Because he's the oldest, Jake has been the man of the house, since his parents divorce. When Mom starts seeing Sam, who always seems to be trying some new way to get rich quick, and ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher Collet ...
Jake Livingston
Brian Livingston
Mr. Rader
Richard Brandon ...
Alan Livingston (Dad)
Gayle Harbor ...
Ellen Barber ...
Wendy's Girlfriend Pat
Richard E. Szlasa ...
Coach Gant
Beverly May ...
Mrs. Mercer
Brian Lima ...


Because he's the oldest, Jake has been the man of the house, since his parents divorce. When Mom starts seeing Sam, who always seems to be trying some new way to get rich quick, and declares he's the man of the house now, Jake puts up with it. Until he discovers Sam's illegal activities. Written by Brian W Martz <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Jake Livingston had to grow up fast...Because his mother didn't. See more »


Drama | Thriller


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

26 October 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

First Born  »

Box Office


$6,200,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The scene where "Jake" (on a motorbike) is being pursued by "Sam" in the SUV, was filmed in Morristown, New Jersey. In an attempt to shake off Sam, Jake gets up on the New Jersey Transit tracks, and is soon overtaken by a NJT commuter train. During the sequence, which involved several takes, veteran stuntman Bill Anagnos (doubling Chris Collet) was actually struck by the train, and was knocked off the right-of-way, suffering a broken leg. With heavy editing of the previous takes, the accident was not shown, and the film progressed from there. After a long period of painful recuperation, Bill Anagnos eventually returned to stunt work. See more »


Jake: Did you spit in this?
Brian: No, I forgot.
See more »


Gimme Some Lovin'
by Steve Winwood (as S. Winwood), Spencer Davis (as S. Davis) and Muff Winwood (as M. Winwood)
The Spencer Davis Group
See more »

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User Reviews

Family Scars
3 February 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Abuse is always one of the issues that emotionally cut me, it doesn't matter what age you are it's always the worst experience for anyone to have not so much on the threat of being hit but how much it truly destroys the life of the victim.

This is one of my favorite dramas and films of all time. It's true it's not exactly the most uplifting but at the same time it sort of is in a way because the protagonist does what any person in that situation should do fight back. I feel it deals with the issue of abuse well by not being heavy handed or preachy.

The score I think is great it has one of my favorite themes of all time. I really like the characters from some supporting characters like Sarah Jessica Parker as Lisa whom at the time I thought was cute and kinda hot is Jake's significant other. I like the chemistry between them it felt like any other young teen romance. Even best friend Lee played well by Robert Downey Jr. whom is a fun character he's kinda a loose fun sort of guy from his wardrobe reminds me a bit of Ducky's from "Pritty in Pink". Though these two I don't feel have enough scenes with Jake which to me is the only weak point of the film, I kinda would of liked to see both of them have a hand in Jake's dilemma and help him though it somehow.

Even young Corry Haim whom is one of my favorite young actors in the 80's and is sadly no longer with us is great. Playing a young brother that isn't a stereotypical annoyance but feel like a actual brother. I like the chemistry between both Jake and him which I feel really carries out the film. You feel pathos for both of them for what they are forced to go though and how it's affecting their lives. It also made me worry for both their lives as things escalate.

Though of course my favorite character is Jake played by Christopher Collet whom I think is an underrated actor. It's a real shame he didn't become one of the big stars in the 80's this actor I felt had a lot of potential. Anyway his character is great, he plays sports but he's not a jock which I like, let alone he plays Lacrose which was something one of my cousins did. I like that he has charisma, humor, and he's also one of my favorite fictional heroes because he doesn't bend or take crap from anyone, and he knows when enough is enough to take action.

One of the highlight no doubt is that scene with the English teacher whom is just a complete blowhole gives Jake a failing grade on purpose despite Jake actually worked hard and put effort into it. That's like some blowhole assistant manager complain about tables that are perfectly clean despite being the one that cleaned it up well, it makes no damn sense. Sometimes the problem with authoritative positions are they just breed blowholes and that's not right, just because you have power doesn't give you the right to abuse it, it's not a toy. That pushes Jake over the edge and he then does what I feel any person in that situation should do stand up for himself, I couldn't help but cheer.

It's really surreal seeing one of my favorite actors Peter Weler play a villain; but then a lot of other actors I know and like had there start doing that. Here he plays a villain you just plain hate and that's the point because scumbags like Sam actually exist.

Sam is just horrible, throughout most of the film I just wanted to beat the living crap out of him. The guy is pretty much a loser, he's a drug dealer as well as drugy, flaky, full of bull crap but worst of all completely abusive and acts like he own everyone and everything.

From little moments like when Sam then says some bull crap about playing Jake's records without permission from Jake. That's like someone taking some of my video games or DVD/Blu Rays and playing them without asking me, that tees me off because not asking anyone's permission to use personal property is practically steeling.

Or one really big moment when Sam comes close to crossing the line about to hit Jake and Brian I thought "cmon Sam, lets go right now!" Sorry that sounded bold but that scene made my blood boil to raging hot.

We see how things get worse with Sam's presence even to the point of scary. The house we see gets messier, well may'be not to the point of being a crap hole but you know that it will get there if he's still around.

Wendy is a character I don't hate but more like disappointed with as are the kids because you feel she should know better but due to her desperation she's ignoring all common sense and completely irresponsible, which is common with most in that state.

One scene that made me want to yell at her was when Jake lied to his real father for his mom over the phone that everything was fine and after that call it looked like Jake was about to cry. It was heart sinking and almost put a tear in my eye and made me really mad at Wendy I thought "Can't you see what is happening to your family!" Part of the suspense is hoping she's get her common sense back while she still has a family.

The film I do feel has a good message about always standing up to abusers, don't let them control your lives they own nobody.

Sometimes the young are a lot more grown up than you think.

Rating: 4 stars

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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