Downhill Racer Downhill Racer

Downhill Racer

Michael Ritchie

 
Downhill Racer (Criterion DVD)

DVD

1 Disc

SRP: $29.95

Criterion Store price:$23.96

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  • United States
  • 1969
  • 101 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.78:1
  • English
  •  
  • Spine #494

Astonishing Alpine location photography and a young Robert Redford in one of his earliest starring roles are just two of the visual splendors of Michael Ritchie’s visceral debut feature, Downhill Racer. In a beautifully understated performance, Redford is David Chappellet, a ruthlessly ambitious skier competing for Olympic gold with an underdog American team in Europe, and Gene Hackman provides tough support as the coach who tries to temper the upstart’s narcissistic drive for glory. With a subtle screenplay by acclaimed novelist James Salter, Downhill Racer is a vivid character portrait buoyed by breathtakingly fast and furious imagery that brings the viewer directly into the mind of the competitor.

Disc Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • New video interviews with Robert Redford, screenwriter James Salter, film editor Richard Harris, production manager Walter Coblenz, and former downhill skier Joe Jay Jalbert, who served as a technical adviser, ski double, and cameraman
  • Audio excerpts from a 1977 American Film Institute seminar with director Michael Ritchie
  • How Fast?, a rare 12-minute promotional featurette
  • Theatrical trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Todd McCarthy

    New cover by Eric Skillman

Film Essays

Downhill Racer: Trailblazer

By Todd McCarthy November 17, 2009

“Well, this isn’t exactly a team sport,” assistant coach Mayo quips sarcastically to star skier Johnny Creech after overhearing him complain about renegade team member David Chappellet. It has . . . Read more »

Press Notes

Press Notes: Downhill Racer

November 24, 2009

Critics everywhere are rediscovering Downhill Racer—starring a handsome young golden boy known as Robert Redford—and they’re shouting their praise from the mountaintops. “Four decades later, . . . Read more »


Film Essays

Downhill Racer: Trailblazer

By Todd McCarthy November 17, 2009

“Well, this isn’t exactly a team sport,” assistant coach Mayo quips sarcastically to star skier Johnny Creech after overhearing him complain about renegade team member David Chappellet. It has . . . Read more »


Video


Clippings

Downhill, Illustrated

November 11, 2009

Michael Ritchie’s Downhill Racer, which arrives on Criterion special-edition DVD next week, is remembered today primarily for its winning star performance. Yet as evidenced by this November 1969 . . . Read more »