Chicago crime kid Mick O'Brien is sent to reform school after accidentally killing Paco Moreno's kid brother.
Release Year: 1983
Rating: 7.0/10 (6,390 voted)
Stars: Sean Penn, Reni Santoni, Jim Moody
A delinquent held in juvenile detention for the murder of a noted youth gang member awaits a showdown with the dead man's vengeful brother in the deadly prison environment.
J. C. Walenski
Robert Lee Rush
Tony Mockus Jr.
(as Tony Mockus)
Life Has Pushed Him Into A Corner… And He's Comin' Out Fighting.
Release Date: 25 March 1983
Filming Locations: 1831 S Racine Ave, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Opening Weekend: $2,171,197
(27 March 1983)
Did You Know?
Sean Penn insisted on being called the name of his character, Mick O'Brien, during production of the movie.
Position of Paco when leaning up against the locker.
I lost my brother. All you lost was some skin.
Not your ordinary teen movie
I recently saw this movie again (on video, not the uncut DVD). I hadn't
seen it in about twenty years, but it affected me the same at 35 as it
did when I saw it on cable at 14. It is one of the grittiest, rawest
movies I have ever seen, and it works on a visceral level. The
performances of Sean Penn and Esai Morales in this film go to show why
they have both continued to be two of the hardest working actors in
Hollywood. After seeing Penn as Jeff Spiccolli in "Fast Times at
Ridgemont High," I was amazed by his range in this film (although he
was excellent in "Racing With the Moon," which if memory serves me
right also came out around this time). Morales took what could have
been a one-note role and turned it into a caricature of a revenge-bent
punk, but his talent even back then was clear that he was up to the
challenge of putting emotion into the role and bringing some sympathy
to Paco's plight. Clancy Brown and Ally Sheedy were excellent in their
roles as well.
The movie worked not just because the acting was great, but because the
story moved along at an exciting pace. It was suspenseful and was not
overly cliché or pat. Overall, it was an unforgettable movie
experience, a strong cautionary tale that still makes people think.