Remembering director Peter Yates' overlooked classic
Film tells story of a teenager obsessed with bike racing
When the death at the age of 82 of British film director Peter Yates was announced earlier this week, most media organisations referenced his work on the sixties teen classic Summer Holiday and his considerably grittier American debut movie, Bullitt.
But for many cyclists Yates will be remembered for Breaking Away, a coming-of-age film which revolves around a teenager’s obsession with cycling and all things Italian, culminating in a bike race in his hometown of Bloomington, Indiana.
The work earned Yates an Oscar nomination and won Steve Tesich the award for best screenplay and while some may have never heard of it, Breaking Away has been ranked by the American Film Institute as the eighth best American film in the sports genre and achieved the same ranking in the Institute's list of most inspirational American films.
If you’ve never seen the film, it should be worth tracking down a copy but in the meantime here’s a taster.