Unheralded for the substantial talent he was, film-maker Frank Perry will probably be best remembered for the execrable Mommie Dearest (1981) instead of tender, emotive movies such as David and Lisa and this unnerving teenage odyssey.
It contains some of the finest youth performances in American film. Barbara Hershey excels as Sandy, the sadistic young tease ultimately responsible for creating a jealousy with brutal and tragic consequences, and the performances Perry elicits from the boys Richard Thomas and Bruce Davison helped them to sterling careers after this movie.
Oscar-nominated Catherine Burns proved harder to cast later on, but her brilliant acting illuminates this film.
A brave, unsentimental, ultimately callous rite-of-passage movie, which deserves attention and respect.