Up 874 this week

Promised Land (1987)

R  |   |  Drama  |  22 January 1988 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.7/10 from 933 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 9 critic

This gritty drama follows two high school acquaintances, Hancock, a basketball star, and Danny, a geek turned drifter, after they graduate. The first film commissioned by the Sundance Film ... See full summary »



0Check in

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Instant Video


IMDb Picks: May

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in May, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 49 titles
created 02 Mar 2011
a list of 270 titles
created 01 Nov 2011
a list of 34 titles
created 25 Jan 2012
a list of 1085 titles
created 06 Jan 2014
list image
a list of 72 titles
created 16 May 2014

Related Items

Search for "Promised Land" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Promised Land (1987)

Promised Land (1987) on IMDb 5.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Promised Land.
3 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crazy Moon (1987)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A rich but slightly odd teenager has various adventures with his older brother who leads him astray. One day whilst stealing a mannequin from a clothes store he meets a deaf girl who works ... See full summary »

Director: Allan Eastman
Stars: Kiefer Sutherland, Vanessa Vaughan, Peter Spence
D.O.A. (1988)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Dexter Cornell, an English Professor becomes embroiled in a series of murders involving people around him. Dexter has good reason to want to find the murderer but hasn't much time. He finds... See full summary »

Directors: Annabel Jankel, Rocky Morton
Stars: Dennis Quaid, Meg Ryan, Charlotte Rampling
Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A couple fall in love despite the girl's pessimistic outlook. As they struggle to come to terms with their relationship, something supernatural happens that tests it.

Director: Norman René
Stars: Meg Ryan, Alec Baldwin, Kathy Bates
Restoration (1995)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An aspiring young physician, Robert Merivel found himself in the service of King Charles II and saves the life of a spaniel dear to the King. Merivel joins the King's court and lives the ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Hoffman
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Sam Neill, David Thewlis
The Presidio (1988)
Action | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Jay Austin is now a civilian police detective. Colonel Caldwell was his commanding officer years before when he left the military police over a disagreement over the handling of a drunk ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Hyams
Stars: Sean Connery, Mark Harmon, Meg Ryan
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Some thirty years after Arlis witnesses his father murdering a family, he runs into Kay, who happens to be the family's baby who was spared. Kay and Arlis suspect nothing about each other, ... See full summary »

Director: Steve Kloves
Stars: Dennis Quaid, Meg Ryan, James Caan
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A psychopath murders a man who was on his way to a job as a deputy sheriff in a small California coastal resort town. He takes on the deputy's identity and arrives in town to start his new ... See full summary »

Director: Rick King
Stars: Beau Bridges, Kiefer Sutherland, Wayne Rogers
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A dying man must reunite with his sister to face their family's violent past and find peace in their lives.

Director: Matia Karrell
Stars: Kyra Sedgwick, Kiefer Sutherland, Stockard Channing
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Maggie's and Sam's former partners are in love; she wants revenge and he wants his lost love back, so they work together to break up the happy couple.

Director: Griffin Dunne
Stars: Meg Ryan, Matthew Broderick, Kelly Preston
Trapped in Silence (TV Movie 1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A pschologist tries hard to get through to kid who can talk - but won't.

Director: Michael Tuchner
Stars: Jason Brill, Frances Foster, John Mahoney
Promised Land (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Promised Land is the story one man's journey to find truth... and one community's desperate struggle to hide from it. The script is based on an award winning novel by Karel Schoeman.

Director: Jason Xenopoulos
Stars: Nick Boraine, Yvonne Van Den Bergh, Daniel Browde
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An airline pilot and his wife are forced to face the consequences of her alcoholism when her addictions threaten her life and their daughter's safety. While the woman enters detox, her husband must face the truth of his enabling behavior.

Director: Luis Mandoki
Stars: Meg Ryan, Andy Garcia, Ellen Burstyn


Cast overview, first billed only:
Davey Hancock
Mary Daley
Beverly 'Bev' Sykes
Deborah Richter ...
Oscar Rowland ...
Mr. Rivers
Mrs. Rivers
Circle K Clerk
Herta Ware ...
Walt Logan Field ...
High School Coach
Kelly Ausland ...
Schroeder / Ashville Basketball Player #1
Todd Anderson ...
Pat Rivers
Dave Valenza ...
Theron Read ...


This gritty drama follows two high school acquaintances, Hancock, a basketball star, and Danny, a geek turned drifter, after they graduate. The first film commissioned by the Sundance Film Festival, it portrays the other half of the American dream, as Hancock and his cheerleader girlfriend Mary wander to a middle-class mediocrity out itself out of reach for Danny and his psychotic wife Bev. Written by Owen F. Lipsett <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




R | See all certifications »





Release Date:

22 January 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Young Hearts  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$316,199 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


[waking up the "morning after"]
Bev: Where's the cat?
Danny: What cat?
Bev: The cat that shit in my mouth.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Best Dog ... Cheetah See more »


Referenced in Game K N B: Episode dated 3 March 2007 (2007) See more »


Away in a Manger
by Reba McEntire
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Falls Short Of The Mark
23 July 2001 | by (Pittsburgh, PA) – See all my reviews

When I was growing up my folks had a saying for whenever I wasn't able to finish some mouth-watering dessert that I had insisted on getting: my eyes were too big for my stomach. That's how I felt about this ambitious but under-inflated would-be epic. It very much wants to be a sort of quintessential 80's picture, a final say on the tragic consequences of so-called Reagan-era greed and consumerism, but it keeps pulling up lame. Like a novice trial lawyer it falters nearly every time it tries to make its case.

Occasionally it gets things right and briefly wanders into "A Simple Plan" or "The Last Picture Show" territory, in its double-edged depiction of small town security and frustration. There's a terrific, understated scene between Jason Gedrick and Tracy Pollan as they swim in a hot spring and lazily recall some of their glory days. Kiefer Sutherland and Meg Ryan have some nice fragile moments in the desert when these two lost souls discover the joy of actually connecting, however briefly, with another human being. There are glimmers of something substantial going on here, which is what makes the whole so disappointing.

The biggest flaw is the amount of time elapsed from Gedrick's game-winning buzzer beater that kicks the story off, to a mere TWO years later, when the 4 principles are at their big "crossroads" in life. Two years is simply not long enough. The film is making the specious argument that somehow Reagan's cold-hearted policies (he appears a couple times on television making supposedly "empty", out of touch speeches) are to blame for Gedrick dropping out of school and settling for becoming a local cop, or Sutherland hitting the road because he can't live up to his nickname ("Senator") by the ripe old age of 19! Yeah, fate and that trickle down economy are really conspiring against those two, aren't they? In order for an audience to really FEEL their desperation, they need to be older with their directions in life more set in concrete. That's why "A Simple Plan" worked so well, where here it's much harder to sympathize with the lead characters. Hell, chalk it up as a bad year or two. They all still have plenty of time to right the ship.

The acting is generally okay. I thought Meg Ryan over-did the hell-raising a bit, but at least she gives the film some real jolts of energy. Gedrick pulls a classic, 4 star nutty in a kitchen at one point that would make Mickey Rourke proud. Unfortunately the writing too often lets them down. There's such a fine line between having inarticulate characters groping for words to express themselves, and the screenwriter groping to give them something meaningful and revealing to say. In this case, it sure felt like the screenwriter was doing the most groping. There's just too many "It's not you. It's me!" and "You just ... don't understand!" type lines. Many of the arguments are forced and unconvincing.

I really liked the film's collision course structure, many of its visuals (the spinning camera around the little car in the desert casts an undeniable spell) and even its bombastic score full of "end of the world" chants and that sort of thing. It was setting me up for a conclusion that I was expecting to have so much more of an impact than it ultimately did. It didn't dig deep enough, didn't flesh out its people or their world (the town is never given a personality other than generically small and sleepy) sufficiently for me to care as much as I wanted to. But I did WANT to, and perhaps that's a small accomplishment. It's certainly better than the not entirely dissimilar "Inventing The Abbotts". But if you really want to see a more successful though equally forgotten riff on these very themes check out an early Bridget Fonda flick called "Out Of The Rain".

6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Dreamcatcher viefatalite
Worth seeing? kimmy_1790
Movie (DVD) edited tlr1293
Senator's Problem 1060westaddison
True story? hgr1280
2 years? mandycw
Discuss Promised Land (1987) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: