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|
|Budget||$6.5 million (est.)|
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 Mary Stuart Masterson, Sean's brother Chris Penn, Crispin Glover, Kiefer Sutherland, and Eileen Ryan (the Penns' real-life mother) in supporting roles.
The film was critically acclaimed.
Brad Whitewood, Sr. (Christopher 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 Homeville, 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. All of them are bailed out except Brad, Jr.
During Brad, Jr.'s time in jail, another member of the gang receives a grand jury subpoena. Brad, Sr. believes that they will inform on him, so he rapes Brad's girlfriend, Terry (Masterson), as a warning. 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 and orders a hit against Brad, Jr., who is seriously wounded, Terry is also killed. Brad, Jr. threatens his father with a gun, intending to kill him, but decides that he wants Brad, Sr. to "die every day for the rest of his life," and instead testifies against him in court. His father is sentenced to life in prison.
- 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 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)
Despite the accolades and warm reviews, the film was not a box office success. It grossed a total of $2,347,000 at the North American box office during its theatrical run in 83 theaters, earning less than its production budget of $6.5 million.
- "At Close Range". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 16, 2015.
- "Berlinale: 1986 Programme". berlinale.de. Retrieved 2011-01-14.
- At Close Range Movie Review & Film Summary (1986) | Roger Ebert