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In this family drama from director Sidney Lumet, Judd Hirsch and Christine Lahti play Arthur and Annie Pope, a pair of '60s radicals who have eluded the FBI for 16 years after bombing a napalm laboratory as a Vietnam War protest. This lifestyle involves continually moving their base of operations and establishing new identities, which is especially hard on their children, 18-year-old Danny (River Phoenix) and 10-year-old Harry (Jonas Abry), who can never amass a group of friends or an academic record. This last problem comes to the fore when they arrive in a New Jersey town where the high school music teacher (Ed Crowley) takes an interest in Danny's piano playing, encouraging him to apply for early admission to Juilliard. Danny yearns to follow this dream, but knows that separating from his parents would be a permanent break -- the aging hippies rarely even see their own parents, and can never inform anyone where they've moved. Arthur can't stand the idea of breaking up the family unit, which has provided the support that's allowed him to tolerate life on the move, but Annie sees her own sacrificed dreams in her son's prodigious musical talents, and begins pressuring Arthur to grant the boy his independence. Complicating factors, Danny has fallen in love with the daughter of his music teacher (Martha Plimpton), but can't allow himself to get too close to her, because he may have to leave again at any moment. ~ Derek Armstrong, Rovi

  • Release date:September 9, 1988


Awarded by
National Board of Review River Phoenix Best Supporting Actor 1988 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association River Phoenix Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture 1988 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences River Phoenix Best Supporting Actor 1988 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Sidney Lumet Best Director 1988 Nominee
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Christine Lahti Best Actress 1987 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Christine Lahti Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama 1988 Nominee


Christine Lahti
as Annie Pope
River Phoenix
as Danny Pope
Judd Hirsch
as Arthur Pope
Martha Plimpton
as Lorna Phillips
Jonas Abry
as Harry Pope
L.M. Kit Carson
as Gus Winant
Ed Crowley
as Mr. Phillips
Steven Hill
as Mr. Patterson
Augusta Dabney
as Mrs. Patterson
David Margulies
as Dr. Jonah Reiff
Leila Danette
as Maid
William Foeller
as Man at Meeting
Alice Drummond
as Mrs. Powell
Daniel Dassin
as Waiter
Carol Cavallo
as Woman at Meeting
Lynne Thigpen
as Contact at Eldridge St.
Jenny Lumet
as Music Girl
Sloane Shelton
as Mrs. Phillips
Joey Thrower
as Catcher
Marcia Jean Kurtz
as School Clerk
Sidney Lumet
Herb Lovelle
as Hospital Clerk
Bobo Lewis
as Home Ec Teacher
Donna Hanover
as Reporter
Ronnie Gilbert
as Mrs. Taylor
Angela Pietropinto
as English Teacher
Justine Johnston
as Librarian
Elzbieta Czyzewska
as Julliard Woman
Thomas Fraioli
as Violinist
Michael Boatman
as Spaulding
Burke Pearson
as Julliard Man


Sidney Lumet
Burtt Harris
Gerry Fisher
Tony Mottola
Composer (Music Score)
Andrew Mondshein
Philip Rosenberg
Production Designer
Robert Guerra
Art Director
Amy Robinson
Griffin Dunne
Burtt Harris
Executive Producer
James J. Sabat
Sound/Sound Designer
Burtt Harris
First Assistant Director
Todd Thaler
Toy Russell
Lynn Bernay