Astonishing Alpine location photography and a young Robert Redford in one of his earliest starring roles are just two of the visual splendors of Michael Ritchie's visceral debut feature, Downhill Racer. In a beautifully understated performance, Redford is David Chappellet, a ruthlessly ambitious skier competing with an underdog American team in Europe for Olympic gold, 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.
New video interviews with screenwriter James Salter; film editor Richard Harris; production manager Walter Coblenz; and former downhill skier Joe Jay Jalbert, who served as technical adviser, a ski double, and a cameraman
Audio excerpts from a 1979 American Film Institute seminar with director Michael Ritchie