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Two fugitive radicals must face the painful consequences of their teenage son striking out on his own. Year: 1988 Director: Sidney Lumet Starring: Christine Lahti, River Phoenix, Judd Hirsch, Martha Plimpton
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It's difficult to watch this involving family drama and not end up mad at River Phoenix. He was such an incredibly talented, believable, available actor that it makes you mad at him for leaving us so soon. He's particularly good here as Danny, a talented musician and the eldest son of a couple of former war protestors (Christine Lahti and Judd Hirsch). Their bombing of a napalm plant during the Vietnam War makes their small, nuclear family act as fugitives, never letting themselves settle down, never leaving traces, one step ahead of the law. This works for the splinter group of rebels until Danny meets a teacher who believes in his talent, and meets the teacher's daughter, Lorna (played by Martha Plimpton). Danny's love for Lorna and his aspirations to attend Juilliard put the family in jeopardy of finally being tracked down. It's saying something that in this impressive ensemble cast, ably directed by Sidney Lumet, Phoenix sticks out. He was an actor whose tank never would have run out. --Keith Simanton
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