Dreamer (1979 Film)
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Dreamer 1979 Film
Dreamer (1979 film).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byNoel Nosseck
Produced byMike Lobell
Written byJames Proctor
Larry Bischof
StarringTim Matheson
Susan Blakely
Jack Warden
Richard B. Shull
Barbara Stuart
Owen Bush
John Crawford
Marya Small
Matt Clark
Morgan Farley
Music byBill Conti
CinematographyBruce Surtees
Edited byFred Chulack
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • April 27, 1979 (1979-04-27)
Running time
90 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$6.44 million[1]

Dreamer is a 1979 American sports film directed by Noel Nosseck, written by Larry Bischof and James Proctor, and starring Tim Matheson, Susan Blakely and Jack Warden.[2] It was released theatrically on April 27, 1979, and was released by 20th Century Fox through Magnetic Video on home video.


A young man dreams and struggles to become a championship bowler, knowing that determination and sacrifice must come first.

Tim Matheson is the Dreamer in this story which many saw as heavily inspired by Rocky. "Dreamer" is a ten-pin whiz in his small town of Alton, Illinois, but wants to make it in the big time on the professional tour. Ultimately, he does, with the help of irascible manager Harry (Jack Warden) and faithful girlfriend Karen (Susan Blakely). As if to underline the resemblances between Dreamer and its cinematic role model, the musical score is by Rocky's Bill Conti.

Bowling legend Dick Weber appears at the movie's beginning and end as Johnny Watkin.[3]



Producer Mike Lobell felt there would be an audience for a film about ten pin bowling, considering the popularity of the sport. He raised finance from 20th Century Fox.[4]

Tim Matheson had not bowled since the age of 10 when he got the starring role. To prepare for his part he spent four to six hours a day for two weeks bowling with Dick Weber's son Rich and also studied videotapes of top bowlers such as Mark Roth, Earl Anthony and Marshall Holman.[5]

Principal photography took place in Alton, Illinois and St. Louis from July 31 to September 12, 1978.[1]

The picture's production budget was reported at $2.9 million plus $3.54 million for marketing.[1]


Janet Maslin of The New York Times stated, "I'm not sure I've ever seen a movie that was supposed to tell a story and managed to be as uneventful as 'Dreamer'."[2]

Roger Ebert gave the film 1.5 stars out of 4 and wrote, "There could no doubt be a good movie made about bowling or about the human elements in any professional sport. But 'Dreamer' doesn't even try to do that. It just takes a routine old formula, one that could apply as well (or as badly) to any sport from soccer to wrestling, and plugs in bowling as the subject matter."[6]

Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune also awarded 1.5 stars out of 4 and called it "hopelessly predictable."[7]

Variety wrote, "Shamelessly attempting to be a 'Rocky' of the bowling world, 'Dreamer' is a preposterous, colorless down-home fantasy about a youth who makes the jump from unknown bushleaguer to national champion in three easy lessons."[8]

Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times declared the film "a nice little movie" and "a pleasant piece of Midwestern Americana, refreshing in its lack of gratuitous sex and gore but also likely to be too mild for some tastes."[9] Gary Arnold of The Washington Post called it "a pleasant, inconsequential sports melodrama."[10]


  1. ^ a b c "Dreamer - History". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved 2019.
  2. ^ a b Maslin, Janet (June 8, 1979). "Dreamer (1979) Film: 'Dreamer' Bowls for Rainbows:Alley Style". The New York Times.
  3. ^ http://www.popflock.com/video?id=ZDZO-Qm0OzE&t=1h28m21s
  4. ^ Cite error: The named reference los was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  5. ^ Archibald, John J. (September 19, 1978). "'Dreamer': Up Their Alley". Los Angeles Times. Part IV, p. 9.
  6. ^ Ebert, Roger (April 30, 1979). "Dreamer". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved 2019.
  7. ^ Siskel, Gene (April 30, 1979). "'Dreamer' throws too many empty frames to score hit". Chicago Tribune. Section 2, p. 4.
  8. ^ "Film Reviews: Dreamer". Variety. April 25, 1979. 18.
  9. ^ Thomas, Kevin (April 23, 1979). "'Dreamer' Familiar but Likable Fare". Los Angeles Times. Part IV, p. 17.
  10. ^ Arnold, Gary (May 22, 1979). "Fitful 'Dreamer'". The Washington Post. C7.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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