Downhill Racer (1969, Michael Ritchie)

Maybe they really don’t make ’em like this anymore. Watched on a whim, dunno Michael Ritchie (two Fletch movies and Prime Cut) and this isn’t about anything of interest (Robert Redford is a hotshot replacement skier on the US olympic team coached by Gene Hackman), but visually it’s really well put together. Maybe not the undercranked-looking wide shots of ski races, but everywhere else the editing and movement is very alive. Redford likes a girl, of course: Swedish Camilla Sparv (of The Trouble with Angels), who is working for a ski manufacturer, and of course he has rivalries with his teammates, including good dude Jim McMullan (of a couple Joel Schumacher movies), who gets laid up and misses the olympics. Not running out and recommending this as an example of Pure Cinema, but more watchable than a late 60’s New Hollywood sports movie has any business being.

What skiing leads to:

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