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Running on Empty (1988)

PG-13  |   |  Crime, Drama, Music  |  9 September 1988 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 9,210 users  
Reviews: 83 user | 38 critic

The eldest son of a fugitive family comes of age and wants to live a life of his own.

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Title: Running on Empty (1988)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Jonas Abry ...
Harry Pope
...
Ed Crowley ...
Mr. Phillips
...
Gus Winant
...
Donald Patterson
Augusta Dabney ...
Abigail Patterson
...
Dr. Jonah Reiff
...
Contact at Eldridge St.
...
School Clerk
Sloane Shelton ...
Mrs. Phillips
Justine Johnston ...
Librarian
...
Hospital Clerk
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Storyline

The Popes are a family who haven't been able to use their real identity for years. In the late sixties, the parents set a weapons lab afire in an effort to hinder the government's Vietnam war campaign. Ever since then, the Popes have been on the run with the authorities never far behind. Today, their eldest son wants a life of his own although he is aware that would mean that his parents would either get caught or he will never see them again. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In 1971, Arthur and Annie Pope blew up a napalm lab to protest the war... Ever since then they have been on the run from the FBI. They chose their lives. Now their son must choose his.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Music | Romance

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 September 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Al filo del vacío  »

Box Office

Gross:

$2,835,116 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The bombing that the Popes had carried out is loosely based on the August 24, 1970 bombing of Sterling Hall on the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison, Wisconsin during the height of the Vietnam protest era. See more »

Goofs

When Arthur returns home drunk one night, he stumbles backwards, falls and shatters the living room table. A short while later he is shown sitting next to the intact table when Danny comes home from being with Lorna. See more »

Quotes

Lorna: You are certifiable! What is this? Some sort of smart-ass joke? You're taking cooking?
Michael: I want to learn how to cook.
Lorna: Yeah, right. You have some burning desire to learn how to make apple brown betty...
Michael: What are you doing here if you think so highly of it?
Lorna: Well, they wouldn't let me take auto mechanics, and I didn't have time to take the issue to the Supreme Court.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Fire And Rain
Written by James Taylor
Performed by James Taylor
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Really liked this one
26 May 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Why this has an average rating of only 7.3 is beyond me. This is really darn good, maybe not a "masterpiece" as some of the other reviews have stated, but one of those criminally underrated and overlooked movies. And, heck, starring River Phoenix for crying out loud. Why had I never heard of it? Yeah, it's got a touch of cheesy '80s things about it (music, clothing, etc.) but I've learned to overlook that sort of thing if it's actually a good story. Take this and another coming-of-age movie, _This Boy's Life_ (starring Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio -- why hadn't I ever heard of that one either?), and you have a couple of the best great-but-underrated movies in recent memory. I'd love a good explanation for why this should only get a 7.3 out of 10, given the quality of a bunch of material with a higher average rating. (I thought 6.9 was the average rating here. This isn't even close to just average.) Compared to the body of Sidney Lumet's work, this has got to rank right up near the top, doesn't it?


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