Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Personal Best (1982)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Personal Best (1982)

In director/screenwriter Robert Towne's debut film about two female athletes training for the 1980 Olympics, with the tagline: "How do you compete with a body you've already surrendered to your opponent?":

  • the physicality of the athletic, well-toned women
  • the honestly-depicted lesbian relationship between bisexual track star hurdler Chris Cahill (Mariel Hemingway) and older pentathlete lesbian Tory Skinner (Patrice Donnelly)
  • as they laid naked together, they took turns softly touching and pleasuring each other, as Chris noted: "I've never had this done before." Chris' experimentation was only a phase since by the film's conclusion, she went off with waterpolo player Denny (Kenny Moore)
  • the frank dialogue in the locker room and steam room scenes, while emphasizing their taut bodies; bits of conversation were heard:

    "So, well, how was Norman?"
    "Well, actually, he's got a curved weenie."
    "To the left or to the right?"
    "To the left."
    "That could be a problem."

Female Athletes in a Steamy Spa


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