At Close Range

At Close Range

4.7 8
Director: James Foley

Cast: James Foley, Sean Penn, Christopher Walken, Mary Stuart Masterson

     
 

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Amazingly, At Close Range was based on a true story. Bored teenager Sean Penn meets his prodigal father (Christopher Walken) for the first time in years. Though Penn is vaguely aware that his father is a criminal, he is nonetheless impressed by his dad's high life style and creature comforts. But Walken's veneer of charm is fragile indeed, and it becomes clearSee more details below

Overview

Amazingly, At Close Range was based on a true story. Bored teenager Sean Penn meets his prodigal father (Christopher Walken) for the first time in years. Though Penn is vaguely aware that his father is a criminal, he is nonetheless impressed by his dad's high life style and creature comforts. But Walken's veneer of charm is fragile indeed, and it becomes clear that he is willing to kill anyone--even his family--if they get in his way. When Walken rapes Penn's girl friend (Mary Stuart Masterson) to keep the boy from cooperating with the DA, it is only a warm-up for the horrors to come. The screenplay for At Close Range was written by Nicholas Kazan, the son of prominent film director Elia Kazan.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Karl Williams
A superbly written and acted film based loosely on real-life events, this intense crime drama is a major artistic success for all concerned, especially stars Christopher Walken and Sean Penn in two of their best roles, as well as screenwriter Nicholas Kazan and director James Foley. The latter's style might strike some viewers as too cool, remote, or austere, but this nearly documentary-like approach allows the cast room to stretch and improvise while slyly emphasizing the picture's similarity to the classic In Cold Blood (1967). However, the film is definitely not a docudrama, the director reminding viewers of the emotionally potent subtext with subtle, symbolic transitions in which such incongruous, attention-getting images as bound chicken talons or singing lips suddenly appear. His is the art of transcending the establishing shot by going for something a little more penetrating. Walken and Penn are marvels of nuance employed in the arts of linguistic inflection and the physicality of inhabiting a character with one's entire body, from the way they laugh to how they walk. (Just watch Penn as he shifts from a cocky swagger that emanates down from his shoulders, moving like nothing so much as a suit buoyed by a massive hanger, to a defeated, slump-shouldered shuffle by the finale). Kazan goes light on dialogue but what's there is charged with unspoken meaning, while visual cues and arresting images tell the story. All of this shows the mark of a great screenwriter enjoying a meeting of the minds with a director who gets it. At Close Range (1986) is one of the best examples of its genre from the 1980s.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/07/2000
UPC:
0027616854254
Original Release:
1986
Rating:
R
Source:
Mgm (Video & Dvd)

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Sean Penn Brad Whitewood, Jr.
Christopher Walken Brad Whitewood, Sr.
Mary Stuart Masterson Terry
Chris Penn Tommy Whitewood
Millie Perkins Julie Whitewood
Candy Clark Mary Sue
Eileen Ryan Grandmother
Alan Autry Ernie
R.D. Call Dickie Whitewood
Tracey Walter Patch
J.C. Quinn Boyd
David Strathairn Tony Pine
Jake Dengel Lester
Crispin Glover Lucas
Kiefer Sutherland Tim
Noelle Parker Jill
Marshall Fallwell Bartender
Charles Tatoo Jensen Older Guy
Stephen Geoffreys Aggie
Paul Herman Salesman
Gary Gober District Attorney
Doug Anderson Marshall
Nancy Sherburne Waitress
Terry Baker Customer
Michael Edwards 1st Car Slaesman
Myke R. Mueller 2nd Car Salesman
Bob McDivitt Farmer with Shotgun
bonita Hall Buxom Woman
Terri Coulter Barroom Dancer
Anna Levine Barroom Dancer
Janie Draper Stripper
E.R. Davies Detective Mosker
James Foley Assistant District Attorney

Technical Credits
James Foley Director
Richard Arrington Makeup
Risa Bramon Casting
Adams Calvert Special Effects
Burt Dalton Special Effects
John Daly Executive Producer
Derek Gibson Executive Producer
Don Guest Producer
Billy Hopkins Casting
Peter Jamison Production Designer
Nicholas Kazan Original Story,Screenwriter
Patrick Leonard Score Composer
Elliott Lewitt Original Story,Producer
Mark Ragland Set Decoration/Design
Hilary M. Rosenfeld Costumes/Costume Designer
Juan Ruiz-Anchia Cinematographer
Howard E. Smith Editor
Chuck Waters Stunts
R. Chris Westlund Set Decoration/Design

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