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Trivia / Breaking Away

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  • Box Office Bomb: Budget, $11 million. Box office, $4.5 million.
  • Enforced Method Acting: When Katharine slaps Dave in the face after he tells her the truth about who he is, Robyn Douglass (according to Word of God) accidentally slapped Dennis Christopher for real, and the look on his face is genuine.
  • Inspiration for the Work: The film was inspired by a short story Denny Aaberg had published in a 1974 Surfer Magazine entitled "No Pants Mance", and the lives of a group of friends who used to surf with Aaberg and Milius including Lance Carson.
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  • Real-Life Relative: William Katt's mother Barbara Hale has a small role.
  • Recycled: The Series: The film was adapted into a 1980-81 series on ABC. Barbara Barrie, Jackie Earle Haley, and John Ashton all reprised their film roles, with Shaun Cassidy taking over the role of Dave. Barrie was nominated for an Emmy Award, thereby receiving both an Oscar and Emmy nom for playing the same character.
  • What Could Have Been:
  • Write What You Know: Writer Steven Tesich was a graduate of Indiana University, and knew a bicycle champion whom he based Dave on.
  • Write Who You Know: The role of the "Enforcer" was loosely based on longtime Malibu icon and waterman Ray Kunze, who looked out for John Milus and Dennis Aaberg in the late 1950s.


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