A downbeat tale [by Elliott Lewitt and Nicholas Kazan] of brutal family relations, James Foley's At Close Range is a very tough picture. Violent without being vicarious, this true story is set in a small Pennsylvania town in 1978. Story introduces young Brad (Sean Penn) as just another rather tough kid with an eye for a new girl (the charming Mary Stuart Masterson) and fiercely protective of his brother (Christopher Penn).

A downbeat tale [by Elliott Lewitt and Nicholas Kazan] of brutal family relations, James Foley’s At Close Range is a very tough picture. Violent without being vicarious, this true story is set in a small Pennsylvania town in 1978. Story introduces young Brad (Sean Penn) as just another rather tough kid with an eye for a new girl (the charming Mary Stuart Masterson) and fiercely protective of his brother (Christopher Penn).

Along comes Brad’s father (Christopher Walken) who has a reputation as a criminal. Intrigued by his seemingly exciting parent, Brad Jr is encouraged to form his own gang to carry out more modest heists.

General audiences will respond to the very strong performances of the two leads, especially Walken in one of his best roles.

At Close Range

Production

Hemdale. Director James Foley; Producer Elliott Lewitt, Don Guest; Writer Nicholas Kazan; Camera Juan Ruiz-Anchia Editor Howard Smith; Music Patrick Leonard Art Peter Jamison

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1986. Running time: 111 MIN.

With

Sean Penn Christopher Walken Mary Stuart Masterson Christopher Penn Millie Perkins Candy Clark
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