The Wild Life

September 28th, 1984


more trailers The Wild Life

Eighties teen romp involving Bill and his new apartment, Jim and his rebellious antics, Tom and his crazy self, and Anita with her older man David.

Release Year: 1984

Rating: 5.5/10 (1,123 voted)

Director: Art Linson

Stars: Chris Penn, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, Eric Stoltz

Eighties teen romp involving Bill and his new apartment, Jim and his rebellious antics, Tom and his crazy self, and Anita with her older man David.

Chris Penn - Tom Drake (as Christopher Penn)
Ilan Mitchell-Smith - Jim Conrad
Eric Stoltz - Bill Conrad
Jenny Wright - Eileen
Lea Thompson - Anita
Brin Berliner - Tony
Rick Moranis - Harry
Hart Bochner - David Curtiss
Susan Rinell - Donna (as Susan Blackstone)
Cari Anne Warder - Julie
Robert Ridgely - Craig Davis
Jack Kehoe - Mr. Parker
Simone White - Brenda (as Jennifer White)
Beth McKinley - Robin
Michael Bowen - Vince

Taglines: It's casual.

Release Date: 28 September 1984

Filming Locations: Los Angeles, California, USA

Opening Weekend: $4,001,000 (USA) (30 September 1984) (1140 Screens)

Gross: $11,020,375 (USA)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

The cable installer is played by Lee Ving, front man of the punk rock band Fear.

Continuity: During the scene where Jim has the music up too loud, Bill comes in and it appears that he yanks the plug out. After he leaves, Jim turns it back on by hitting play, not by putting the plug back in.

[repeated line]
Tom Drake: It's casual.

User Review

Thomas Drake really could be Jeff Spicolli's brother!

Rating: 9/10

Straight up, I love this film. I love everything about it. It has a great soundtrack, it has a lot of recognizable faces and it is funny as hell. There are so many plots in this film and every one of them is funny in one way or another.

Where as Spicolli lit up the screen two years back, Drake is almost as memorable of a character. All he wants to do is have fun. He moves out of the house without his parent's consent, he skips work whenever he feels like it, he is obsessed with sex, he loves his drugs and booze and he tries to be a good friend. It is his lacksidaisical attitude that makes him such a joy to watch. And he comes out with some great lines. And there are so many tiny observations that you don't see coming but they make you laugh at the sheer velocity when it hits you. One particular moment is when Tommy and Bill are talking about Bill's ex girlfriend dating someone else now. At the end of the conversation, Tommy takes his huge beer bottle and just throws it over his shoulder, casually. He then says good night and the scene ends. It is a perfect scene. Tommy's world is his own. He really lives to party and have fun. When the conversation is over, his time is over and he doesn't care who he offends in the process. He has an innocence about him. "It's casual" is his favourite saying.

Another such classic scene is Reggie handing Bill a donut. He says something to him that me and my friends will never forget because we rewound the film ten times and watched that part over and over again and hurt ourselves laughing. It has to be seen to be appreciated.

Wild Life is a throw back to when teen comedies were funny, raunchy, had a good ear, entertained us and just wanted us to get lost in their world for 90 minutes. Wild Life does all those things perfectly. If this is a film that you haven't seen, give it a chance. It is a classic.

Also check out the army store guy that Jim has problems with. He is a very familiar face now and it is his first role on the big screen.