Joe Rasnick (Michael J Fox) scrapes together a living and plays in a band (the Barbusters) in his spare time with his sister Patti (Joan Jett), who has a young child. They find it hard to make ends meet but decide to go on the road, despite the vigorous objections of their religious mother (Gena Rowlands).
Writer/director Paul Schrader’s attempt to graft his favourite theme of moral redemption on to a story of rock ‘n’ roll gets hopelessly bogged down in the sort of soul-searching and family strife one finds in Arthur Miller or Eugene O’Neill plays.
To make things worse, Fox is badly miscast as a factory worker-cum-rock singer from small-time, working-class Cleveland.
The film stumbles towards that most wretched of movie clichés – the terminal disease – which provokes even more soul-searching.
The title song is by Bruce Springsteen.
Michael J Fox
Thomas G Waites
Paul J Harkins
Billy L Sullivan
Reverend John Ansley