“Sophisticated, uncompromising and refreshingly original, it is one of those rare films which is likely to mean as much to teens as it does to their parents.” - Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times

“This is a rites of passage movie with a difference, in that it's politically intelligent and never crass.” - Geoff Andrew, Time Out

Saturday, August 10, 3:00 p.m. & Wednesday, August 14, 6:00 p.m. | In this singular and earnest portrait of family, Arthur (Judd Hirsch) and his wife Annie (Christine Lahti) are fugitives. Over a decade prior, they were responsible for anti-war protest bombing of a napalm laboratory that accidentally critically injured a janitor. Now, along with their two sonsyoung Harry and his teenage brother Danny (River Phoenix in an achingly sensitive performance that earned him an Academy Award nomination)they are perpetually on the move, dropping identities and jobs when they’ve been identified. As Danny’s burgeoning love life with a fellow classmate (an excellently grounded Martha Plimpton), and aspirations as a musician begin to complicate their volatile lifestyle, the “unit” must decide if they can keep running. With an ending that will tear you to shreds, this exceptionally compassionate story explores the question that attracted Lumet to the original, Academy Award nominated screenplay: who pays for the passion of the parents? Print provided by the Harvard Film Archive.

Awards & Nominations

Nominee - Best Actor in a Supporting Role (River Phoenix), Best Original Screenplay, Academy Awards
Winner - Best Screenplay, Golden Globes
Nominee - Best Motion Picture, Best Director, Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture (Christine Lahti), Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (River Phoenix), Golden Globes

Sidney Lumet CentennialSidney Lumet (1924–2011) was a director driven by stories of morality. Corrupt systems vs. brave protagonists, the worst of men pitted against the best, honesty in the face of hypocrisy—Lumet’s filmography reflects his dedication to championing what is true and what is just in this harsh world. To celebrate his centennial, we present 12 films by the Oscar-winning filmmaker, June 1–August 21View full series

The Film Center is ADA accessible. This presentation will be projected without open captions. The theater is hearing-loop equipped. For accessibility requests, please email filmcenter@saic.edu