×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

There Goes My Baby

It may not be intentional, but "There Goes My Baby" is a virtual companion piece to "American Graffiti." Set in 1965, three years after the George Lucas pic, it's also an episodic character piece in which eight high school grads confront their future on two fateful nights as the soundtrack counterpoints the action with the music of the day.

With:
Pirate - Dermot Mulroney
Stick - Rick Schroder
Sunshine - Kelli Williams
Finnegan - Noah Wyle
Babette - Jill Schoelen
Tracy - Kristin Minter
Mary Beth - Lucy Deakins
Calvin - Kenny Ransom
Pop - Seymour Cassel
Burton - Paul Gleason
Maran - Frederick Coffin
Frank - Andrew Robinson
The Beard - Humble Harve Miller
Morrisey - Shon Greenblatt
George - J. E. Freeman

It may not be intentional, but “There Goes My Baby” is a virtual companion piece to “American Graffiti.” Set in 1965, three years after the George Lucas pic, it’s also an episodic character piece in which eight high school grads confront their future on two fateful nights as the soundtrack counterpoints the action with the music of the day. Lost in the shuffle of Orion’s bankruptcy for two years, it’s been retrieved from the shelf and is competing at the Montreal fest. Ripe for discovery, the riveting, infectious comic drama has a real shot at sleeper success with proper support.

This good-natured, emotion-charged memory piece has a lot to say about the era’s political and social landscape. It rarely stoops to preaching; rather, its wallop comes from the key personalities and the way pivotal historic events are absorbed into the mundane and unsullied lives of American teenagers.

Narrated by Anne Archer, the look back is told from the p.o.v. of class valedictorian Mary Beth (Lucy Deakins). In 1961, her class at Westwood High in California was chronicled by Look magazine as the country’s future. It’s a mantle they did not seek; nor do they desire it four years later.

In the interval, JFK was assassinated, the civil rights movement took root, the country began a “Camp Nowhere,” “police action” in Vietnam and rock ‘n’ roll lost a lot of its inanity.

The class has evolved, too. Some have developed a keen social conscience and others simply want to be on the road or in the surf.

The last night of school and its immediate aftermath bring all these elements to the fore, as well as such deeply personal issues as teenage pregnancy and career and college options.

Initially, pic seems no more than a goof. But writer/director Floyd Mutrux has a lot more on his plate. A classmate who lost a brother in Vietnam is mercilessly clubbed and taken to jail by police for his schoolyard protest. Later, at the height of a final celebration, word wafts in that, across town,the Watts riots have ignited.

Filmed prior to the ’92 L.A. riots, “There Goes My Baby” takes on an eerily prophetic tone. Yet the events never overpower the characters, whose lives are elegantly interwoven.

Mutrux and his young cast deserve enormous credit for keeping the loosely knit tale emotionally absorbing. Particular standouts are Rick Schroder as a surfer headed for Vietnam, Kelli Williams as one of the original flower children , Jill Schoelen as an aspiring rock star and Kenny Ransom as the school’s lone black student.

Add a soundtrack with an ironic bite and cinematographer William Fraker’s poetic eye, and the result is a unique and highly entertaining pic. “There Goes My Baby” is a genuine find of supreme simplicity and skill. Like the era it relives, it seems an anachronism among the current crop of films. Yet its sincerity and craft set it apart, and that difference makes it all the more potent.

There Goes My Baby

Production: An Orion Pictures release of a Nelson Entertainment presentation of a Robert Shapiro production. Produced by Shapiro. Executive producers, Barry Spikings, Rick Finkelstein. Directed, written by Floyd Mutrux.

Crew: Camera (Deluxe color), William Fraker; editor, Danford Greene, Maysie Hoy; executive music producer, Budd Carr; production design, Richard Sawyer; art direction, Louis Mann; set decoration, Peg Cummings; costume design, Molly Maginnis; sound (Dolby), William Randall; assistant directors, Stephen Fisher, George Fortmuller; casting, Lynn Stalmaster, Janet Hirshenson, Jane Jenkins. Reviewed at Orion screening room, L.A., Aug. 23, 1994. (In World Film Festival, Montreal, competing.) MPAA Rating: R. Running time: 99 min.

With: Pirate - Dermot Mulroney
Stick - Rick Schroder
Sunshine - Kelli Williams
Finnegan - Noah Wyle
Babette - Jill Schoelen
Tracy - Kristin Minter
Mary Beth - Lucy Deakins
Calvin - Kenny Ransom
Pop - Seymour Cassel
Burton - Paul Gleason
Maran - Frederick Coffin
Frank - Andrew Robinson
The Beard - Humble Harve Miller
Morrisey - Shon Greenblatt
George - J. E. Freeman

More Film

  • Korea Box Office: "Money" Wins Debut

    Korea Box Office: 'Money' Defeats 'Captain Marvel'

    Korean crime drama “Money” debuted on top of the South Korean box office, preventing “Captain Marvel” from topping the chart for three consecutive weekends. It is the story of a young stockbroker who dreams of riches but becomes caught in a stock market scam. Opening on Wednesday, the Showbox release earned $12.0 million from 1.54 [...]

  • Us Movie

    'Us' Cements the Box Office Power of Jordan Peele

    Given the breakout success of “Get Out,” it’s no surprise audiences were salivating to see the next nightmare from the mind of writer-director Jordan Peele. “Get Out,” which landed a screenwriting Oscar for Peele, became one of the most profitable movies of 2017 (grossing $255 million globally on a $4.5 million budget) after the horror [...]

  • Box Office Film Placeholder

    China Box Office: Taiwan's 'More Than Blue' Wins Second Weekend

    Taiwanese melodrama, “More Than Blue” held strong at the Chinese box office, to secure a second week of success. The film is a Chinese-language remake of a Korean film from 2009, involving Singapore’s MM2 and the filmmaking arm of Fox Networks. With little in the way of strong, new competition, “blue” scored $27 million, according [...]

  • Noah CentineoNickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards, Show,

    Kids’ Choice Awards 2019: JoJo Siwa, Noah Centineo Take on Bullying

    This year’s Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards was full of positivity and encouragement to be yourself. DJ Khaled, known for his upbeat mantras, hosted the 32nd annual awards ceremony alongside JoJo Siwa at USC’s Galen center. Siwa accepted the award for favorite social music star. Siwa said in her acceptance speech, “I get hated on every [...]

  • Us Scriptwriter and Film-maker Larry Cohen

    Larry Cohen, Cult Horror Writer-Director of 'It's Alive,' Dies at 77

    Larry Cohen, best known for his work as a B-movie producer and director in the ’70s and his later work in screenwriting, has died. He was 77. Cohen’s friend, actor and publicist Shade Rupe, confirmed the news, which was announced in a post to Cohen’s official Facebook page. Rupe said Cohen died in Los Angeles [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content