film reel image

film reel image

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Over the Edge * * * 1/2 Stars

Picture above Over the EdgeDirector: Jonathan Kaplan
Year: 1979
Rated PG
Rating: * * * 1/2 stars
Cast: Matt Dillon, Michael Eric Kramer, Harry Northup

Over the Edge is an intense teen drama that marks the acting debut of Matt Dillon (he had no formal training before the cameras rolled). For me, this stands as one of the best films of the 1970's (released in the U.S. in 1981) and a clear bonified snapshot of that era. This is a well acted, angst driven vehicle with many unknowns (it marked the first screen appearances for a majority of the cast members). It tells the story of some troubled Colorado kids who cause havoc (gunfire, vandalism, drug dealing, etc...) in their neighborhood at the expense of their mostly misunderstood parents.

Director Jonathan Kaplan (admittedly) filmed a lot of scenes with wide shots that let things play out naturally. It's a cinematic technique that was prevalent in that decade. I found the method very effective and in turn hail this flick as a minor classic. There is a time capsule type feeling to whats on screen. It's intoxicating and "Edge" concludes with what I believe to be an ironically powerful ending. Watch for the image of Dillon (Richie White) standing on top of a police car. It's iconic!

Written by Jesse Burleson
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