American Flyers (1985)

PG-13 | 114 mins | Drama | 15 August 1985

Writer:

Steve Tesich

Cinematographer:

Don Peterman

Production Designer:

Lawrence G. Paull

Production Company:

Warner Bros., Inc.
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HISTORY

       A 26 Jan 1984 HR article announced that American Flyers was set to be director John Badham’s first project under his new directing-producing deal with Warner Bros., Inc.
       HR production charts on 5 Jun 1984 stated that principal photography began on 21 May 1984, in Los Angeles, CA; St. Louis, MI; KS; and CO.
       A 12 Jun 1985 HR news item reported that American Flyers was scheduled to open nationally mid-Aug 1985.
      End credits include the following acknowledgements: “The Producers wish to thank the following, without whose generous assistance this film could not have been made: Michael Aisner, Director, Coors International Classic; Department of the Interior; National Park Services; State Officials and Law Enforcement Officers of the states of Colorado, Missouri, and ... More Less

       A 26 Jan 1984 HR article announced that American Flyers was set to be director John Badham’s first project under his new directing-producing deal with Warner Bros., Inc.
       HR production charts on 5 Jun 1984 stated that principal photography began on 21 May 1984, in Los Angeles, CA; St. Louis, MI; KS; and CO.
       A 12 Jun 1985 HR news item reported that American Flyers was scheduled to open nationally mid-Aug 1985.
      End credits include the following acknowledgements: “The Producers wish to thank the following, without whose generous assistance this film could not have been made: Michael Aisner, Director, Coors International Classic; Department of the Interior; National Park Services; State Officials and Law Enforcement Officers of the states of Colorado, Missouri, and Kansas.”
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
Sep 1984.
---
Daily Variety
21 Mar 1984.
---
Daily Variety
12 Aug 1985.
---
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jan 1984.
---
Hollywood Reporter
27 Jan 1984.
---
Hollywood Reporter
5 Jun 1984.
---
Hollywood Reporter
8 Aug 1984.
---
Hollywood Reporter
12 Aug 1985
p. 3, 11.
LAHExam
23 Aug 1985.
---
Los Angeles
Aug 1985.
---
Los Angeles Times
2 Apr 1983.
---
Los Angeles Times
16 Jun 1985.
---
Los Angeles Times
15 Aug 1985
p. 1, 4.
Motion Picture Production Digest
4 Jul 1984.
---
New York Times
16 Aug 1985
p. 6.
Variety
12 Jun 1985.
---
Variety
4 Apr 1984.
---
Variety
14 Aug 1985
p. 16.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Sig Frohlich
Reporters:
Race officials:
Cycle team leaders:
[and]
Cyclists:
Charles Hansen
Bill Nelson
[and]
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
A WW Production
A John Badham Film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
D.G.A. trainee
Dir, 2d unit
Asst dir, 2d unit
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam asst
Cam asst
Cam asst
Cam motorcycle
Terra-Flite system op
Still photog
Gaffer
Best boy
Best boy
Key grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Dir of photog, 2d unit
Cam op, 2d unit
Asst cam, 2d unit
Asst cam, 2d unit
Key grip, 2d unit
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Asst prop master
Asst prop master
Const coord
COSTUMES
Cost des
Men`s ward
Men`s ward
Women's ward
MUSIC
Mus supv
Mus score
and
Mus score
Mus ed
Mus coord
SOUND
Supv sd ed
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Asst sd ed
Prod mixer
Boom man
Boom man
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Matte painting by
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Scr supv
Prod secy
Asst to John Badham
Asst to producers
Loc mgr
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Unit pub
Extra casting
Dog trainer
Script supv, 2d unit
Tech adv
Bicycle trainer
Cycling coord
Cycling coord
Bicycle mount adv
Bicycle mechanic
Bicycle mechanic
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Bicycle stunt
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
"Brand New Day," performed by Danny Hutton, written by Greg Mathieson, Lee Ritenour and Trevor Veitch, produced by Greg Mathieson and Lee Ritenour
"Dirty Dog," performed by ZZ Top, written by Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard, produced by Bill Ham, courtesy of Warner Bros. Records by arrangement with Warner Special Products
"Gone Ridin'," written and performed by Chris Isaak, produced by Erik Jacobsen, courtesy of Warner Bros. Records by arrangement with Warner Special Products
+
SONGS
"Brand New Day," performed by Danny Hutton, written by Greg Mathieson, Lee Ritenour and Trevor Veitch, produced by Greg Mathieson and Lee Ritenour
"Dirty Dog," performed by ZZ Top, written by Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard, produced by Bill Ham, courtesy of Warner Bros. Records by arrangement with Warner Special Products
"Gone Ridin'," written and performed by Chris Isaak, produced by Erik Jacobsen, courtesy of Warner Bros. Records by arrangement with Warner Special Products
"Bad Moon Rising," performed by Creedence Clearwater Revival, produced and written by John Fogerty, courtesy of Fantasy Inc., "American Flyers," performed by Glenn Shorrock, written by Jon Reede and Marc Tanner, produced by John Boylan, courtesy of Capitol Records, Inc.
+
PERFORMERS
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
15 August 1985
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 16 August 1985
Production Date:
began 21 May 1984 in Los Angeles, CA, St. Louis, MI, KS, and CO
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Brothers, Inc.
Copyright Date:
16 July 1986
Copyright Number:
PA307730
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Lenses
Filmed in Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
114
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
27830
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

College student David Sommers lives with his mother, who runs a talent agency in St. Louis, Missouri. One day, he receives an unexpected telephone call from his estranged brother, Marcus, a doctor who lives in Wisconsin. Marcus, who has not seen his family since his father died, comes home to talk to his mother about David failing college. He thinks David needs to leave home in order to mature, but Mrs. Sommers worries about David’s health. She mentions that David is showing symptoms of a cerebral aneurysm, the same disorder that killed his father, but she hasn’t taken him to a doctor because he hates hospitals. Marcus offers to investigate and invites David to come back with him to Wisconsin to spend the summer cycling. However, David wonders why Marcus has suddenly become interested in the family. Marcus explains that he wants to bond with his brother, and David agrees to go to Wisconsin. On the drive, David asks if Marcus will try out for the Olympics again, since he made the team as an alternate for the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, Russia. Marcus admits he gave up on that dream a long time ago. Marcus brings David home and introduces him to his girl friend, Sarah, who works with Marcus at the Jackie Robinson Sports Institute at Wisconsin State University. The next day, Marcus takes David to work. There, Dr. Dennis Conrad suggests that David take an endurance test. As David looks around the facility, Marcus quietly tells Dennis that his brother might suffer from the same condition that killed their father; and wants to ... +


College student David Sommers lives with his mother, who runs a talent agency in St. Louis, Missouri. One day, he receives an unexpected telephone call from his estranged brother, Marcus, a doctor who lives in Wisconsin. Marcus, who has not seen his family since his father died, comes home to talk to his mother about David failing college. He thinks David needs to leave home in order to mature, but Mrs. Sommers worries about David’s health. She mentions that David is showing symptoms of a cerebral aneurysm, the same disorder that killed his father, but she hasn’t taken him to a doctor because he hates hospitals. Marcus offers to investigate and invites David to come back with him to Wisconsin to spend the summer cycling. However, David wonders why Marcus has suddenly become interested in the family. Marcus explains that he wants to bond with his brother, and David agrees to go to Wisconsin. On the drive, David asks if Marcus will try out for the Olympics again, since he made the team as an alternate for the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, Russia. Marcus admits he gave up on that dream a long time ago. Marcus brings David home and introduces him to his girl friend, Sarah, who works with Marcus at the Jackie Robinson Sports Institute at Wisconsin State University. The next day, Marcus takes David to work. There, Dr. Dennis Conrad suggests that David take an endurance test. As David looks around the facility, Marcus quietly tells Dennis that his brother might suffer from the same condition that killed their father; and wants to use the facility’s CT scanner to examine his brain. That night, Marcus brings home a co-worker named Leslie as a blind date for David. David is rude to the girl and starts an argument with Marcus about their mother, who was too afraid to go to their father’s deathbed. David tells Marcus to forgive, but he does not think he can. The next day, David takes the endurance test, and beats Marcus’s record. Afterward, he agrees to the CT scan. Later, he overhears Dennis insisting that Marcus tell his brother “the truth.” However, Marcus refuses because he loves him too much. Although David assumes his brother found an aneurysm in his brain, Marcus tells David that he is healthy. David believes Marcus is lying, but goes along with the story because he does not want to talk about his health. That night, Marcus tells David about an international cycling race called “Hell of the West.” Marcus plays a videotape of him competing against his old rival, Barry "The Cannibal" Muzzin, Sarah’s former husband. After racing against Barry, Marcus gave up on the sport. Marcus now wants David to complete in the race with him. David agrees, and the next day the brothers start training. That night, Marcus, David, and Sarah go camping in the desert. When David asks Marcus if doctors have found treatments for aneurysms since their father died, Marcus replies there is no cure, and surgery causes irreversible brain damage. The next day, the group stops at McDonald’s for lunch and David meets Becky Chandler, a pretty hitchhiker. He offers to give her a ride, and she accepts. In the van, Becky and David flirt in the back seat. Over the next few days, Becky and David get to know each other, and the brothers continue training. One day, while the brothers are out riding, Sarah and Becky get a flat tire while driving the van. When the two women pull over to change it, another van approaches with Barry and his friend, Jerome. Barry vows to beat Marcus in the upcoming event, and make him suffer, then jokes that Marcus will probably quit. The next day, the first leg of the race begins. Included among the contestants is Sergei Belov, a Russian cyclist who won the gold medal in the 1980 Moscow Olympics. During the race, Sarah drives behind David and Marcus to help if there are any breakdowns. Only the top forty-eight cyclists can move to the second stage. Marcus comes in first, with Barry coming in second and David arriving last, as the forty-eighth cycler. After the race, when a reporter asks Barry if he is proud to race for the U.S., Barry replies that he only rides for himself. He feels betrayed by America, because it boycotted the last Olympics, and he was unable to race. At the next location, the friends check into a hotel and Becky agrees to share a room with David. Meanwhile, in Marcus and Sarah’s room, Marcus looses his balance and almost loses consciousness. As David and Becky become intimate, David announces he is going to die, but Becky assumes his words are metaphors for love and they make love. The next morning, Marcus awakens at dawn to show David the racecourse. Marcus who is still unwell, explains that if David reaches the four flags on the race course first, he will get thirty seconds taken off of his time, which could help him win. Meanwhile, Sarah telephones Dennis to report that Marcus’ health is deteriorating. In turn, Dennis telephones Mrs. Sommers to inform her of Marcus’ condition. During the second stage of the race, David sprints and reaches all four flags. At the same time, Marcus becomes disoriented as blood drips from his nose and ears. Driving behind in the van, Sarah rushes to rescue Marcus before he falls over a cliff. David finishes the second leg of the race in third place. Afterward, David rushes to the hotel to be by Marcus’ side, then yells at Marcus for keeping his aneurysm a secret. David does not want to continue with the third leg of the race, but Marcus will not let his brother quit, and David reluctantly agrees. The next day, the final stage of the race begins. Marcus and the girls follow behind David in their van. When Marcus spots his mother and Dennis on the side of the road, he asks Sarah to pull over. Mrs. Sommers races across the busy road into her son’s arms. During the race, Barry discredits Belov, arguing that the man only won Olympic gold because the U.S. boycotted the Olympics. Later, Barry attempts to run David off of the road, but David breaks away and wins the race by less than one second. After the race, Barry tells David they will compete next year, then leaves him alone to celebrate with his family. David, Marcus, and their mother, embrace. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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