Personal Best (1982)

R   |    |  Drama, Sport


Personal Best (1982) Poster

The intertwined lives and loves of three highly-ranked athletes striving for the national team; Chris bounces between the beds of male coach Terry and her female friend, competitor, and role model Tory.

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6.3/10
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  • Mariel Hemingway and Patrice Donnelly in Personal Best (1982)
  • Mariel Hemingway and Patrice Donnelly in Personal Best (1982)
  • Mariel Hemingway and Patrice Donnelly in Personal Best (1982)
  • Mariel Hemingway in Personal Best (1982)
  • Mariel Hemingway in Personal Best (1982)
  • Mariel Hemingway and Patrice Donnelly in Personal Best (1982)

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27 October 2000 | filmfan1313
A risky film which contains a lot
I wish to argue against the fact that the film exploits the bodies of women. It is true that the movie was billed, in pressbook releases, as a sports movie featuring toned, "sexual" female bodies (not an exact quote). In this way, the makers may have attempted to make a film that was pleasurable to the male viewer. I do not argue that.

I do say that the end result was a film that handled the sexual situations very well, without exploitation. You have to consider at the time this film was made, 1982, it was (arguably) the first film to have an open lesbian relationship on the screen. The only real way a film could be generally accepted by the public, at that time, would be by containing some sexual content to please the male viewer. Too many feminist groups have identified with the powerful female figures inherent in this movie to really argue that the film exploits women. I believe that it IDENTIFIES women, and how they see each other.

I thought it was an excellent film, that made an excellent social statement of the times. Yes, it is sexist by today's standards... but watching it looking for the sexism ruins the entire experience of the movie. It is a movie in which to enjoy the characters more than the story, because the characters are so vivid.

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