Boys (1996 film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed by Stacy Cochran
Produced by Paul Feldsher
Peter Frankfurt
Erica Huggins
Written by Stacy Cochran
James Salter (short story)
Starring Winona Ryder
Lukas Haas
John C. Reilly
James LeGros
Skeet Ulrich
Music by Stewart Copeland
Cinematography Robert Elswit
Edited by Camilla Toniolo
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures
Release dates
May 10, 1996
Running time
86 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $516,350

Boys is a 1996 American film starring Winona Ryder and Lukas Haas. The film was originally titled The Girl You Want. The film earned $516,350 in the United States box office. It is based on a short story called "Twenty Minutes" by James Salter.

The film is set in an East Coast boys' boarding school in the United States, and was shot in Baltimore, Maryland and on the campus of St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland, which represents the school.


John Baker Jr. (Lukas Haas) is a boy bored with his life at an upper middle class boarding school, and the prospect of his future running the family grocery store chain. He no longer sees the point in school, stating what's the difference if he gets a zero attendance for being three minutes late or skipping the whole class so he might as well skip the class. Now close to graduating from boarding school, his life is turned upside down when he rescues Patty Vare (Winona Ryder), a young woman he finds lying unconscious in a field. Patty regains consciousness that evening in John's dormitory. She stays awake long enough to tell him she will not go to a doctor, and then passes out and does not awaken until the next morning. She seems to recover completely and to be grateful for John's assistance; the two begin a romantic voyage of self-discovery. This is not without its problems, as other boys in the dorm quickly find out she is being hidden in his room, leading up to a dramatic confrontation with Baker's close friends where his 'best friend' becomes enraged and punches a wall, breaking his hand, while the two continue to argue over the reason as to why Baker has hidden her in his room.

Throughout the film, there are continuous flashbacks of Vare's past, showing her with a famous baseball player with whom she steals a car, leading up to a drunken car crash and his death (for which authorities are searching for Vare for questioning). By the end, Vare has admitted all this to Baker and informed the authorities of the location of the body and the car (as they crashed into a river). At the police station, both Baker and Vare begin to say goodbye when they unexpectedly jump into an elevator to escape from Baker's controlling father (Chris Cooper), and drive off with a car he had earlier stolen from the school.



The film was not well received upon release, and currently holds a 'rotten' 15% on review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes.[1] "Boys is a low-rent, dumbed-down version of Before Sunrise, with a rent-a-plot substituting for clever dialogue." said Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times[2]

Official soundtrack[edit]

The soundtrack to the film was released on April 9, 1996.

  1. "She's Not There" - Cruel Sea
  2. "Alright" - Cast
  3. "Gotta Know Right Now" - Smoking Popes
  4. "Honeysimple" - Scarce
  5. "Wildwood" (Sheared Wood Mix) - Paul Weller, remixed by Portishead
  6. "Colored Water" - Orbit
  7. "Sad & Beautiful World" - Sparklehorse
  8. "Fading Fast" - Kelly Willis
  9. "Tell Her This" - Del Amitri
  10. "If I Didn't Love You" - Squeeze
  11. "Inside" - Slider
  12. "Wait for the Sun" - Supergrass
  13. "Belly Laugh" - Compulsion
  14. "Begging You" - The Stone Roses
  15. "Evade Chums" - Stewart Copeland


  1. ^
  2. ^ Ebert, Roger. Boys review, Chicago Sun-Times, 10 May 1996.

External links[edit]