Running on Empty

P is for Phoenix
Screening on Film
Directed by Sidney Lumet.
With River Phoenix, Christine Lahti, Judd Hirsch.
US, 1988, 35mm, color, 116 min.
Print source: HFA

Sidney Lumet’s investigation of the aftermath of 60s radicalism features River Phoenix as Danny, a seventeen-year-old whose teenage preoccupations with girls and school are complicated by the dark past of his ex-activist parents—fugitives on the run for having blown up a napalm research center years earlier. This coming-of-age picture with a twist explores the additional emotional burdens that a legacy of secrecy imposes on the parent-child relationship as its contrasts the markedly transformed social milieus of the 1960s and 1980s.

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Treasures from the Harvard Film Archive: Actors O–T