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Personal Best
Directed by Robert Towne
Produced by Robert Towne
Written by Robert Towne
Starring Mariel Hemingway
Scott Glenn
Patrice Donnelly
Jim Moody
Music by Jill Fraser
Jack Nitzsche
Cinematography Michael Chapman
Editing by Jacqueline Cambas
Jere Huggins
Ned Humphreys
Walt Mulconery
Bud S. Smith
Studio The Geffen Company
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s) February 5, 1982
Running time 124 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Personal Best is a 1982 movie centered on a group of women who are trying to qualify for the Olympic Games track-and-field team.

The movie starred Mariel Hemingway and real-life track star Patrice Donnelly, along with Scott Glenn as the coach of the track team. It was directed by Robert Towne.

The movie was praised by critics for providing a realistic look at the world of women's athletics, for exploring the complex relationships that can exist among teammates and their coach, and for its sensitive portrayal of the relationship between an older lesbian (Donnelly) and a younger bisexual woman (Hemingway). Despite good reviews, it flopped at the box-office.

References in popular culture

  • The lesbian relationship in the movie is referenced by Ross Geller in an episode of the fourth season of Friends; paranoid that his current girlfriend will be drawn to his ex-wife's current lover, Susan, he cites the heavy sexual tension that can exist during shared exercise, adding "Didn't you see Personal Best?" An intrigued Joey Tribbiani responds, "No, but I'm gonna!"
  • The lesbian relationship is also referenced in episode 10 of the first series of American Dad, and in the 1997 Ellen episode "The Puppy Episode".
  • The band "Team Dresch" has an album called "Personal Best" in reference to the film.

External links








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