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Light of Day (1987)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Music  |  6 February 1987 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 1,848 users  
Reviews: 40 user | 15 critic

The siblings Patty and Joe Rasnick live in an industrial suburb in Cleveland, Ohio. While Patty is focused on their rock band, The Barbusters, Joe also cares for the family and the ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeanette Rasnick
Bu Montgomery
Cindy Montgomery
Michael Dolan ...
Gene Bodine
Paul J. Harkins ...
Billy Tettore
Benji Rasnick (as Billy Sullivan)
Benjamin Rasnick
Reverend Ansley
Jerry Gideon ...
Cherise Vonae Haugen ...
Yvette Heyden ...


The siblings Patty and Joe Rasnick live in an industrial suburb in Cleveland, Ohio. While Patty is focused on their rock band, The Barbusters, Joe also cares for the family and the upbringing of Patty's young son, Benji. Their pious mother reproaches them for their way of life, especially when they quit their jobs and go on tour, taking Benji with them. However, when their mother is dying of terminal cancer, they return home and resolve their problems with her. Written by Tom Zoerner <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


"La rage au ventre, la musique dans la peau." (Rage in the belly, music in the skin) - France DVD case See more »


Drama | Music


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

6 February 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Born in the U.S.A.  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$10,489,617 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


This is one of the very few projects that Michael J. Fox has smoked in front of the camera; although a chain smoker, he avoided being photographed with a cigarette out of fear that it would encourage smoking. See more »


Smittie: [Joe pays Smittie for some tools Patti stole from his brother-in-law] I like you, you're all right. You've got real family loyalty. Too bad your sister ain't worth it!
See more »


References The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet (1952) See more »


Twist It Off
Written by Jimmie Vaughan, Kim Wilson, Fran Christina and Preston Hubbard
Published by Fab Bird Music - BMI
Administered by Bug Music - BMI
Performed by The Fabulous Thunderbirds
Courtesy of CBS Associated Labels
See more »

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User Reviews

See it in your life at least once.
4 December 2006 | by (NYC, New York) – See all my reviews

Back when I was 21, I went with a few friends to see another film (I forget which, now) that had sold out, leaving us with this film as an option that we took.

I was so pleasantly surprised that a film I would otherwise never have bothered with turned out to be so resonant with me.

I expected a teenybopper rock'n'roll picture. This film is nothing close to that. This is a gritty, hard-edged slice of life. It is full of realistic human emotion and genuine observation of actual "rock'n'roll" lifestyle, which for the vast majority of rockers means nightly sharing of a van and a motel room and splitting up a few hundred bucks five or six ways before expenses. The scene in "Motel Hell" where Fox doles out the money (after enumerating the expenses including "forty-five dollars for that tire, and eighteen for the Chinese feast") just struck such a ringingly true chord with me.

The secondary drama, which plays out as you understand that the primary drama (will the band make it?) is already moot (Fox knows that the Barbusters have no chance; Jett continues to chase the dream regardless) commences with the discovery of their mother's illness.

The interplay between Jett and her mother in the hospital as the mother lays dying and they reconcile their long-hardened differences is surprisingly well-played, especially on Joan Jett's part. I expected great acting from the superb Gena Rowlands; I expected zero from Jett and was blown away instead. I'm surprised she never got any other real roles; I found her to be extremely easy on the eyes and quite a lovely and talented actress. Whatever.

The film has a terrific ending. No, they don't make it to the big-time, but you never expect that to happen anyway. It is simply a satisfying ending that matches the size and scope of this terrific film, which was never intended to be anything more than a look at a Cleveland family who has two members who happen to play in a road band.

Catch it once in your lifetime.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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