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Over the Edge

( 5 )

Overview

The protagonists of Over the Edge are the teen-aged offspring of the residents of a planned suburban community. This bland little town has been designed with conformity in mind, and with no thought of making the kids' lives worth living. Even worse, there is very little opportunity for any of the teens to grow "out" of the community and live elsewhere. Consequently, the kids rebel by drinking themselves sick, dealing in drugs, and indulging in deadly violence. Inasmuch as the local cops are predisposed to beat ...
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Overview

The protagonists of Over the Edge are the teen-aged offspring of the residents of a planned suburban community. This bland little town has been designed with conformity in mind, and with no thought of making the kids' lives worth living. Even worse, there is very little opportunity for any of the teens to grow "out" of the community and live elsewhere. Consequently, the kids rebel by drinking themselves sick, dealing in drugs, and indulging in deadly violence. Inasmuch as the local cops are predisposed to beat the teens into submission, the kids retaliate by directing their frustrations at the Law; the results are tragic, to be sure, but in no way predictable. Over the Edge struck as sensitive a nerve with young 1970s moviegoers as Rebel Without a Cause did with their 1950s forebears. Matt Dillon made his screen debut in Over the Edge, distinguishing himself in an ensemble cast that also includes Vincent Spano, Andy Romano, Ellen Geer, and Harry Northrup. The screenplay was written by Charles Haas and Tim Hunter; the soundtrack songs feature the Ramones.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Tom Wiener
The kids are not all right, in the view of writers Charlie Haas and Tim Hunter and director Jonathan Kaplan, in this searingly honest film, and what makes their portrait of late '70s teen angst so powerful is its generic quality. The setting is a new suburb, bulldozed of vegetation, shorn of any personality. The school is new and as sterile as all the baseball and football parks that were erected during this period. The adults are irritable or indifferent and mostly absent. Most of the teenagers here are neither members of the National Honor Society nor any gangs, but they are all bored and angry. Michael Kramer is Carl, the linchpin character, the basically good boy who can't help but find trouble; he knows that something's happening, but he doesn't know what it is. Over the Edge can be seen as the Apocalypse Now of teen films, a journey into the heart of American darkness with an explosive ending, that, unlike the one in Rock 'n Roll High School (all three films were released the same year), is no joke.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/13/1993
  • UPC: 085392200832
  • Original Release: 1979
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Home Video
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Matt Dillon Richie White
Michael Kramer Carl Willat
Pamela Ludwig Cory
Vincent Spano Mark
Tom Fergus Claude
Harry Northrup Ed Doberman
Andy Romano Fred Willat
Ellen Geer Sandra Willat
Richard Jamison Jerry Cole
Julia Pomeroy Julia
Tiger Thompson Johnny
Jeff Fleury Young Thug
Kim Kliner Abby
Eric Lalich Tip
Lane Smith Roy Sloane
Technical Credits
Jonathan Kaplan Director
Robert Barrere Editor
Andrew Davis Cinematographer
Charles Haas Screenwriter
Tim Hunter Screenwriter
Richard Johnson Special Effects
William B. Kaplan Sound/Sound Designer
Sol Kaplan Score Composer
George Litto Producer
Anthony C. Montenaro Set Decoration/Design
Walter Mycroft Producer
Jim Newport Production Designer
Vic Ramos Casting
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

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(5)

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Eighties Cinema Began Right Here

    I've often said that 1980's cinema began and ended with a riot. We all know that it ended with the race-riot fireball that was Spike Lee's "Do The Right Thing". However, it began with the teenage white riot of "Over The Edge" in 1980. If you watch these films back to back, you'll realize that they deal with the same topics: youth alienation, being stuck in a restricted environment, a sense of feeling misunderstood, police brutality and a turbulent, violent climax, one which made many theater owners nervous. "Over The Edge" takes place in a Southwestern pre-fab community called New Granada. There, the parents are very well-to-do. The kids, on the other hand, don't have much to do. But there are a lot of them and the only place they can have any kind of recreation (or any sense of fun) is at the teen center, which is nothing more than a giant quansit hut in the Arizona desert. There's an edgy policeman who resents the kids and takes his idea of law and order a bit too literally. Eventually, these teenagers will get into drugs and violence. When one of them dies at the hands of a policeman (with an unloaded gun, no less), this sets in motion an explosive, cathartic finale, which truly signalled the end to the laid-back Seventies. This remarkable film was the work of director Jonathan Kaplan, who up until that time had made action thrillers like the truck-driver classic, "White Line Fever". The film was co-written by Tim Hunter, who would go on to become a director himself, directing such films as "River's Edge", which also dealt with troubled teenagers. However, "Over The Edge" is definitely in a class by itself. With its charging subject matter, its pulsating late Seventies rock soundtrack and an impressive movie debut by Matt Dillon, "Over The Edge" has not lost any of its white-hot intensity. And like the kids in this movie, it's ready to rear its ugly head.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Over The Edge (1979)

    I was about the same age as the kids in this film at this time (about 14), and I can tell you that our lives were not that different from theirs (except for the gun shooting). All of the feelings were there, including Carl's love for Corey (we ALL had a girl like Corey in our lives...mine was Shawnna) and the frustration of having parents who wanted you to be seen and never heard. I highly recommend this film to anyone of the right age (only because a youngster today might have trouble relating to this time). To this day, I can't watch this movie and not wish to go back in time and relive those days...even just a little.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2004

    reminds me of the good old days

    that was exactly like me and my friends in the 70s

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    THE ULTIMATE TEEN FILM

    Over the Edge is the ultimate suburban youth film, hands down the most honest depictions of teen life in Suburban America ever commited to celluloid. Based on a true story this film shows what happens when you're young, middle class, and bored sensless. Rated PG back when it was released this would definitely be rated R today, with scene after scene of VERY young kids getting wasted on alcohol and blitzed on any drug they can get their hands on, what's most shocking is the film is 30 years old but is contemporary beyond belief. Some things never change.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    AWESOME TEEN ANGST Drama

    I was 6 years old when this movie made its debut. Although I didn't fully understand the content of the picture, I have since grown to not only understand it, but I have been moved by it. It takes you (the viewer) through the desolute, often times, sheer boredom of teens with too much money and time on their hands. The ending was sad, but also represented a new beginning. Those children were warned, but sometimes the only teacher some children will listen to is the experience of LIFE.

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