Hiding Out

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This article is about the film. For the song by thenewno2, see You Are Here (thenewno2 album). For the song by Pete Townshend, see White City: A Novel.
Hiding Out
Hiding Out (movie poster).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Bob Giraldi
Produced by Jeff Rothberg
Written by Joe Menosky
Jeff Rothberg
Music by Anne Dudley
Cinematography Daniel Pearl
Edited by Edward Warschilka
Distributed by De Laurentiis Entertainment Group
Release dates
  • November 6, 1987 (1987-11-06)
Running time
98 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $7 million
Box office $7.02 million (domestic)[1]

Hiding Out is a 1987 movie starring Jon Cryer as a state's witness who is forced to disguise himself as a high school student in order to avoid being killed by the mob.


Revealed shortly into the movie, Andrew Morenski (Cryer) and two others, all stockbrokers, have managed to pass bogus bonds for a mobster awaiting trial. After an evening out at a bar, one of the stockbrokers is killed in his home. The next morning, the FBI take the other two into protective custody. After convincing his FBI hosts that he wants breakfast and out of the safe house, Andrew and his FBI bodyguards are followed by hitmen hired to eliminate them. One of the FBI bodyguards is killed in a diner, the other injured, and Andrew flees the scene. While running from the hitmen, he manages to board a train and temporarily escapes.

Needing a safe place to hide, Andrew, under disguise, attempts to contact his cousin, Patrick, (played by Keith Coogan) and aunt (portrayed by Gretchen Cryer, Jon Cryer's real-life mother), arranging to meet the latter at the high school at which she works as a nurse. While sitting in the nurse's office, he impulsively opts to enroll, taking the name of Maxwell Hauser (off a Maxwell House coffee can) and begin high school all over again. He pulls his cousin aside and reveals himself, eventually using Patrick's house to sleep in, unbeknownst to his aunt.

Not willing to take the attitude of teachers, Andrew becomes a hero to those tired of the school's status quo, which upsets Kevin O'Roarke (played by Tim Quill), the current class president, and captures the heart of Ryan Campbell (Annabeth Gish). During an afternoon at the local diner, he accidentally drops a birthday card meant for his grandmother (who had raised him) and it gets mailed. Later, a hitman posing as an FBI agent contacts his grandmother and sees the card and its postmark, telling him where Andrew is hiding.

One night, on the way back from a date with Ryan, Patrick stops Andrew from entering the house. FBI agents have arrived, knowing Andrew is close because of his use of an ATM card. Patrick steals his mother's keys and Andrew ends up using the high school as his refuge. He meets the school janitor, Ezzard, and shares a drink with him, revealing who he truly is. Andrew embraces the opportunity to run for class president, not knowing the election committee has already decided to rig the results in favor of Kevin.

Bored with high school, Andrew decides to drop out. During the presentation of class election results, Kevin is announced the winner. However, Kevin demands a recount, which reveals that most want Andrew as class president. As Andrew starts to address the crowd, a hitman begins firing at the stage. Ezzard, watching the proceedings, manages to dispose of one of the hitmen, while the other moves up into the rafters of the gym. Andrew chases him and a spotlight is used to blind the hitman. The hitman loses his grip and falls to the gym floor below.

Images of graduation are spliced into images of Andrew taking the stand in a court against the mobster for whom he had sold the bogus bonds. After his testimony, Andrew is given a few minutes to say farewell to his grandmother before being placed in the Federal Witness Protection Program.

The last scene is of Ryan, sitting under a tree at a university. Andrew, now known as Eddie Collins, appears from behind the tree and tells her he has decided to become a teacher.



Four songs from the film's soundtrack entered the record charts in the United States: "Crying" by Roy Orbison (re-recorded as a duet with k.d. lang[2]); "Live My Life" by Boy George; "Catch Me (I'm Falling)" by Pretty Poison, which went top ten in the US and also topped the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart in September 1987; and the top-20 U.S. hit "You Don't Know" by Scarlett and Black. The UK hit "Seattle" by Public Image Ltd. was also recorded in 1987 and featured in the film.


Roger Ebert compared the film to Like Father, Like Son, also released in 1987, in that it was an "example of the newest Hollywood genre, the Generation Squeeze, in which plots artificially combine adult and teenage elements" in order to attract the latter to the movie theater while attracting enough of an adult audience for the success of the rental market.[3] Ebert describes as "dumb" the main plot device involving the gangsters' continuing pursuit of Andrew, and the story arc about the janitor he befriends, and notes that the film fails to depict how the 29-year-old protagonist could have much in common with Gish's character, who is over 10 years younger than he is.[3] He credited the film with getting him to wonder what it would be like to revisit one's high school years, but cites Peggy Sue Got Married from 1986 as a film that had portrayed that scenario much more successfully.[3]

Janet Maslin called the film "pleasant enough" with "mild" jokes that "revolve around things such as Mr. Cryer's accidentally giving tax advice to the father of a teenage girl he's dating, or his feeling out of place at the roller rink." She thought the film's conclusion suggested that Cryer "could have unexpected charm in more adult roles."[4]

The Time Out Film Guide called the film "predictable, slackly plotted nonsense, marginally redeemed by a genial young cast."[5]


  1. ^ Hiding Out at AllMovie
  2. ^ Lang much later wrote about the experience of recording Crying with Orbison in The Immortals - The Greatest Artists of All Time: 37) Roy Orbison, from Rolling Stone magazine
  3. ^ a b c Review of Hiding Out by Roger Ebert
  4. ^ Review of Hiding Out from The New York Times
  5. ^ Review of Hiding Out from the Time Out Film Guide

External links[edit]