Vision Quest


Vision Quest is a coming of age movie in which high school wrestler Louden Swain decides he wants to…

Release Year: 1985

Rating: 6.1/10 (3,889 voted)

Harold Becker

Stars: Matthew Modine, Linda Fiorentino, Michael Schoeffling

Vision Quest is a coming of age movie in which high school wrestler Louden Swain decides he wants to be something more than an average high school athlete and sets his sights on a prize that many don't think he can win – he then sets out to reach his goal alone, without much support from his father or coach. His father rents a room to a young drifter, Carla. Swain falls in love with her and she helps him stay focused and prevents him from losing sight of his goals.

Writers: Terry Davis, Darryl Ponicsan


Matthew Modine

Louden Swain

Linda Fiorentino


Michael Schoeffling


Ronny Cox

Louden's Dad

Harold Sylvester


Charles Hallahan


J.C. Quinn


(as J. C. Quinn)

Daphne Zuniga

Margie Epstein

R.H. Thomson


(as R. H. Thomson)

Gary Kasper


Raphael Sbarge


Forest Whitaker


Frank Jasper


Roberts Blossom


James Gammon

Kuch's Dad

All he needed was a lucky break. Then one day she moved in.

Release Date: 15 February 1985

Filming Locations: Monroe Bridge, Spokane, Washington, USA

Gross: $12,900,000

Technical Specs


Did You Know?


J.C. Quinn, who plays Elmo the cook in the Hotel where Louden (Modine) works, also starred in
Gross Anatomy as Joe's Father (Papa Slovak).


Revealing mistakes:
The boxes of detergent that fall on Louden at the supermarket are clearly empty.


Louden Swain:
My name's Louden, Louden Swain. Last week I turned 18. I wasn't ready for it. I haven't done anything yet. So I made this deal with myself. This is the year I make my mark.

User Review

Trite Plot, Sappy Star; so WHY is it so GOOD?

Rating: 7/10

While I bought the soundtrack to 'Vision Quest' while the movie was
still new, I didn't bother to see the movie until recently. While a
great soundtrack and a braless Linda Fiorentino was quite appealing,
the 'high school wrestler' plot didn't interest me at all. A few years
later, after seeing the sappy Matthew Modine in 'Married to the Mob, '
I lost all interest in 'Vision Quest'. However, after catching (I wish)
Linda Fiorentino in 'Men in Black,' and finding 'Vision Quest on
ENCORE, I thought, 'What the heck? It's free.' So, my wife and I
snuggled in and watched. We were glad we did. Sure, Modine was sappy,
but so was his character, Loudan Swain. Loudan's a goofy kid who just
turned 18. He's also smart and athletic and decent. He's a wrestler and
he plans to beat the best high school wrestler in the state. Loudan
wants this not for glory or awards; he just believes he can do it and
makes a superhuman effort to lose the weight required to compete in the
champ's weight class. His buddy, Kuch, who fancies himself an American
Indian, observes Loudan is making a 'vision quest' for self discovery.
During Loudan's journey and 'rite of passage to manhood' he meets
Carla, a street smart, sexy girl three years his senior. Loudan falls
for Carla and now has two dreams, to fight the champ and to win Carla.

Daryl Ponicson ('The Last Detail,' 'Cinderella Liberty) wrote the fine,
incisive screenplay from the novel by Terry Davis. The movie has a lot
to say about life and how dedication leads to genius. The language is
rough, but quite natural. Linda Fiorentino has the movies funniest
line, which refers to the 'Holland Tunnel', but J. C. Quinn, who plays
Modene's chef friend, has the most poetic monologue, regarding Pele and
soccer. Even though things don't work out exactly as Loudan expected,
he's uplifted and exhilarated and you will be, too.

The outstanding soundtrack contains music by Tangerine Dream, Journey,
REO Speedwagon and Madonna, among others. While the songs were not
written for the movie (except, probably the Oscar worthy 'Crazy for
You'), they work extremely well. Credit director Howard Becker ('The
Onion Field,' 'Sea of Love') for getting the best from his talented
cast of actors and musicians. 'Vision Quest' is not a great movie, but
a good one. I give it a '7'.