Born Into Exile

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Born Into Exile
Directed by Eric Laneuville
Produced by Dennis Murphy
Betsy Schechter
Written by Kathleen Rowell
Danielle Hill
Starring Mark-Paul Gosselaar
Gina Philips
Music by Dana Kaproff
Cinematography Steven Shaw
Edited by Stephen Lovejoy
Distributed by NBC
Release date
March 17, 1997
Running time
105 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Born Into Exile is a 1997 television film directed by Eric Laneuville. It featured Seann William Scott in one of his early roles.


Holly Nolan is a 14-year-old, dealing with stuff most girls her age deal with, including peer pressure. Always wanting to hang out with the older crowd, she meets and falls in love with Chris, a 19-year-old guy who was rejected by his family. He is now hoping to visit college and go into forestry once he is out of the military reserve force. When her recently divorced and overly protective mother Donna finds out about their relationship, she is outraged, forbidding her from ever seeing him again. Holly, upset that her mother doesn't want to give him a chance because of his age, responds furious when she kicks him out of her yard. She secretly sneaks out and decides to run away with him to start a new life in California.

They soon find out that traveling without money is difficult. This is only more hardened by a lecherous trucker and coincidental change of routes. They end up having to break the law to survive, by starting to steal. Once in Southern California, they soon find out they have nowhere to go. They pass up an offer from the church, but soon discover they can't support on their family either. Chris is looked for because of his desertion and Donna is contacting the police to find her daughter, threatening to sue Chris for statutory rape. Realizing she is in love with him, Holly decides to ignore her mother and stick with Chris. However, this proves to be exhausting. She is even one night arrested for supposedly being a street prostitute and Chris eventually turns to male prostitution on the streets of Los Angeles to collect money for food.


Production and reception[edit]

The story was written to confront people about the then huge amount of teenage runaways. It was initially to be an ABC Afterschool Special and received support from music bands, claiming it could have positive influence. The project was then shelved, until it was picked up a year later as a NBC made-for-television film.[1]

The film received generally positive reviews. Variety was exceptionally positive about the film, praising the story, the characters, the cinematography and Talia Shire's acting performance.[2] The New York Times was less praiseful, criticizing the way the story was told, stating it was not sordidly. However, the newspaper praised the director and musical score.[3]


  1. ^ RUNAWAY STRAIN Los Angeles Times
  2. ^ Review Variety
  3. ^ Review Summary The New York Times

External links[edit]