Downhill Racer

Downhill Racer

Directed by Michael Ritchie • 1969 • United States
Starring Robert Redford, Gene Hackman, Camilla Sparv

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.

Downhill Racer
  • Downhill Racer

    Directed by Michael Ritchie • 1969 • United States
    Starring Robert Redford, Gene Hackman, Camilla Sparv

    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 M...

Extras

  • Robert Redford and James Salter on DOWNHILL RACER

    In this interview, recorded in 2009, actor Robert Redford and acclaimed American novelist and DOWNHILL RACER screenwriter James Salter discuss the film’s origins and production.

  • Walter Coblenz, Richard Harris, and Joe Jay Jalbert on DOWNHILL RACER

    In this 2009 piece, production manager Walter Coblenz, editor Richard Harris, and technical adviser, ski double, and cameraman Joe Jay Jalbert discuss the making of DOWNHILL RACER.

  • Michael Ritchie at AFI

    Director Michael Ritchie (1938–2001) made his feature film debut with DOWNHILL RACER.His later work included THE CANDIDATE, THE BAD NEWS BEARS, SEMI-TOUGH, and FLETCH. In 1977, he gave a seminar at the American Film Institute in which he discussed his career in film and television. Audio excerpts...

  • How Fast?

    The following twelve-minute featurette was used to promote DOWNHILL RACER and includes some rare making-of footage.