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Promised Land (1987)

R  |   |  Drama  |  22 January 1988 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 968 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 »



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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 Dreamcatcher (2003) See more »


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

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User Reviews

Utterly depressing picture of small town life.
13 April 2004 | by (Orlando, Florida) – See all my reviews

Kiefer Sutherland had a weird choice of roles in the early 80s, and quite a few times, he played wierd characters in often depressing movies. Promised Land is one of them.

The story of Promised Land focuses on some post-high school small town residents who, although they possessed some potential for greatness, their lives never seem to be going anywhere, or at least don't go the way they anticipate. Hancock (Jason Gedrick), who was the town's glorious athlete as a high school basketball player, now spends his days at a thankless job, doing street patrol as a cop. Both he and his girlfriend, Mary (Tracy Pollen) seem to young and rambunctious (at least Gedrick does) and always wanting more than their quick introduction into suburban, Middle class life.

Hancock's friend Danny (Sutherland) is his former high school classmate, a weak and quiet guy who returns to his depressing little town with his wild (and annoying) new wife, Bev (Meg Ryan), who seems to find her husband to be a suitable massicist target. Danny, too, is reminded of better times he may've had (he's not a dumb kid, either), and fears what lies ahead as the town elicits reminders of the ambitions he had, now lost. Of course, if you know movies like this, the story will show no silver lining.

If you like this movie, perhaps you might try searching out 1969, another early Sutherland title that is something along the same lines, but obviously, it is a period drama.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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