The Unknown Cyclist (1998) Poster

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Simply Beautiful
FrozenDreamer3 August 2003
I have watched plenty of gay themed flicks, and to be honest, I have a healthy collection of gay-themed drama... ranging from Phillidelphia to Beautiful Thing and then Jeffrey to In & Out. The Unknown Cyclist is now a valued member of my collection of greats.

It does fall into one of those preachy AIDS AIDS AIDS movies... all about wearing condoms and being careful (don't get me wrong... this is a good thing), so some people may find this kind of film tedious and boring. You really need to give it some time though. It is a beautiful movie.

It has some very poignant messages to get across, and it does this very well. Take some time out to have a look, you won't regret it.

7.5 flaps outta 10.
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Extremely Poignant--Ends too quickly though...
BHorrorWriter29 May 2001
...This is a very unusual tale of love, family (take that in which ever context you would like), and friendship. You can read the description onf IMDB...I am interested more in my opinion of the movie. Here it is...

First and foremost, I must say this movie did end too quickly--I was really getting into the unite of the 4 cyclists and the relations they were building on the beach...and then it was over...Though I do feel the story was told and the message was delivered.

Lea Thompson is beautiful and just drips with emotion as the ex-wife of a gay man who is best friends with the man her husband ended up with. Though there are many stereotypes about gays, there is also alot of comedy, dark and light. Danny Nucci is excellent in his role as a bisexual slut boy who is diagnosed with AIDS. He give a very emotional and powerful performance. Vincent Spano, plays the twin of the gay brother who is dead of AIDS. He is very homophobic, and does not know how to deal with the situation he is dropped into...

Full of emotion, will bring some to tears, I am sure...Shows that gay people have feeling too...People really need to go get over their homophobia and realize that Gays are people too!!! Until we can get over hate...we will be dead!!!!

8 out of 10
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Very good cycling movie
TVholic16 June 2016
While others look at this as an early LGBT-themed movie, I enjoy it from the standpoint of someone who likes to bike. I had no idea what the movie was about, but the title and cover art intrigued me. Among serious cyclists, Breaking Away is almost universally considered the best cycling movie of all time. After seeing The Unknown Cyclist, I think this a close second, easily beating over-hyped movies like American Flyers and Quicksilver. Both Breaking Away and Unknown Cyclist are character-driven, but while Breaking Away's characters were endearing, they were somewhat one-dimensional and for almost the entire movie, the only one with any interest in cycling was Dave. The Unknown Cyclist was a little more balanced in terms of screen time and development given to each character. I miss the classical music in Breaking Away, but the incidental music and power ballads in this movie are still good.

The movie recalls a simpler time in terms of bicycling. A time when cycling was a little less pretentious than it is today. There was less emphasis on technology and style. No hipsters on fashionable fixies or single-speed bikes. The movie shows a more egalitarian side of cycling, with people of all shapes, sizes and colors on high and low-tech bikes on an extended ride, cruising back roads wonderfully devoid of cars. It's all set against a backdrop of spectacular California coastal scenery, which east coast denizens like me only wish we could have. In fact, I prefer the cinematography of this to Breaking Away, which had rather drab Indiana settings punctuated only by the lush quarry. If you want to vicariously feel the joy of just being on a bicycle rather than the more racing-focused milieu of Breaking Away, this movie is a great vehicle for that, capturing the details of a typical mass ride. You can almost feel the sun, the wind and the rain on your face. Feel your legs burning on the uphills. Experience showering and eating in groups, sleeping in tent cities on campgrounds. At the end of the movie, I can almost imagine myself walking among the crowd across that finish line. (Even better, my legs aren't sore.) All the while, there are the standard themes of friendship, love, family and tolerance, but those aren't intrusive. If you like to bike and don't have any hang-ups about homosexuality, I think you'll like this movie.
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Just what is a family?
lastliberal7 July 2008
You never know when you take the time to watch an indie whether it is going to inspire you a or just be a waste. I really don't think that I have ever commented a movie was too short, but this one certainly was. I did not want it to end, and I think it really could have explored the issues more deeply.

Chris dies and wants the four people that mean the most to him to bond. They include his ex-wife (Lea Thompson), his husband (Stephen Spinella), a friend (Danny Nucci), and his estranged twin brother (Vincent Spano). He arranges for them to spend six days together in an AIDS bike event by withholding his ashes. 96 minutes is just not enough time to explore all the angles that were present in this film. Naturally, it ends the way you want it to, but it just got there too quickly.

I remember words that M. Scott Peck said in one of his books. He talked about the fact that you have no choice in the family you are born into, but you have the right to choose the family that you will love. That is the underlying theme here. A family can be something as odd as these four people. It can be anything as long as it provides love and strength.

This was definitely an indie that inspires.
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Road kill
hprice-jr31 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This film was a complete waste of time. Every bad cliché in the book - the token "fag hag" (even if she was the ex-wife), the bitter "widowed" lover, the homophobic butch brother and the comic bisexual sidekick pal. Not one of these characters had any likable qualities and the constant self-indulgence of these people became grating within the first ten minutes, and continued on until one started checking the time and hoping this vapid movie would end. This could have been a poignant and touching road trip but instead meandered along and finally collapsed under the weight of it's extremely annoying actors and amateurish script. At least the scenery was interesting.
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