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Sioux Falls Feminists endorse Personal Best for showing the greater
lesbian and gay tolerance that seem to exist in American
sports in the 1970's and 1980's. Whatever happened
to that more open society of the recent past?

Personal Best
They tested the limits - and broke all the rules.

Personal Best (1982) - 129 minutes
Personal Best at Amazon.com

Chris Cahill and Tory Skinner - two champion female athletes who meet at the 1976 Olympic Trials. They start out as friends. They wind up as lovers. And one day, they meet as competitors, in a contest of body and will that will test each of them to their limits...and beyond.

Mariel Hemingway and Patrice Donnelly star in Robert Towne's Personal Best, a bold and brilliant drama of the bond that forms between two individuals who have dedicated their lives to the achievement of excellence - and to the attainment of their "personal best" in more than mere athletics.

Mariel Hemingway plays Chris Cahill, the inexperienced young girl whose long road leads to self-awareness and self-mastery. Her strength and stamina can make her a winner. Slowly, she learns to focus her talents and break through her barrier of determination.

Patrice Donnelly, once a member of the U.S. Olympic Team and the fourth-ranked hurdler in the world, plays Tory Skinner, who sets the example that Chris must match - and ultimately surpass. Acting in her first motion picture, Donnelly gives an intense performance that perfectly complements Mariel Hemingway's coltish, good-natured innocence.

Robert Towne, winner of an Academy Award for his screenplay of the 1974 hit, Chinatown, and co-writer of the screenplays for Shampoo and The Yakuza, did triple duty as writer, producer, and director of Personal Best. He brings a unique point of view to his first outing as director.

"A movie, I think, is really only four or five moments between two people; the rest of it exists to give those moments their impact and resonance," Towne says. "And when actors are really into it, giving you those moments - nobody is more remarkable than they are."

In Personal Best, those remarkable moments happen - and the experience is exhilarating.

(Webmaster's comment: One of my all time favorite movies. Young, healthy women and men freely expressing themselves in relationships of their choosing. And if you want to know how it feels, what it takes, to be a top athlete, this movie is for you.)

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Personal Best
They tested the limits - and broke all the rules.

Sioux Falls Feminists endorse Personal Best for showing the greater
lesbian and gay tolerance that seem to exist in American
sports in the 1970's and 1980's. Whatever happened
to that more open society of the recent past?