Downhill Racer

Synopsis: David Chappellet is a mean-spirited skier, who profits from another skier's injury to gain a spot on the American Olympic team. His roommate sums up his goals when he observes of David, "He's not for the team, and he never will be"; but precisely who the David is that David is so fiendishly striving for we're never to learn. He develops a short-lived relationship with Carole Stahl, a glamorous European woman even more capricious than himself. Chappellet's identity trouble are exacerbated by the fact that he is an "Event" as well as a personality; and more astute minds than his own have difficulty where the one leaves off and the other takes over. Director Michael Richie's ("The Candidate") feature film debut.
Genre: Drama, Sport
Director(s): Michael Ritchie
Production: Paramount Pictures
  Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 5 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
101 min

There's an accident on the course.

- How'd you do?

- Half a second slower than Hinsch.

I was half a second slower

than the last Cuban.

- Where'd you finish?

- Fourth.

That's not so bad.

He's still under morphine.

Trans World Airlines announces

the arrival of the flight

Starstream ASV0 from New York.


Box three.


Hey, how do you get... Hello?

This is Dave Chappellet.

I'm here at the airport.



All right. How do I get there?

Yeah. Who?

No, I never have.

Yeah, okay. I said okay.

No one told me about anybody else.

Excuse me.

No, I don't want a reservation.

I have a reservation.

Yes, it was made a month ago.

Glad you two got together.

- Hey, Mayo. How are you, buddy?

- D.K., how are you?

- Long time no see.

- How are you doing?

- Did you have a good trip?

- Will you talk to him, please?

Tell him we have a letter confirming it.

Nice to see you.

I think you're in room 44

or something like that.

We're paying with...

It got through American Express.

Don't tell me not to shout!

You know what that is?


Hey, where do you know Mayo from?

From Dartmouth.

I was one of the Olympic hopefuls.

I was hopeful, not them.

Mayo's okay.


- Chappellet? Johnny Creech.

- Yeah, I know.

You know Kipsmith?

- Hey, how's it going?

- Yeah, what do you say?

Hey, Stiles, you're sure

you want to ski today?

- Who's this?

- He's a German. I don't know who he is.

- Is this Bryan?

- Yeah.

- Not bad.

- Too much style.

Who's next? Chappellet?

- Okay.

- Okay.

- What do you have?

- 28.8.

That's what I have.

All right, here are the bibs.

Can I have the salt?


Yeah, you'll be starting

in the sixth group.

It's the best we can get for you.

You should be higher, but that's

all we could do for you right now.

What's the point of even racing?

Same as always. You try to win.

Starting 88th,

I'll be in ruts up to my knees.


The officials have made a decision

about the break you're going to take.

There'll be a five-minute pause after...

- How come you didn't race?

- I don't know.

But you had a start number.

Well, I'll tell you, D.K.

What is D.K. For?

What does that stand for?

My name.

- Is that really your name? D. K?

- Yeah, well, it's my initials.

Your initials.

Yeah, everybody's

always called me that.

- What's the "D" for?

- Nothing.

- What is it, a name you don't like?

- I just don't use it, that's all.

- What is it? Douglas?

- Nope.

- How'd you do?

- Oh, I had a bad line.

Picked the wrong line

and I was too slow going into flat.

- Whereabouts did you come in?

- Way back.

So how come you didn't race?

- What did your friend Mayo tell you?

- Nothing.

What happened?

Well, they had me seeded about 150,

so I told them I didn't want to.

- You didn't want to?

- No.

You should have raced.

If I skied half as good

as I play cards, I'd be great.

Big ten showing, dealer set.

Good luck, Gabe.

All right, here are the bibs.

Creech, you're number 14.

- Want to try it again?

- That's pretty good.

Come on, okay?

Stick with me, boy. You'll wear silk.

Queen showing. Not bad.

Hey, Alec, you ever race here?

- Yeah.

- Make the top 10?

Yeah, I finished second.

I'm serious.

Bryan, you're number 98.

Gabriel, you're 44.

Kipsmith, 66.

Chappellet, you're number 79.

You did so well last week,

they decided to move you up.



- Time for number one.

- L. Brown, 2:

On the course, number two.

Time run for team USA,


Right here.

Moving down. See you.

I just thought you might like to know.

Your boy finished fourth.

Is that right?

This new boy, this 79, he can win, too?

What's his name? David Chappellet.

You will consider him

for the FIS team, yes?

Well, we haven't...

We haven't selected a team yet.

We still have a couple days.

Creech, of course, that's obvious.

This Chappellet, is he...

Is it his first season?

No, he's raced in the United States.

It's his first season in Europe.

Dave. Dave, come over here, will you?

We wanted to congratulate you.

That was quite a showing you made.

Yeah, maybe next time

I'll get to start in the top 50.

Oh, we have to be going.

We'll see you in Kitzbhel.


Come here.

Look, you're going

to be doing quite a bit of this.

I know you like to joke around,

but they don't.

But one thing they do know,

and that everyone knows,

you have to earn your starting spot.

- Now I'm going to fight for you. I will.

- I wasn't joking.

Look, you finished fourth in one race.

Don't expect to be given the world.

I don't expect to be given anything.

Good. Get in the bus.

Good afternoon, ladies and...

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.

- This is Ron Engel.

- And Bruce Devore.

Here at the Hahnenkamm

in Kitzbhel, Austria,

to bring you

the FIS World Skiing Championships

being run here this week.

Now, these championships are held

every other year with the Olympics

taking their place every fourth year.

Now, Bruce, you've been here before in

Kitzbhel, and it's truly a beautiful town.

The kind of town, really,

for which Europe is famous.

Many great, great old hotels,

and, of course, Kitzbhel is known

for its many ski champions.

Now on the downhill course today,

you're going to see

the greatest skiers in the world.

Skiers from 17 countries.

Champions past, champions yet to be.

There's number one, Peter Haas.

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James Salter

James Arnold Horowitz (June 10, 1925 – June 19, 2015), better known as James Salter, his pen name and later-adopted legal name, was an American novelist and short-story writer. Originally a career officer and pilot in the United States Air Force, he resigned from the military in 1957 following the successful publication of his first novel, The Hunters. After a brief career in film writing and film directing, in 1979 Salter published the novel Solo Faces. He won numerous literary awards for his works, including belated recognition of works originally criticized at the time of their publication. His friend and fellow author, the Pulitzer Prize-winner Richard Ford, went so far as to say, "It is an article of faith among readers of fiction that James Salter writes American sentences better than anybody writing today" in his Introduction to Light Years for Penguin Modern Classics. Michael Dirda of the Washington Post is reported to have said that with a single sentence, he could break one's heart. In an introduction to the final interview he gave before his death, Guernica described Salter as having "a good claim to being the greatest living American novelist." more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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