Downhill Racer (1969)
Downhill Racer is a 1969 American drama film directed by Michael Ritchie and starring Robert Redford, Gene Hackman, and Camilla Sparv. Written by James Salter, based on the 1963 novel The Downhill Racers by Oakley Hall, the film is about a talented downhill skier who joins the United States ski team in Europe to compete in international skiing competitions. His drive to become a champion and his success on the slopes alienate his coach and teammates. After a second successful year of races, he wins the gold medal at the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble. Downhill Racer was filmed on location in Kitzbühel and Sankt Anton am Arlberg in Austria, Wengen, Switzerland, Megève and Grenoble in France, and Boulder and Idaho Springs in Colorado, United States. Downhill Racer received positive reviews upon its theatrical release, with Roger Ebert calling it "the best movie ever made about sports—without really being about sports at all." Downhill Racer was director Michael Ritchie's first feature film.