featuring Robert Redford and James Salter, in which they discuss the film’s background and production. This is a fascinating piece, although strangely, Oakley Hall’s name is not mentioned once. Hall wrote a novel in the early 1960s called The Downhill Racers, which I always understood to be the film’s source. But his name is nowhere on the credits, and he is not mentioned in the bonus content. It’s true that the story of the film departs significantly from the novel, so maybe the formal connection between the two really is scant. In any case, Redford and Salter take full credit for the film’s screenplay. Next is another interview piece with editor Richard Harris, production manager Walter Coblenz, and technical advisor (and former downhill skier) Joe Jay Jalbert. Naturally, this segment is much more technical than the first, although it’s full of interesting anecdotes. Lengthy audioexcerpts from a 1977 AFI seminar with director Michael Ritchie allow the late director to speak for himself, and his thoughts will be of great interest for anyone with an interest in the finer points of film production. A promotional featurette called How Fast? (12:25) is narrated by Redford and incorporates interesting behind-the-scenes footage.