Genre: Drama, Sport
Director: Robert Towne
Writer: Robert Towne
Stars: Mariel Hemingway, Scott Glenn, Patrice Donnelly, Kenny Moore, Jim Moody
Countries: United States
1976. Chris Cahill and Torry Skinner are US national caliber track and field athletes, Chris in the 100 meter hurdles, and Torry in the pentathlon. Chris has the natural ability to be great but she doesn’t possess the confidence or drive, while Torry, who has less natural ability, psychologically knows what it takes to be great, leading to Torry making the Olympic team finishing second in her event, while Chris has a disastrous Olympic trial. Torry can see the potential in Chris, and tries to convince her coach at Cal Poly, Terry Tingloff, to coach Chris, Terry who will only allow Chris to train with the team without his guidance in he only having seen her disastrous performance at the trials. Although not ideal in that no scholarship money is involved, Chris accepts the offer against the wishes of her father, who currently coaches her. In their time together, Chris and Torry embark on a relationship, each seeing in the other what each doesn’t possess, their attraction thus sexual as well as emotional. Eventually, Terry does see in Chris what Torry saw from the start, he who not only decides to train her, but convinces her that the event in which she should compete is the pentathlon in possessing the strength, speed and flexibility to be that all around athlete. Terry in particular cannot see a friendship let alone a sexual relationship exist between the two women who are now in competition, especially in the lead up to the 1980 Olympic trials. Through the ups and downs of both their friendship and sexual relationship, Chris and Torry may demonstrate what it means to be one’s own personal best, especially in an environment where winning seems to be the goal at all cost.