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That Was Then... This Is Now (1985)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  8 November 1985 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 1,668 users  
Reviews: 28 user | 7 critic

Two juvenile delinquents find themselves growing apart, for one is growing up, and the other is staying young and reckless.



(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bryon Douglas
Terry Jones
Matthew Dudley ...
Curly Shepard
Angela Shepard
Mrs. Douglas
Frank Howard ...
M & M Carlson
Charlie Woods
Mr. Carlson (as Frank McCarthy)
Diane Dorsey ...
Mrs. Carlson
Mike Chambers (as Ramon Sheen)
David Miller ...
Steven Pringle ...
Dirty Dave
Robert Swan ...
Smitty (as Bob Swan)


A delinquent teenager's only link to society is the attachment he feels towards an older brother-figure. When the older boy starts spending time with a new girlfriend, the teenager begins to feel even more alienated, and gets involved with drugs and the police. Written by Cynan Rees <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


From the Author of "The Outsiders" and "Rumble Fish"


Crime | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

8 November 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Força da Inocência  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to her website, this is the only film adaption of her book that author S.E. Hinton was not directly involved in. See more »


In just about every scene where a bus is involved, it's bus #461. See more »


Mark Jennings: Let's move out... Teabag!
See more »


References The Outsiders (1983) See more »


Last Ride
Performed by Keith Olsen and Bill Cuomo
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User Reviews

Decent film on it's own, but not as good as the book.
1 June 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

That Was Then...This Is Now is decent 80s Teen film and although it is filled with good direction and great performances it is still the weakest S.E Hinton film adaptation but still has good things about it.

Based on S.E Hinton's novel,That Was Then...This Is Now tells the story of Bryon(Craig Sheiffer)and Mark(Emilo Estevez)two teens that have been best friends since childhood almost like brothers,stealing cars,getting Into fights with rivals,and living carefree, but when Bryon starts dating a girl from their childhood named Cathy(Kim Delaney),a tragic event that changes their lives and their teenage years fading away they both realize that That Was Then...This Is Now.

S.E Hinton is one of my favorite authors and I had seen the film adaptations The Outsiders,Rumble Fish and Tex and loved them and also read her books and loved them as well. That Was Then...This Is Now was a great book that I loved but was the only film adaptation I hadn't seen. I finally saw this film and while the film is not as good as the book there is still some good and decent things about the film. The movie That Was Then...This Is Now is easily the weakest of the S.E Hinton film adaptations and they're things that work and don't work. One of the things that works is the main characters,realistic feel and atmosphere. Bryon and Mark's relationship in the film authentic and real and you feel like they could be real brothers,especially since they're living in a harsh setting and you feel like Bryon and Mark would have each other's back no matter what. When things start to fall apart for Bryon and Mark and the characters start arguing and fighting with each other and Bryon and Mark's friendship and since of brotherhood starts to become strained and it's very believable and at times sad. The film depicts a dark and dangerous teenage world where things such as gang violence,fighting,drug use and drinking seems to always be the norm for Bryon and Mark as well as other characters who going by the laws of the streets and the film's atmosphere is sometimes very bleak and downbeat. The film also has a dark,gritty film-noir feel to it that you didn't see a lot in Teen Films at the time with great harsh lighting and photography and that's one of the things that I like about the film is that the photography gives the film a since of darkness and reality. Although the movie is well filmed and has great lighting it lacks the great and powerful cinematic feel that the other S.E Hinton movie adaptations The Outsiders,Rumble Fish and Tex had. The screenplay written by Estevez while good lacks the emotional punch that Hinton's novel had and the screenplay feels limited. Where In Hinton's novel we got to know more about the characters and there was more scenes with the characters,in the film we know the characters but there Isn't enough time in the film for development for the characters and the friendship between Bryon and Mark feels underdeveloped and small in the film compared to the book. I don't understand why the location and time period were changed from Oklahoma to Minnesota from 60's to 80's. I guess one of the main reasons the time period was changed was because of budget costs,but the location and time period change killed some of the important elements in the book and I guess Paramount Pictures and the filmmakers wanted something that teens in the 80s could relate to. And speaking of changes the biggest change and difference from the book is the movie's ending which destroy's the greatness of the novel's ending and it rings completely false. Where's the novel's ending was more powerful and sad the movie's is predictable and didn't belong in this film. Maybe because the novel's ending was very sad and truly pessimistic the ending had to change because in the 1980s optimistic endings were more accepted and sad endings such as the sad ending in the book weren't allowed during the 1980s. It's not Emilio Estevez's fault though blame Paramount Studios who told Estevez to change the ending in his screenplay.

The cast does a good job in their roles. Emilio Estevez(who also wrote the screenplay)does a excellent job as Mark,bringing humor,anger and sadness to the role. Craig Sheiffer does a fantastic job as Bryon and has an good chemistry with Estevez. Morgan Freeman does a great job as Charlie the bartender the only grown up friend of Bryon and Mark. Kim Delaney does a wonderful job as Cathy,Bryon's girlfriend. Jill Schoelen gives a fabulous performance as Angela,Bryon's ex-girlfriend. Barbara Babcock is wonderful as Bryon's mom. Frank Howard does a great job as M&M,Cathy's spaced-out brother. Larry B. Scott gives a funny and memorable performance as Bryon and Mark's friend Terry.

Christopher Cain does a fine job directing the film,bringing lots of energy and atmosphere to the film and always moving the camera.

The score by Bill Cuomo and Keith Olsen is good and adds to the film's tone and feel. I also like songs Just Another Day(Oingo Boingo)and the title song That Was Then...This Is Now(Randy Wayne and Carroll Sue Hill).

Overall That Was Then...This Is Now is a decent film on It's own with fine acting from the cast and good direction,but as an adaptation of the novel it's lacks what made the book so great. Recommended 7.5/10.

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