Got to admit to being truly baffled by this list of “20 Best Bicycle Scenes in Cinema, Ever” at the Denver Westworld weekly.
And here’s why — “Breaking Away” didn’t make the list.
I know I’m prejudiced, but the scene of Dave Stoller riding in the slipstream of an 18-wheeler across the rolling Indiana landscape to the strains of Italian opera is one of my most memorable film moments. Just last week I watched the 1979 film on one of the cable channels and got choked at the finish when (spoiler alert) the Cutters win the Little Indy 500.
Of course, “Breaking Away” isn’t a bicycling film. It’s about four friends choosing their paths into adult life after high school. That’s why the film was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Picture, and why screenwriter Steve Tesich won an Oscar for his script.
And the bicycling scenes are clearly inspiring. I know that I ramped up my bicycling when the movie first came out in 1979.
Also missing — American Flyers, the 1985 bike race film with Kevin Costner shows great scenes of cyclists at Colorado National Monument. Also scripted by Tesich.
Here’s the list of 20 Best Bicycle Scenes in Cinema from Denver Westworld, flawed as it is (the online version has clips from each of the movies):
1. E.T. (fly me to the moon)
2. Pee Wee’s Big Adventure (Bicycle Thief II)
3. Rad (BMX tricks)
4. Goonies (more BMX tricks)
6. Wizard of Oz (teacher commuting on bike)
7. Sound of Music (family on bikes)
8. Napoleon Dynamite (Pedro’s bike)
9. Quicksilver (bike messengers, with Nelson Vails)
10. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (Butch on bicycle, “get a horse”)
11. Project A (Jackie Chan)
12. Un Chien Andalou (???)
13. Rushmore (Bill Murray hates bikes)
14. 127 Hours (Guy rides a bike before sawing off his arm)
15. Muppets (Miss Piggy on a bike)
16. Jumanji (There’s a bike in this?)
17. Now and Then (girls on bikes)
18. BMX Bandits (still more BMX tricks)
19. Transporter 3 (bike-fu)
20. Karate Kid (there’s a bike in this?)