8 Seconds

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8 Seconds
Theatrical release poster
Directed by John G. Avildsen
Produced by Clyde LeVin
Danny DeVito
Tony Mark
Jeffery Swab
Written by Monte Merrick
Starring Luke Perry
Stephen Baldwin
Music by Bill Conti
Cinematography Victor Hammer
Edited by J. Douglas Seelig
Jersey Films
Distributed by New Line Cinema
Release dates
  • February 25, 1994 (1994-02-25)
Running time
105 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $7 million
Box office $19,623,396[1]

8 Seconds is a 1994 American biographical drama film directed by John G. Avildsen. Its title refers to the length of time a bull rider is required to stay on for a ride to be scored. It stars Luke Perry as American rodeo legend Lane Frost and focuses on his life and career as a bull riding champion. It also features Stephen Baldwin as Tuff Hedeman, and Red Mitchell as Cody Lambert. Notably, there is an early appearance by Renée Zellweger.

The film was completed and premiered shortly after what would have been Lane's 30th birthday, in late 1993.


While growing up in Oklahoma, young Lane Frost (Cameron Finley) learns the tricks of the bull riding trade at the hand of his father, Clyde (James Rebhorn), an accomplished rodeo bronco rider himself. As he enters his teenage and early adult years, Lane (Luke Perry) travels the western rodeo circuit with his best friends Tuff Hedeman (Stephen Baldwin) and Cody Lambert (Red Mitchell). He meets and falls in love with a young barrel racer, Kellie Kyle, and they eventually marry in 1984.

As Lane's legend and fame increase, so does the amount of pressure he puts on himself, to be what everyone wants him to be, and he wants to show that he is as good as they say he is. His ascent to the world championship is marred by a cheating incident, questions about Kellie's devotion, and a near broken neck. The film also follows him through the true life series between himself and Red Rock, a bull that no cowboy had ever been able to stay on for 8 seconds. It cuts the series down to three rides. In 1989, he is the second-to-last rider at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo. While riding on the bull known as "Takin' Care Of Business", he dismounts after his 8 second ride but the bull turns back and hits him in the side with his horn, breaking some ribs and severing a main artery. As a result of excessive internal bleeding, he dies on the arena floor before he can be transported to the hospital.

The final scene shows Hedeman later that same year at the National Finals Rodeo riding for the world championship. After the 8 second bell sounds, he continues to ride and stays on an additional 8 seconds as a tribute to his fallen best friend.


Differences from reality[edit]

One of the film's major differences is Lane's relationship with his father, Clyde. The film portrays him as wanting to prove himself to Clyde to earn his respect. In reality, they both had a great relationship in which Clyde never pushed him to pursue bull riding and always supported his career.

Lane and Kellie were married on January 5, 1985, at the United Methodist Church in Quanah, Texas, rather than at her parents' ranch. During their marriage, as his rodeo career and World Champion duties kept him away from home for extended periods of time, there were conflicts between the two of them. During early 1988, they did separate for a brief period of time. He worked hard to win her back. She was there to watch him win the final match of the "Challenge of the Champions" with the bull Red Rock.[2]

Lane was not matched up with Red Rock at any point during the 1987 National Finals Rodeo. Also, he was challenged to ride him seven times at seven different rodeos...not three times at the same rodeo. He ended up riding him successfully four out of seven times.

Lane's older sister, Robin, and younger brother, Cody, are neither mentioned nor seen at any time in the film.

None of Lane's family members, including Kellie, were present at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo on July 30, 1989. It was also a very rainy and muddy day, and not sunny and dusty as seen in the film.


The film gained a mixed reception.[3] It currently holds a 33% "Rotten" rating from critics.[4]



External links[edit]