7.0/10
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98 user 42 critic

At Close Range (1986)

R | | Crime, Drama | 18 April 1986 (USA)
In 1978 Pennsylvania, an absentee father is reacquainted with his estranged teenage sons who become intrigued with his romanticized life of crime.

Director:

James Foley

Writers:

Elliott Lewitt (story), Nicholas Kazan (story) | 1 more credit »

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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sean Penn ... Brad Jr.
Christopher Walken ... Brad Sr.
Mary Stuart Masterson ... Terry
Chris Penn ... Tommy (as Christopher Penn)
Millie Perkins ... Julie
Eileen Ryan ... Grandma
Tracey Walter ... Patch
R.D. Call ... Dickie
David Strathairn ... Tony Pine
J.C. Quinn ... Boyd
Candy Clark ... Mary Sue
Jake Dengel Jake Dengel ... Lester
Kiefer Sutherland ... Tim
Stephen Geoffreys ... Aggie
Crispin Glover ... Lucas
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Storyline

Based upon the true story of Bruce Johnston Sr., his son, and his brothers; together, they constituted one of suburban Philadelphia's most notorious crime families during the 1970s. Their criminal activities ranged from burglary, theft... and ultimately, murder. Written by LizFL

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Yesterday, Brad was nobody. Today, he's front-page news. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 April 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

At Close Range See more »

Filming Locations:

Franklin, Tennessee, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$180,286, 20 April 1986

Gross USA:

$2,347,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Cinema '85, Hemdale See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie features the song "Live to Tell" performed by Madonna, then-wife of the movie's lead actor Sean Penn. See more »

Goofs

One night, while Brad Jr. and Terry lie in bed, a steam train whistle blows in the background. Steam trains had long been decommissioned in the 1980s. See more »

Quotes

Brad Whitewood Jr.: Is this the gun you used?
Brad Whitewood Sr.: That's a nice looking gun.
Brad Whitewood Jr.: Is this the gun you used to kill Tommy? Tommy's dead isn't he?
Brad Whitewood Sr.: Don't even talk about Tommy.
Brad Whitewood Jr.: Is this the gun you used to kill Terry?
Brad Whitewood Sr.: I didn't do nothing to Terry.
[Brad Jr. fires a shot]
Brad Whitewood Sr.: NO! NO! WAIT! WAIT! WAIT! WAIT!
Brad Whitewood Jr.: IS THIS THE GUN YOU USED ON EVERYONE? ON ME? Is this the family gun Dad?
See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK cinema version was cut by 1 min 1 sec by the BBFC to remove scenes of a cockfight. The 1986 Rank video version was pre-edited by the distributors to remove most of the scene beforehand and subsequently the cuts were reduced to 14 secs. However MGM submitted the original cinema print for the 2003 DVD release and thus 49 secs were cut from the same scene. See more »


Soundtracks

It Started with a Touch
Written by Leon Medica
Performed by Leroux
Provided by arrangement with The Inside Track
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Will Mercilessly Break Your Heart!
4 July 2005 | by mackey3000See all my reviews

AT CLOSE RANGE is one of the bleakest, coldest, scariest, and most depressing films I have ever seen...it was made even more depressing when I learned at the end that it was based on a true story. A very young but already magnetic Sean Penn is heartbreakingly convincing and predictably terrific in the lead role of a tough but generally good kid with family problems that range from a poor home with his mother and grandmother to having a lowlife, evil-to- the-asshole scumbag for a father. As the father, Christopher Walken, in what may be the greatest performance of his career, gives one of the most despicable, hateful, and frightening in it's believability performances in the history of film. He is the epitome of an evil person who has turned amoral with a lot of practice. I can't remember the last time I hated a character in a film as much as I despised Walken. The remarkable final confrontation scene between him and Penn, after a tragedy has happened, is an example of how limitless the raw power that film can evoke truly is when it is in the hands of amazing character actors who get inside their characters in such an awe-inspiring way that they make you feel like you are watching a documentary. The scene makes you so sad and angry at the same time that it just breaks your f**king heart! It is one of the very best scenes of both actors' stellar careers, and it is a scene that I'm sure will be shown every time either actor receives a Career Achievement Award in their future. Mary-Stuart Masterson, a talented actress who unfortunately seems to have gotten lost in the Bermuda Triangle after FRIED GREEN TOMATOES, is also touching and convincing as Penn's underage girlfriend. After watching GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS and now this, I think James Foley is clearly one of the modern masters when it comes to directing and setting the stage for great acting. It's not an entertaining movie by any stretch of the imagination, but it's a powerful, honest, unmercifully human one that will be hard to forget. B+


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