Breaking Away is a 1979 American coming of age comedy-drama film produced and directed by Peter Yates and written by Steve Tesich. It follows a group of four male teenagers in Bloomington, Indiana, who have recently graduated from high school. The film stars Dennis Christopher, Dennis Quaid, Daniel Stern, Jackie Earle Haley, Barbara Barrie, Paul Dooley, and Robyn Douglass.
Breaking Away won the 1979 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Tesich, and received nominations in four other categories, including Best Picture. It also won the 1979 Golden Globe Award for Best Film (Comedy or Musical), and received nominations in three other Golden Globe categories.
As the film's young lead, Christopher won the 1979 BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer and the 1979 Young Artist Award for Best Juvenile Actor, as well as getting a Golden Globe nomination as New Star of the Year.
The film is ranked eighth on the List of America's 100 Most Inspiring Movies compiled by the American Film Institute (AFI) in 2006. In June 2008, AFI announced its 10 Top 10—the best ten films in ten classic American film genres—after polling over 1,500 people from the creative community. Breaking Away ranked as the eighth best film in the sports genre.
Tesich was an alumnus of Indiana University Bloomington. The film was shot in and around Bloomington and on the university's campus.