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This Boy's Life Details


A single mother and her difficult son find family life isn't necessarily all it's cracked up to be in this drama adapted from writer and professor Tobias Wolff's 1989 memoir of the same name. Nomadic, flaky Caroline (Ellen Barkin) just wants to settle down in one place, find a decent guy, and provide a better home for her handful of a son, Toby (Leonardo DiCaprio). When she moves to Seattle and meets the respectful, respectable Dwight Hansen (Robert DeNiro), she thinks she's got it made. Toby, however, feels differently after spending a few months with Dwight and his children and away from Caroline. The boy's stepfather-to-be seems to want to mold Toby into a better person, but to do so he emotionally, verbally, and physically abuses the kid. The marriage proceeds, and soon Caroline, too, recognizes Dwight's need to dominate everyone around him. She sticks with it, though, convinced it's the best thing for her son, and several years of dysfunction ensue. During this time, Tobias befriends another misfit, the possibly homosexual young Jonah (Arthur Gayle), while continuing to chafe under the yoke of his repressive stepfather. This Boy's Life provided the first lead role for future superstar DiCaprio. The film was written by Robert Getchell, who also penned such mother/son fare as Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore and The Client. ~ Brian J. Dillard, Rovi


Robert De Niro
as Dwight Hansen
Ellen Barkin
as Caroline Wolff
Leonardo DiCaprio
as Toby Wolff
Jonah Blechman
as Arthur Gayle
Eliza Dushku
as Pearl
Chris Cooper
as Roy
Carla Gugino
as Norma
Zachary Ansley
as Skipper
Kathy Kinney
as Marian
Owens Hill
Robert Munns
as Ticket Seller
Tracey Ellis
as Kathy
Deanna Milligan
as Silver Sister #1
Dwight McFee
as Voice in Crowd
Thomas Kopache
as Geiger Counter Vendor
Rachel Abroms
Ken Camroux
as 2nd Place Shooter
Tobey Maguire
as Chuck Bolger
Lee Wilkof
as Principal Shippy
Bill Dow
as Vice Principal
Michael Bacall
as Terry Taylor
Tristan Tait
as Jerry Huff
Stephen E. Miller
as Target Ranger
Frank C. Turner
as Truck Driver
Gerritt Graham
as Mr. Howard
Jason Horst
as Oscar Booker


Michael Caton-Jones
Jon Peters
Peter Guber
Art Linson
Robert Getchell
Tobias Wolff
Book Author
David Watkin
Allan Mason
Musical Direction/Supervision
Carter Burwell
Composer (Music Score)
Jim Clark
Stephen Lineweaver
Production Designer
Sandy Cochrane
Art Director
Fitch Cady
Jim Erickson
Set Designer
Richard Hornung
Costume Designer
Nick Lawson
Special Effects
Bill Westley
First Assistant Director
Rose Mihalyi
Camera Operator
Stan McClain
Camera Operator
Michael Roberts
Camera Operator
Gary McLarty
Fred Perron
David Jacox
Cole McLarty
Michael Langlois
Ric Waugh
Marcia Holley
John Polce
Cotton Mather
Rachel Abroms
Owens Hill
Christopher Flick
Foley Editor
Yvonne Melville
Production Coordinator
Donah Bassett
Negative Cutter
Mike Vezina
Special Effects Coordinator
Penny Gibbs
Production Coordinator
Gary A. Hecker
Foley Mixer
Kevin Speckmaier
Third Assistant Director
Cam North
First Assistant Camera
Ellen Ryba
Tim Chilton
Foley Artist
Mary Zophres
Assistant Costume Designer
Peter Lonsdale
Associate Editor
Mike Fantasia
Location Manager
Rory Moffatt
Transportation Captain
Victor Zolfo
Assistant Set Decorator
Michael Herbick
Re-Recording Mixer
Dan Cervin
Special Effects Technician
Sonny Kompanek
Heather Murphy
Production Coordinator
Jan Kobylka
Construction Coordinator
Takashi Seida
Still Photographer
Christine Danelski
Foley Editor
Grant Swain
Properties Master
Rob Young
Production Sound Mixer
Jill Schachne
Foley Artist
Jo-Anne Smith-Ojeil
Brigitte Prochaska
Unit Publicist
Rachel Leiterman
Second Assistant Director