At Close Range
|At Close Range|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||James Foley|
|Produced by||Don Guest
|Screenplay by||Nicholas Kazan|
|Story by||Elliott Lewitt
|Music by||Patrick Leonard|
|Cinematography||Juan Ruiz Anchía|
|Edited by||Howard E. Smith|
|Distributed by||Orion Pictures Corporation|
|Running time||111 minutes|
At Close Range is a 1986 crime drama film directed by James Foley, based on the real life rural Pennsylvania crime family led by Bruce Johnston, Sr. which operated during the 1960s and 1970s. It stars Sean Penn and Christopher Walken, with Chris Penn, Mary Stuart Masterson, and Crispin Glover in supporting roles.
Brad Whitewood, Sr. (Walken) is the leader of an organized crime family. One night, his estranged oldest son, Brad, Jr. (Sean Penn), contacts him after a fight with his mother's boyfriend and stays with him at his home in Hulmeville, Pennsylvania. Eventually, he becomes involved with his father's criminal activities, and starts a gang with his half-brother, Tommy (Chris Penn). The boys attempt a daring heist, which results in their arrest. Their father believes that his sons will inform on him, so he rapes Brad's girlfriend, Terry (Masterson), as a warning.
The attack has the opposite effect as Brad, Jr. begins informing the authorities about his father's activities. Brad, Sr. feels his only recourse is to eliminate every witness that can connect him with his sons and their gang. He kills Tommy himself, but orders a hit against Brad, Jr. and Terry, who is killed. Brad, Jr. threatens his father with a gun, but decides that he wants Brad, Sr. to "die every day for the rest of his life," and instead testifies against him in court.
- Sean Penn as Bradford "Brad" Whitewood, Jr
- Christopher Walken as Bradford "Brad" Whitewood, Sr.
- Mary Stuart Masterson as Terry
- Chris Penn as Thomas "Tommy" Whitewood
- Millie Perkins as Julie
- Eileen Ryan as Grandma
- Tracey Walter as Uncle Patch Whitewood
- R. D. Call as Dickie
- David Strathairn as Tony Pine
- J. C. Quinn as Boyd
- Candy Clark as Mary Sue
- Jake Dengel (fr) as Lester
- Kiefer Sutherland as Tim
- Crispin Glover as Lucas
- Stephen Geoffreys as Aggie
- Alan Autry as Ernie
- Noelle Parker as Jill
- Nominated Golden Bear, 36th Berlin International Film Festival.
- Winner ASCAP Film & Television Music Award - Most Performed Song from Motion Picture ("Live to Tell"); awarded to performer Madonna
- Winner BMI Film & TV Award - Most Performed Song from a Film ("Live to Tell"); awarded to composer Patrick Leonard
- Nominated Casting Society of America - Best Casting in Feature Film (Risa Bramon Garcia, Billy Hopkins)
The film grossed a total of $2,347,000 at the North American box office during its theatrical run in 83 theaters.
UCLA professor Peter Reiher said this about the film: "At Close Range isn't particularly good entertainment, nor is it moving, nor instructive, except for incipient cinematographers and directors. A good story has gone to waste, and there is no need for most people to bother checking out the obscured virtues of the film. Those who have never understood what 'overdirected' means might want to see At Close Range, if they really want to fill this minor gap in their film knowledge." 
- "Berlinale: 1986 Programme". berlinale.de. Retrieved 2011-01-14.
- At Close Range Movie Review & Film Summary (1986) | Roger Ebert
- Peter Reiher, "At Close Range" Review. http://lasr.cs.ucla.edu/reiher/reviews/close.rng.html
- At Close Range at the Internet Movie Database
- At Close Range at Rotten Tomatoes
- At Close Range at AllMovie