Ambitious high-school football player, Stef Djordjevic (Tom Cruise) and his girlfriend (Lea Thompson) dream of winning the college scholarships that will enable them to leave their depressed Pennsylvania steel town, but Stef’s ambitions are threatened by his hard-nosed sports coach.
Already a respected cinematographer, Michael Chapman made his directorial debut with this authentic portrait of small-town life. Indeed, it’s such a well-rounded film that it makes his decision to return to cinematography – following criticism handed out to his follow-up, The Clan of the Cave Bear (1986) – all the more disappointing.
The turbulent relationship between Cruise and his coach (Craig T Nelson) is convincingly established, as is the rather sweet pairing of Cruise and his girlfriend.
Even the gridiron action smacks of the real thing, as does the sense of just how much high-school ball games mean to the local community.
Craig T Nelson
James A Baffico
Donald A Yanessa