|A shot from the very patriotic opening credit sequence.|
|Michael Aisner (right), the race director of the real |
Coors Classic, makes a very brief appearance in the film.
Look closely and you'll see his hat says "Coors Classic,"
not "Hell of the West."
|Costner wasn't really a cyclist, but he looked fairly natural on a|
bike. But he seemed more natural as a ball player in Bull Durham.
|Nice wheelie -- though I'm guessing this was one of those|
scenes performed by a stunt double, not the actor.
Rae Dawn Chong won the respect of a lot of cyclists
with her expert wheel change.
Well -- that's some of the good. In what ways did the film not live up to expectations? Where to begin?
|Belov looked more like a Russian wrestler than a cyclist.|
The actor probably prepared for the role
by studying Boris and Natasha.
|"Enough of this Sunday stroll. Let's hurt a little bit!"|
|The real Cannibal, Eddy Merckx, made a brief cameo in the film.|
That's a starting gun -- not used to shoot the impostor Cannibal.
I sometimes read or hear criticism about the film for the fact that it seems to over-simplify bicycle racing, strategies, team dynamics, etc. -- but I won't level that against it. If the film focused enough on those aspects to satisfy hard-core bicycle racing fans, it would totally lose any other audience. But a scene near the end, I believe, gets pretty ridiculous (SPOILER ALERT: if you haven't seen American Flyers and actually want to watch it someday, skip the rest of this paragraph and screen shot!). When Muzzin and David Sommers are racing along the edge of a big cliff, and Muzzin tries to force David off the edge -- I'm sorry -- but that just seems beyond belief, even for a guy wound as tight as Muzzin.
|Illustrating the old adage, "If you can't beat them, push them off a cliff."|
Some wonderful-awful scenes and lines:
|David learns that Marcus's "training buddy" Eddy is a pit bull.|
"That's Eddy? -- Marcus, you son-of-a-bitch!"
|Muzzin's teammate, Jerome: "I'm Jerome. You're a damn cannibal.|
That's a big rock. Let's get outta here - we got a race to win."
|Becky to Sarah: "Well, I'll be a Fig Newton. I'm standin' here next|
to a lady with a past."
|Jerome: "Are you alright? You sound half-human."|
Muzzin: "I AM half-human."
|"How can you be sick? Look at yourself . . . you got a mustache and everything."|
The pit bull, Eddie, is named after Eddie Borysewicz, or "Eddie B," who was the prominent coach of the U.S. Cycling Team.
The "team van" that the brothers use for the race really is an old 7-Eleven team van, and Muzzin rides for the 7-Eleven team (albeit with only four members). In fact, most of the teams depicted in the film are meant to duplicate real teams of the time to help ease the integration of "real" and "re-created" race footage.
Well, there you have it. There aren't many bicycle-themed films available for viewing, but American Flyers is one of them.