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The Dark End of the Street (1981)

 -  Drama  -  February 1981 (USA)
4.5
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Ratings: 4.5/10 from 78 users  
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If a teen couple doesn't come up to confess what they know about a death of a friend, an innocent man might hang for death he didn't cause.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Laura Harrington ...
Donna
Henry Tomaszewski ...
Billy
Michele Greene ...
Marlene
...
Jimmy
Pamela Payton-Wright ...
Mary Ann
Terence Grey ...
Ethan
Albert Eaton ...
Brian
...
Detective Reynolds
George Martin ...
Salvucci
Flash Wiley ...
Mr. Thomas
Bennie Wiley ...
Mrs. Thomas
Janice Brown ...
Terry
John Sullivan ...
Jesse
Michael Pelham ...
Tucker
Michael Cambridge ...
Louie (as Brian Burke)
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If a teen couple doesn't come up to confess what they know about a death of a friend, an innocent man might hang for death he didn't cause.

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February 1981 (USA)  »

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Ben Affleck's first movie. See more »

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Referenced in Dead Teenager Movie (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Wonderful film
19 July 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Reviewer Wayne Malin got the plot a little wrong -- A teenager falls from a roof in an accident, not a murder, and as I recall (it's been a long time since I saw this film too), it's not clear at the end of the movie if his injuries are fatal. But I think he got most everything else right. Both Wayne and I may be hazy on plot details, but nevertheless we're in agreement that the emotional impact of the piece is unforgettable.

It may seem a cheap cliché' to praise a movie's "gritty realism," but I can't think of a better term for what this beautiful little film has in spades. The teenagers (and adults) in it are utterly, completely believable as they deal with poverty, racial tensions, honesty, loyalty, friendship, running away versus facing life's responsibilities. Also in the mix are some less-ennobling aspects of being human, like pointless, testosterone-fueled schoolyard one-upsmanship and plain teenaged stupidity.

This is a sadly-overlooked gem of a movie, and I hope it finds its way to DVD distribution some day.


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