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Four Friends (Georgia's Friends)

Director:
Arthur Penn
Release Date:
11 Dec 1981
Genre:
Comedy / Drama
Country:
USA
Runtime:
114 min

Steve Tesich actually grew up in my hometown, East Chicago,Indiana, and it was hardly a small industrial town. At it's apex, East Chicago had roughly 75,000 residents and, combined with the rest of the Calumet Region, was an integral part of the Chicago area. The Bloomington,Indiana connection came with Tesich attending Indiana University, also my alma mater. That's where he got the inspiration for "Breaking Away."

This story of four working-class kids in a small industrial town--who go their separate ways after high school in the innocence of 1961 and come together again at the end of the turbulent Sixties--is as much about the coming of age of America as it is about the changes the characters go through. The four friends of the title are thoughtful Danilo, a Yugoslavian immigrant with dreams of being a writer and a scholar; Tom, good-looking and athletic, who is bound for the army; cautious David who has mixed feelings about staying in town and joining the family mortuary business; and lovely, ditzy, exasperating Georgia, who tries to inspire all of them with her longings for a life of Bohemian adventure. It is told through the eyes of Danilo, whose story is loosely based on the writer Tesich's own life growing up in Bloomington, Indiana.

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