A factory foreman with 36 years experience becomes despondent after being laid off by his company which has just been taken over by a Japanese conglomerate and is unable to find any other ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Gus Robinson
...
Martha Robinson
...
Billy
Emily Longstreth ...
Carol
...
Ed
...
Meg Bradley
...
Tommy
...
Charlie Robinson
...
Victor
Kevin Corrigan ...
Danny
Kathryn Roth ...
Anchorwoman
Mary Nell Santacroce ...
Marge
...
Ken Mott
Pamela Garmon ...
Marion
...
Interviewer
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Storyline

A factory foreman with 36 years experience becomes despondent after being laid off by his company which has just been taken over by a Japanese conglomerate and is unable to find any other work. Meanwhile, his son uses his father's unemployment as an excuse to drop out of the pre-med program his father pressured him to enter. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Drama

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

23 July 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

L'école de la vie  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
The war is over.
24 May 2010 | by (Nova Scotia, Canada) – See all my reviews

I think I originally picked up my VHS copy of "Rising Son" over two years ago. It took until now for me to get around to watching it. I'm not sure why that is, but the low rating here on IMDb (5.8 at the time of this review) might have had something to do with it. Now that I've seen the film for myself, I can't begin to explain the reasons for this underrating.

The main motive one might have to seek out this film is the stellar lead performance by Matt Damon (it was his first). For such an inexperienced actor, he displays remarkable talent. Unlike some actors in their early roles, there's no sense of inability or lack of focus. Brian Dennehy, the other lead performer, offers the best performance I've yet seen of him. Dennehy, who's often been hired to play gruff, violent types, gets the chance to display somewhat of a deeper humanity here. The expectation, denial, and ultimate self-hatred of his character is painfully deep and believable. It's quite a journey.

Other well-known actors offer quite wonderful performances. This includes Piper Laurie, Ving Rhames, Richard Jenkins, and a young Jane Adams. John David Coles displays an excellent understanding of his actors, giving them the chance to really give life to their characters. This is an ability he displayed equally well the previous year, with "Signs of Life". Unfortunately, he went on to work almost exclusively in episodic television. I really like what Sandi Sissel does with the cinematography. She takes her extensive experience with documentary film-making, and applies it to drama. The result is a film that looks far more real than most.

I've seen more films than I can count about bad choices and job dissatisfaction, but never one with as much depth and humanity at this. I wish that everyone who feels trapped with their careers, their families, their own selves, would see "Rising Son". It's that true, that real, that complete, that painful of a film.


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