Race for Glory (1989)

R | 96 mins | Drama | 3 November 1989

Director:

Rocky Lang

Cinematographer:

Jack N. Green

Editor:

Maryann Brandon

Production Designer:

Cynthia Charette

Production Company:

B.P.S. Productions
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HISTORY

Referring to the picture by its working title, American Built, a 9 May 1985 DV column reported that the film was under development at Universal Pictures, with Rocky Lang directing. At that time, Lang was president of his father’s company, Jennings Lang Productions, and the enterprise had been based at Universal for five months. American Built began as an original story by Rocky Lang, and Universal had hired screenwriter Scott Swanton to work on the script with Jeff Smith and Len Wechsler as of May 1985, but neither Smith nor Wechsler remained with the project.
       American Built remained in limbo for approximatetly three years, according to a 28 Oct 1988 HR article, and by Mar 1988, Universal declared the property a loss and put it into turnaround. Producer Jon Gordon, who had been developing the film at Universal for several years, decided to produce the picture independently. Five months earlier, Gordon produced Rocky Lang’s first feature film, All’s Fair… (1989, see entry), which was filmed in twenty-seven days on a $3-5 million budget. In spring 1988, Gordon was anticipating a production start date on another project, The Sun, which he wrote himself and optioned to Tri-Star in 1982. Confident that Lang could complete American Built with a brief shooting schedule and minimal budget, Gordon began pre-production one month after he acquired the property from Universal. Gordon and Lang scouted European locations at the end of Apr 1988, and completed U.S. casting in Jun 1988, as stated in a 28 Jun 1988 DV news item. ... More Less

Referring to the picture by its working title, American Built, a 9 May 1985 DV column reported that the film was under development at Universal Pictures, with Rocky Lang directing. At that time, Lang was president of his father’s company, Jennings Lang Productions, and the enterprise had been based at Universal for five months. American Built began as an original story by Rocky Lang, and Universal had hired screenwriter Scott Swanton to work on the script with Jeff Smith and Len Wechsler as of May 1985, but neither Smith nor Wechsler remained with the project.
       American Built remained in limbo for approximatetly three years, according to a 28 Oct 1988 HR article, and by Mar 1988, Universal declared the property a loss and put it into turnaround. Producer Jon Gordon, who had been developing the film at Universal for several years, decided to produce the picture independently. Five months earlier, Gordon produced Rocky Lang’s first feature film, All’s Fair… (1989, see entry), which was filmed in twenty-seven days on a $3-5 million budget. In spring 1988, Gordon was anticipating a production start date on another project, The Sun, which he wrote himself and optioned to Tri-Star in 1982. Confident that Lang could complete American Built with a brief shooting schedule and minimal budget, Gordon began pre-production one month after he acquired the property from Universal. Gordon and Lang scouted European locations at the end of Apr 1988, and completed U.S. casting in Jun 1988, as stated in a 28 Jun 1988 DV news item. Lang told the 28 Oct 1988 HR that he had only two weeks to prepare the film before principal photography got underway on 30 Jun 1988 in Spa, Belgium.
       The filmmakers planned to shoot actual Grand Prix motorcycle races throughout Europe, then edit the footage with close-ups and reaction shots filmed on a racetrack set. However, they were denied direct access to the track, pit crew areas, and other behind-the-scenes locations. In order to create a more realistic account of the races, the production created an “American Built” team and sponsored two events so cast members could perform in real time. Since the film sets were actual competitions, motorcycle doubles Mike Baldwin and Donny McLeod were hired, as they were also professional racers, ranking thirteenth and eighteenth on the world circuit, respectively. The International Racing Teams Association granted the production access to drivers after each match for any necessary reshoots, restaging, or pickup shots. Race scenes were filmed with cameras mounted on cars and motorcycles.
       According to HR, sixty percent of the film was shot on location, and ninety percent of the crew was French. Locations included sites in France, Yugoslavia, and Belgium. Production in Europe lasted approximately two months, then concluded with three weeks in Boston, MA. The final budget was around $8 million.
       End credits list: “Special thanks to: The Massachusetts Film Office, Mary Lou Crane, Michael Dick, Donna Brown, Mike Trimby, Rodger Keen, Charles Mortimer, Mara Manus, I.R.T.A., and the riders of the 1988 Grand Prix.” In addition: “The film is dedicated to the memory of Gary Weir, 1951-1988.” More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
9 May1985.
---
Daily Variety
20 Jun 1988.
---
Daily Variety
28 Jun 1988.
---
Daily Variety
2 Feb 1989.
---
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jun 1988.
---
Hollywood Reporter
6 Nov 1989
p. 4, 16.
LA Weekly
10 Nov 1989.
---
Los Angeles Times
7 Nov 1989
p. 13.
Variety
22 Nov 1989
p. 22.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
B.P.S. Productions presents
DISTRIBUTION COMPANIES
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
2d asst dir
2d unit prod mgr, United States crew
2d unit AD, United States crew
1st asst dir, France crew
1st asst dir, France crew
2d asst dir, France crew
PRODUCERS
Prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2d unit cam
1st asst cam, United States crew
2d asst cam, United States crew
Cam intern, United States crew
2d unit cam op, United States crew
2d unit cam op, United States crew
2d unit cam op, United States crew
2d unit asst cam, United States crew
2d unit asst cam, United States crew
2d unit asst cam, United States crew
Still photog, United States crew
Gaffer, United States crew
Best boy, United States crew
Elec, United States crew
Elec, United States crew
Elec, United States crew
Key grip, United States crew
Best boy grip, United States crew
Dolly grip, United States crew
2d unit grip, United States crew
2d unit grip, United States crew
1st asst cam, France crew
1st asst cam, France crew
2d asst cam, France crew
Stills photog, France crew
Chief elec, France crew
Elec, France crew
Elec, France crew
Key grip, France crew
Grip, France crew
1st asst cam, Atlanta crew
2d asst cam, Atlanta crew
3d asst cam, Atlanta crew
Elec best boy, Atlanta crew
Best boy grip, Atlanta crew
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir, United States crew
Asst to the prod des, United States crew
Asst to the art dir, United States crew
Art dir, France crew
FILM EDITORS
Assoc ed, United States crew
Asst ed, United States crew
Asst ed, United States crew
Asst ed, United States crew
Asst ed, France crew
Asst ed, France crew
SET DECORATORS
Set dec, United States crew
Leadman, United States crew
Set dresser, United States crew
Asst set dresser, United States crew
Prop master, United States crew
Asst props, United States crew
Sign painter, United States crew
Scenic artist, United States crew
Scenic artist, United States crew
Scenic artist, United States crew
Set dec, France crew
Prop master, France crew
Asst set dec, France crew
Asst set dec, France crew
Prop buyer, France crew
COSTUMES
Costumer, United States crew
Asst ward, United States crew
Asst ward, United States crew
Cost supv, France crew
Costumer, France crew
Asst ward, Atlanta crew
MUSIC
Orig mus by
Mus supv
Supv mus ed, United States crew
Mus ed, United States crew
SOUND
Sd des
ADR supv, United States crew
Sd ed, United States crew
Sd ed, United States crew
Sd ed, United States crew
Sd ed, United States crew
Sd ed, United States crew
Sd ed, United States crew
Sd ed, United States crew
Asst sd ed, United States crew
Asst sd ed, United States crew
Foley artist, United States crew
Foley artist, United States crew
Re-rec, United States crew
Re-rec, United States crew
Re-rec, United States crew
2d unit sd, United States crew
Sd mixer, United States crew
Boom op, United States crew
Boom op, United States crew
Sd mixer, Atlanta crew
Boom, Atlanta crew
Sd ed
Re-rec facilities by
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff, United States crew
Asst spec eff, United States crew
Opticals by
Title des by
MAKEUP
Hair, United States crew
Makeup, United States crew
Asst hair, United States crew
Asst makeup, United States crew
Prod asst, United States crew
Driver, United States crew
Makeup artist, France crew
Hairstylist, France crew
Hair, Atlanta crew
Makeup, Atlanta crew
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting
Exec in charge of prod
Exec in charge of prod
Prod coord, United States crew
Post prod coord, United States crew
Asst prod coord, United States crew
Loc mgr, United States crew
Asst loc mgr, United States crew
Prod accountant, United States crew
Asst accountant, United States crew
Asst accountant, United States crew
Asst to Jon Gordon, United States crew
Asst to Jon Gordon, United States crew
Asst to Rocky Lang, United States crew
Asst to Rocky Lang, United States crew
Tech adv, United States crew
Set nurse, United States crew
Sign painter
Projectionist, United States crew
Transportation capt, United States crew
Honeywagon, United States crew
Prod asst, United States crew
Prod asst, United States crew
Prod asst, United States crew
Prod asst, United States crew
Prod asst, United States crew
Prod asst, United States crew
Prod asst, United States crew
Prod asst, United States crew
Prod asst, United States crew
Prod asst, United States crew
Driver, United States crew
Driver, United States crew
Driver, United States crew
Driver, United States crew
Driver, United States crew
Driver, United States crew
Driver, United States crew
Driver, United States crew
Driver, United States crew
Driver, United States crew
Driver, United States crew
Driver, United States crew
Driver, United States crew
Driver, United States crew
Driver, United States crew
Driver, United States crew
Script supv, France crew
Loc mgr, France crew
Asst loc, France crew
Asst loc, France crew
Asst loc, France crew
Prod coord, France crew
Prod coord, France crew
Prod auditor, France crew
Prod accountant, France crew
Prod accountant, France crew
Unit runner, France crew
Casting dir, France crew
Cinespace
Casting dir, France crew
Cinespace
Casting dir, France crew
Extras casting, France crew
Transportation capt, France crew
Driver, France crew
Driver, France crew
Driver, France crew
Driver, France crew
Driver, France crew
Driver, France crew
Generator driver, France crew
Generator driver, France crew
Prod coord, Atlanta crew
Script supv, Atlanta crew
Prod asst, Atlanta crew
Prod asst, Atlanta crew
Extras casting, Atlanta crew
Cam truck driver, Atlanta crew
STAND INS
Motorcycle double
Motorcycle double
Motorcycle double
Motorcycle double
Stunt coord
Stunt double
Stunt coord, France crew
Stuntman, France crew
Stuntman, France crew
Stuntman, France crew
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer, United States crew
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
“If We Can’t Do It,” written by Clif Magness/Mark Mueller, produced by Clif Magness, performed by Clif Magness
“Make My Day,” written by Clif Magness/Glen Ballard/Jay Graydon, produced by Clif Magness/Glen Ballard/Jay Graydon, performed by The Chill Factor
“All My Life,” written by Rhett Lawrence/Clyde Lieberman, produced by Rhett Lawrence, performed by Gene Miller
+
SONGS
“If We Can’t Do It,” written by Clif Magness/Mark Mueller, produced by Clif Magness, performed by Clif Magness
“Make My Day,” written by Clif Magness/Glen Ballard/Jay Graydon, produced by Clif Magness/Glen Ballard/Jay Graydon, performed by The Chill Factor
“All My Life,” written by Rhett Lawrence/Clyde Lieberman, produced by Rhett Lawrence, performed by Gene Miller
“When He Kisses Me,” written by Clif Magness/Glen Ballard/Jay Graydon, produced by Clif Magness/Glen Ballard/Jay Graydon, performed by Valerie Christie
“Ain’t No Chain,” written by Danny Tate/David Murphy, produced by Jack Holder, performed by Danny Tate
“Any Man’s Country,” written by Jonathan Cain/Michael Bolton, produced by Clif Magness, performed by Bobby Kimball
“O Sole Mio,” performed by Sergio Franchi, courtesy RCA Victor Red Seal, a division of BMG Classics.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
American Built
Release Date:
3 November 1989
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 3 November 1989
Production Date:
30 June--mid September 1988
Copyright Claimant:
American Built Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
10 April 1990
Copyright Number:
PA457310
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses/Prints
Cameras and lenses by Arriflex®
Duration(in mins):
96
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In rural Massachusetts, Cody Gifford races a handcrafted motorcycle through town as his best friend and mechanic, Chris Washburn, tracks his record-breaking time. Although the boys are punished for their antics, they convince authorities to sponsor them in an upcoming exhibition race. At the speedway, Cody challenges Klaus Kroeter, the world’s fastest racer, but their motorcycles collide and both boys are knocked out of the contest. However, Cody catches the eye of recruiter Jack Davis, who recommends the boy to Samurai, a Japanese company that monopolizes the sport. Jack Davis is impressed by Chris’s motorcycle design, but the accident has left the vehicle beyond repair. He offers to lend Cody a Samurai bike so he can race in the summer European Grand Prix, and the boy agrees on condition that Chris be permitted to come along as his “tuner.” In Brno, Czechoslovakia, Cody and Chris collect their new Samurai motorcycle and Chris prepares the bike for his friend’s first race. The day before the event, however, Cody speeds around the fairgrounds to show off Chris’s handy work and the motorcycle engine explodes. Expelled from the tour caravan, Cody and Chris purchase a rickety camper and drive to Belgium, where they rejoin the group for the Spa-Francorchamps race. There, Cody sets a lap record and crosses the finish line in fourth place, positioning himself as a legitimate threat to his rival, Klaus Kroeter. Although Samurai is sponsoring Cody’s trip to Europe, company president Yoshiro Tanaka is invested in Klaus winning the championship. In an effort to limit Cody’s achievements, Tanaka offers the boy a much-coveted and lucrative position on the ... +


In rural Massachusetts, Cody Gifford races a handcrafted motorcycle through town as his best friend and mechanic, Chris Washburn, tracks his record-breaking time. Although the boys are punished for their antics, they convince authorities to sponsor them in an upcoming exhibition race. At the speedway, Cody challenges Klaus Kroeter, the world’s fastest racer, but their motorcycles collide and both boys are knocked out of the contest. However, Cody catches the eye of recruiter Jack Davis, who recommends the boy to Samurai, a Japanese company that monopolizes the sport. Jack Davis is impressed by Chris’s motorcycle design, but the accident has left the vehicle beyond repair. He offers to lend Cody a Samurai bike so he can race in the summer European Grand Prix, and the boy agrees on condition that Chris be permitted to come along as his “tuner.” In Brno, Czechoslovakia, Cody and Chris collect their new Samurai motorcycle and Chris prepares the bike for his friend’s first race. The day before the event, however, Cody speeds around the fairgrounds to show off Chris’s handy work and the motorcycle engine explodes. Expelled from the tour caravan, Cody and Chris purchase a rickety camper and drive to Belgium, where they rejoin the group for the Spa-Francorchamps race. There, Cody sets a lap record and crosses the finish line in fourth place, positioning himself as a legitimate threat to his rival, Klaus Kroeter. Although Samurai is sponsoring Cody’s trip to Europe, company president Yoshiro Tanaka is invested in Klaus winning the championship. In an effort to limit Cody’s achievements, Tanaka offers the boy a much-coveted and lucrative position on the official Samurai team, but fails to mention that Cody will be assigned a minor-league bike that is far less powerful than Klaus’s state-of-the-art motorcycle. Believing he has found success, Cody signs the deceptive contract despite warnings from his girl friend, Jenny Eastman, who had recently joined Cody on the tour. When Chris reveals that Cody has been duped, the boys fight and Jenny intervenes. Cody realizes he sacrificed friendship for ambition, but is too late to prevent Chris and Jenny from returning to the U.S. He continues the European Grand Prix racing season alone. Driving an inferior motorcycle, Cody puts his life at risk to maintain an edge against Klaus, and rises to second place. The rivalry between Klaus and Cody becomes increasingly heated and Cody’s motorcycle is pushed off the road when he pulls up too close to Klaus during a race. The incident leaves Cody’s bike in flames and a fellow racer in a coma. Samurai blames Cody for the accident, and he returns home in defeat before the season’s final race. Back in Massachusetts, Cody is shocked to learn that his father recently died, but he is comforted by Chris, who has forgiven his friend and repaired their homespun motorcycle. Chris assures Cody he was a source of pride to his ailing father, and encourages the young man to return to Europe for the Grand Prix finale. After reconciling with Jenny, Cody finances his trip back to Europe with earnings from his Samurai contract and races Chris’s motorcycle in the Circuit Paul Ricard. With Jenny and Chris cheering him on, Cody pulls ahead of Klaus just moments before they cross the finish line. The friends celebrate their hard-won victory. +

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

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