Downhill Racer Downhill Racer

Downhill Racer

Michael Ritchie

 
Downhill Racer (Criterion Blu-Ray)

Blu-Ray

1 Disc

SRP: $39.95

Criterion Store price:$31.96

  • United States
  • 1969
  • 102 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.85:1
  • 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 Downhill Racer, the visceral debut feature of Michael Ritchie. 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.

Credits

DirectorMichael Ritchie
ProducerRichard Gregson
Written byJames Salter
MusicKenyon Hopkins
Director of photographyBrian Probyn
Photographed byTony Busbridge, Alan Hewison, Arthur Wooster, Jean-Paul Janssen, Jean-Pierre Janssen, Joe Jay Jalbert, Austin Parkinson and Michael Temple
Art directorIan Whittaker
Assistant directorsKip Gowans and Walter Coblenz
MakeupWilliam J. Lodge
Supervising editorNick Archer
EditorRichard Harris
Titles designed byDon Record
Production supervisorStanley O’Toole
Production managerWalter Coblenz

Disc Features

  • Restored high-definition digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Interviews from 2009 with actor Robert Redford, screenwriter James Salter, 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 twelve-minute promotional feature from 1969
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Todd McCarthy

    New cover by Eric Skillman

Film Essays

Downhill_racer_small_thumbnail

Downhill Racer: Trailblazer

By Todd McCarthy December 01, 2015

Critic Todd McCarthy takes an inside look at Michael Ritchie's outdoor drama, which he calls “spare, cut to the bone, as fine as dry powder. Had Hemingway ever written about competitive skiing, . . . Read more »

Video

Salter_thumbnail

James Salter and Robert Redford on Downhill Racer

December 28, 2015

In June, we lost the inimitable American writer James Salter. The author, one of the great novelists of the twentieth century, also had a career as a Hollywood screenwriter—which included . . . Read more »


Film Essays

Downhill_racer_small_thumbnail

Downhill Racer: Trailblazer

By Todd McCarthy December 01, 2015

Critic Todd McCarthy takes an inside look at Michael Ritchie's outdoor drama, which he calls “spare, cut to the bone, as fine as dry powder. Had Hemingway ever written about competitive skiing, . . . 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 »


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 »

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