Alleen Leiva

Written by Alleen Leiva

Modified & Updated: 02 Jun 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


Breaking Away is a classic coming-of-age film that was released in 1979. Set in the college town of Bloomington, Indiana, the movie follows a group of four friends who are trying to find their place in the world after high school. With its blend of comedy, drama, and heartfelt moments, Breaking Away has become a beloved cult classic over the years.

In this article, we will explore 37 fascinating facts about the making of Breaking Away, from its inspiration to the casting choices, behind-the-scenes anecdotes, and its impact on popular culture. Whether you’re a fan of the film or simply curious about its production, these insights will give you a deeper appreciation for this iconic coming-of-age story.

Key Takeaways:

  • “Breaking Away” is a timeless sports film that inspires viewers to pursue their passions, embrace teamwork, and overcome obstacles with determination and friendship.
  • The movie captures the essence of youthful enthusiasm, showcases the transformative power of sports, and continues to impact the world of cinema with its enduring legacy.
Table of Contents

The movie Breaking Away was released in 1979

Breaking Away is a coming-of-age sports film directed by Peter Yates that hit theaters in The film captivated audiences with its heartwarming story and inspiring performances.

The screenplay was written by Steve Tesich

Steve Tesich penned the screenplay for Breaking Away, showcasing his talent for crafting compelling narratives and engaging characters.

The movie was set in Bloomington, Indiana

Bloomington, Indiana serves as the backdrop for this beloved film, providing a charming small-town atmosphere that resonates with audiences.

Breaking Away explores the theme of identity and finding oneself

The film delves into the struggles and aspirations of four friends who are trying to navigate their individual paths and discover who they truly are.

It stars Dennis Christopher in the lead role

Dennis Christopher delivers a standout performance as Dave Stoller, a young man with a passion for cycling and dreams of becoming a professional cyclist.

The movie showcases competitive bicycle racing

Breaking Away features thrilling and intense bicycle races, capturing the excitement and adrenaline of the sport.

Breaking Away was well-received by critics

The film garnered positive reviews from critics, who praised its genuine portrayal of friendships, heartfelt storytelling, and memorable performances.

It won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay

Breaking Away was recognized with an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, solidifying its status as a cinematic gem.

The film inspired a generation of cyclists

Breaking Away’s depiction of the passion and camaraderie found in cycling inspired many viewers to take up the sport themselves.

It has a timeless and relatable coming-of-age story

Breaking Away’s themes of self-discovery, friendship, and following one’s dreams continue to resonate with audiences of all ages.

The movie has a memorable soundtrack that complements the story

The soundtrack of Breaking Away features a mix of classic rock and feel-good tunes that enhance the overall viewing experience.

The central characters are known as the “Cutters”

The main characters in Breaking Away are referred to as the “Cutters,” a term used to describe locals in Bloomington who work in the local stone quarries.

Breaking Away explores the class divide between the “Cutters” and the college students

The film tackles the social and economic differences between the working-class “Cutters” and the privileged college students, highlighting the tensions that arise.

The movie’s message of overcoming obstacles resonates with audiences

Breaking Away teaches valuable lessons about perseverance, determination, and the power of believing in oneself.

Breaking Away was a box office success

The film performed well at the box office, attracting a wide audience and further solidifying its status as a beloved classic.

It has gained a cult following over the years

Breaking Away has amassed a dedicated fan base who continue to celebrate the film’s enduring impact and timeless appeal.

The film accurately portrays college life in the 1970s

Breaking Away provides a glimpse into the college experience during the 1970s, capturing the energy and spirit of the era.

Breaking Away promotes the importance of teamwork

The movie emphasizes the significance of working together as a team, both on and off the bike.

It explores the complexities of father-son relationships

The film delves into the dynamics and conflicts that can arise within father-son relationships, adding depth to its character-driven narrative.

Breaking Away showcases the beauty of Bloomington’s landscapes

The film takes advantage of Bloomington’s picturesque scenery, showcasing the town’s natural beauty throughout various scenes.

The movie features memorable quotes

Breaking Away includes several memorable quotes that have become iconic within the film’s fan community.

It was praised for its authenticity

Breaking Away was commended for its realistic portrayal of small-town life and the challenges faced by its characters.

The film’s success led to a short-lived television series adaptation

A television series adaptation of Breaking Away aired in the early 1980s, attempting to capture the magic of the original film.

Breaking Away remains a timeless coming-of-age classic

The film continues to be celebrated for its universal themes, exceptional performances, and enduring appeal.

The movie promotes the pursuit of one’s passions

Breaking Away encourages viewers to follow their dreams and pursue their passions with unwavering determination.

Breaking Away showcases the power of friendship

The film celebrates the bonds of friendship and the support system that can be found in close-knit communities.

It highlights the value of hard work and dedication

Breaking Away exemplifies the importance of hard work, discipline, and perseverance in achieving one’s goals.

The movie captures the essence of youthful enthusiasm

Breaking Away encapsulates the energy, spontaneity, and dreams of youth, evoking nostalgia in its viewers.

Breaking Away was critically acclaimed for its character development

The film received praise for its well-developed characters, each with their own unique personalities and journeys.

It explores themes of societal expectations and breaking free from constraints

Breaking Away challenges the expectations imposed by society and the struggle to break free from limiting beliefs.

The movie features a memorable final race scene

The climactic race scene in Breaking Away is remembered as a standout moment in cinematic sports history.

Breaking Away continues to inspire and resonate with viewers today

The film’s enduring popularity is a testament to its timeless themes and its ability to leave a lasting impact on audiences.

The movie is considered a classic in the sports film genre

Breaking Away has earned its place as a classic in the sports film genre, beloved by fans and admired by filmmakers.

It showcases the transformative power of sports

Breaking Away illustrates how sports can transform lives, build character, and provide a sense of purpose.

Breaking Away is a must-watch for film enthusiasts of all ages

Whether you’re a fan of sports films, coming-of-age stories, or simply appreciate great cinema, Breaking Away is an absolute must-watch.

The film’s legacy continues to impact the world of cinema

Breaking Away’s influence can still be felt in contemporary films, as it has left an indelible mark on the art of storytelling.

Breaking Away celebrates the triumph of the human spirit

Above all, Breaking Away serves as a reminder of the indomitable spirit within each of us and the incredible heights we can achieve when we dare to chase our dreams.


In conclusion, Breaking Away is a highly acclaimed and beloved movie that resonates with audiences of all ages. Its powerful storytelling, relatable characters, and themes of identity, friendship, and overcoming obstacles have made it a classic in the world of cinema. The film’s meticulous attention to detail, impressive performances, and authentic portrayal of small-town life contribute to its enduring appeal.Breaking Away not only showcases the talents of its cast but also captures the essence of the bike racing world. It’s a testament to the power of perseverance and the pursuit of one’s dreams. Whether you’re a fan of coming-of-age stories, sports films, or simply appreciate well-crafted movies, Breaking Away is a must-watch.So, grab a bag of popcorn, settle into your favorite spot on the couch, and immerse yourself in the captivating world of Breaking Away. You won’t be disappointed.


Q: What is Breaking Away about?

A: Breaking Away is a coming-of-age film that tells the story of Dave Stoller, a recent high school graduate living in Bloomington, Indiana. Frustrated with his small-town life, Dave finds solace in his love for cycling and dreams of becoming a professional bike racer.

Q: Is Breaking Away based on a true story?

A: No, Breaking Away is not based on a true story. However, the film drew inspiration from the real-life Little 500 bicycle race held annually at Indiana University.

Q: When was Breaking Away released?

A: Breaking Away was released in 1979.

Q: Who stars in Breaking Away?

A: The movie features Dennis Christopher as Dave Stoller, Dennis Quaid as Mike, Daniel Stern as Cyril, and Jackie Earle Haley as Moocher.

Q: What are some notable awards and accolades received by Breaking Away?

A: Breaking Away garnered critical acclaim and received numerous accolades, including an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actress.

Q: Where was Breaking Away filmed?

A: Breaking Away was primarily filmed on location in Bloomington, Indiana, capturing the authentic beauty of the town and its surrounding areas.

Q: Is Breaking Away suitable for all ages?

A: Breaking Away is generally considered suitable for viewers of all ages. However, parental guidance is advised due to some mild language and themes of teenage rebellion.

Breaking Away's timeless story continues to captivate audiences, but there's more to explore. Dive into the groovy sounds of the 1970s with Sly and The Family Stone, discover the charm of Moorpark's tight-knit community, or get inspired by fascinating facts about cycling. Whether you're a music aficionado, small town enthusiast, or passionate cyclist, these engaging articles offer something for everyone. So why not take a break from the silver screen and embark on a new adventure?

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