Very sad news that Peter Yates, the English-born film director, died on Sunday at the age of 81.
Yates graduated from RADA, and in the ’60s began working in Hollywood. Outside the cycling world he will be best remembered for Bullit, starring Steve McQueen and a legendary car chase. However, many cyclists will cherish the memories of Breaking Away, the story of a cycling-obsessed teenager in small-town Indiana, who falls in love with a student at the university. He, however, is a ‘cutter’ – one of the local townsfolk who are looked down upon on campus; so, to win her affections, he pretends to be an Italian exchange student.
The film, which won the Oscar for best original screenplay in 1980, culminates in the Cutters taking on the students at the Little 500 annual track race and… well, you should just go and watch.
Here’s the trailer, to whet your appetite, but the film is awesome, so go and buy it.