A free-spirited 15-year-old girl flirts with a dangerous stranger in the Northern California suburbs and must prepare herself for the frightening and traumatic consequences.

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2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Arnold Friend
...
Connie
...
Katherine
...
Laura
Sara Inglis ...
Jill (as Sarah Inglis)
...
Harry
...
June
Geoff Hoyle ...
Ellie
...
Jeff
David Berridge ...
Eddie
Cab Covay ...
Pick-up Driver
Michael French ...
Stan
Joy Carlin ...
Laura's Mother
Mark McKay ...
Bobby King
Carl Mueller ...
Mall Boy
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Storyline

Based on the short story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" by Joyce Carol Oates, this film chronicles 15-year-old Connie Wyatt's sexual awakening in the Northern California suburbs. Before she enters her sophomore year in high school, she spends the summer moping around her family cottage. Connie passes the time cruising the shopping mall with her friends and flirting with boys at a local burger stand. However, her flirting begins to get out of hand when the mysterious stranger Arnold Friend takes an interest in her. Written by Eric Zuckerman <zuckermn@humans-only.slip.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

17 November 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bedrohliches Geflüster  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When the girls are looking across the street at Franks drive-in we see the gold Pontiac already in the lot, easy to pick out due to the left brake light being out. Then we hear the car coming down the road and see it turn into the parking lot, also sporting the non working light. See more »

Quotes

Connie: You don't understand. I mean, it's not what you think. I'd never do that. It's just... the boys are so nice to you. When we're together... I never knew it was gonna be so nice. Did you ever have a boy hold you close and sing to you? This one boy, Eddie... he sang to me right in my ear. And he held me so sweetly. June, don't you know how that feels? Just to be held like that?
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Connections

Featured in Siskel & Ebert: On the Sunny Side of the Screen (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Seduction
Performed by Richard Taylor and David Carlson
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User Reviews

 
Where is she going?
24 August 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

This film showed the arrival of Laura Dern, one of the most gifted actresses of her generation, to full realization. Under Joyce Chopra's direction, Ms. Dern proved she could carry this picture, as well as any other, just on the strength of her portrayal of Connie, the rebellious California teen ager, who experiences life and cruelty in ways she never expected.

If anything, the film might send some viewers to read some of Joyce Carol Oates novels for she is an original and important voice in American letters. Ms. Joyce is a prolific and generous writer who shows a sensibility toward young women in trouble, as it was the case with her magnificent "We Were the Mulvaneys", among other novels.

When we first meet Connie, she seems to be a careless teen ager from rural California, hanging in the local mall with her best friends Jill and Laura. There is trouble at home. Connie is a rebel and her relationship with her mother, Katherine, is not exactly the best. Connie is seen with Laura experiencing with local boys the rituals of flirting.

Connie gets much more than what she bargains for, when the mysterious Arnold Friend keeps turning at the hamburger joint where she hangs out with Laura. Arnold is a creepy individual who, being older, and more experienced man in matters of sex, shows up one Sunday, while her family is away, to entice the young girl with his "smooth talk". This long sequence shows Connie as the vulnerable young woman she is, accosted by a young man intent in getting what he wants.

To say that Laura Dern is perfect in the film, is not to do her justice. She is the whole movie. Her expressions, her reactions, are nothing short of what one would expect from a young woman in the same situation. Treat Williams makes a great appearance as the menacing Arnold. Mary Kay Place, as the mother is also good, as well as the rest of the ensemble playing cast.

Joyce Chopra shows she is a director who likes to takes risks by creating an original film out of Ms. Oates short story.


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