5 Plot Point Breakdown: The Cutting Edge (1992)

By Anthony Faust · May 5, 2016

Screenplay Genre: Sports Dramedy

Movie Time: 142 minutes


Two star-crossed athletes find misfortune in their quest for glory at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. Doug Dorsey, a brash, young hockey player, smashes his head against a wall in a game while fighting for the puck. A visit to the doctor informs Doug that he has a blind spot, and that his hockey playing days are over.

Kate Moseley, a spoiled figure skating queen, the product of a controlling father obsessed with filling his empty trophy case with an Olympic Gold medal, dashes those hopes with a fall during a routine with her partner at the same Olympic Games. (00:08:34)

2. LOCK IN (End of Act One)

Doug finds a new gig. He teams up with Kate, whose father has flown Doug in for a tryout in a desperate attempt to find his daughter a partner for the 1992 Olympics Games in Albertville. Their coach is Anton Pamchenko, who will try exceedingly hard, and mostly fail, to keep the two prima donnas skating as one unit. (00:23:02)


Doug and Kate secure a spot in the Olympics when their rivals fall on the ice during their routine at the U.S. Nationals. Their next stop is France, and a gold medal. To win it, Anton reveals his secret weapon; the Pamchenko, an impossibly dangerous maneuver that involves Doug swinging Kate by her skates and releasing her into a throw jump. (01:07:56)

4. MAIN CULMINATION (End of Act Two)

Kate accepts culpability for the failure of Team Moseley to bring home the gold at the 1988 Winter Olympics. She recognizes that the common denominator in all of the failed attempts to pair her with another skater, has been Kate Moseley. The next day, she announces that she will retire after these Olympic Games. (01:28:23)


After Doug suddenly professes his love for her, Kate sheds a few tears and bluntly declares that they’re doing the Pamchenko. Doug, who showed great interest in the move in practice sessions, vehemently opposes the idea. It’s too dangerous, he warns her. She remains steadfast, and the two figure skaters make history. After Kate tells Doug that she loves him, the pair seal their romance with a frosty kiss. (01:34:40)

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