Personal Best
Personal Best (1982)

This film stars Mariel Hemingway and Patrice Donnelly as athletes participating in the 1980 Olympics. Growing ever closer during the training process, Hemingway and Donnelly fall in love. Up to this point, Hemingway has been… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Genre: Drama
Release Date: January 8, 2008
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Critic Score: 77% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Mariel Hemingway has a career-making star turn in this highly physical drama about two Olympic athletes who find each other during competitive training.

Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine

Personal Best is likable precisely because it is so unembarrassed.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

This is a very physical movie, one of the healthiest and sweatiest celebrations of physical exertion I can remember.

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Cole Smithey

[VIDEO] Although screenwriter Robert Towne's directorial debut fell largely on deaf ears when it was released in 1982 "Personal Best" remains a powerful examination of high-stakes female athletes during the late '70s...

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Variety Staff

Towne has a love of slow motion that's employed as if he's afraid you might miss one, rippling muscle. Worse than that, when people aren't exercising, they are often talking about exercising.

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Vincent Canby
New York Times

Unless you're fascinated by all of the prettified slow-motion footage of Chris, Tory and the other women athletes, your eye is likely to wander to your watch long before the end.

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Jeremy Heilman

Endowed with remarkable performances, superb photography, and a clear vision of what matters to its characters, Personal Best is an underappreciated gem in a genre full of filler.

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Derek Adams
Time Out

The sort of nerve required to produce an excellent screenplay like Chinatown seems to have deserted Towne in this, his directorial debut.

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

The characters have a fullness and vitality rare in American films of that period, but Towne has so much trouble establishing information visually that the film emerges as choppy, confused, ill-proportioned.

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John J. Puccio
Movie Metropolis

There's no questioning its authenticity.... However, the movie tends to make its points early and then repeat itself unnecessarily.

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