IMDb > This Boy's Life (1993)
This Boy's Life
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This Boy's Life (1993) More at IMDbPro »

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This Boy's Life -- Set in the 1950s, this moving drama tells the story of a young boy and his divorced mother who travel cross country in hopes of a better life.
This Boy's Life -- The story about the relationship between a rebellious 50s teenager and his abusive father, based on the memoirs of writer and literature professor Tobias Wolff.
This Boy's Life -- The story about the relationship between a rebellious 50s teenager and his abusive father, based on the memoirs of writer and literature professor Tobias Wolff.


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7.3/10   34,995 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 6% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Tobias Wolff (book)
Robert Getchell (screenplay)
View company contact information for This Boy's Life on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
23 April 1993 (USA) See more »
He looked like the ideal husband. He seemed like the perfect father. That's just what they needed. But that's not what they got. See more »
The story about the relationship between a rebellious 50s teenager and his abusive father, based on the memoirs of writer and literature professor Tobias Wolff. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
4 wins See more »
User Reviews:
A remarkably compelling piece of work, with groundbreaking performances by DeNiro and DiCaprio See more (84 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Robert De Niro ... Dwight

Ellen Barkin ... Caroline

Leonardo DiCaprio ... Toby

Jonah Blechman ... Arthur Gayle

Eliza Dushku ... Pearl

Chris Cooper ... Roy

Carla Gugino ... Norma
Zachary Ansley ... Skipper (as Zack Ansley)
Tracey Ellis ... Kathy

Kathy Kinney ... Marian
Robert Zameroski ... Arch Cook (as Bobby Zameroski)

Tobey Maguire ... Chuck Bolger
Tristan Tait ... Jerry Huff
Travis MacDonald ... Psycho
Richard Liss ... A & P Manager

Michael Bacall ... Terry Taylor
Adam Sneller ... Terry Silver

Gerrit Graham ... Mr. Howard

Thomas Kopache ... Geiger Counter Vendor

Lee Wilkof ... Principal Shippy

Sean Murray ... Jimmy Voorhees
Jason Horst ... Oscar Booker

Deanna Milligan ... Silver Sister #1
Morgan Brayton ... Silver Sister #2

Robert Munns ... Ticket Seller

Bill Dow ... Vice Principal
Shawn Macdonald ... A & P Employee

Frank C. Turner ... Truck Driver

John R. Taylor ... Minister

Stephen E. Miller ... Target Ranger

Dwight McFee ... Voice in crowd (voice)
Ken Camroux-Taylor ... 2nd Place Shooter (as Ken Camroux)
Ross Chaston ... Score Caller
Scott Woodmansee ... Crash Witness
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dennis Kostecki ... Ticket Master (uncredited)
Marshall Dancing Elk Lucas ... Cigar Store Owner (uncredited)

Directed by
Michael Caton-Jones 
Writing credits
Tobias Wolff (book)

Robert Getchell (screenplay)

Produced by
Fitch Cady .... co-producer
Peter Guber .... executive producer
Art Linson .... producer
Jon Peters .... executive producer
Original Music by
Carter Burwell 
Cinematography by
David Watkin 
Film Editing by
Jim Clark 
Casting by
Rachel Abroms 
Owens Hill 
Production Design by
Stephen J. Lineweaver 
Art Direction by
Sandy Cochrane 
Set Decoration by
Jim Erickson 
Costume Design by
Richard Hornung 
Makeup Department
Mari Bloom .... hair stylist: Mr. DiCaprio
Susan Boyd .... hair stylist (as Susan Stewart)
Kathy W. Estocin .... hair stylist: Ms. Barkin (as Kathy Estocin)
David Forrest .... makeup artist: Ms. Barkin
Ilona Herman .... hair stylist: Mr. De Niro
Ilona Herman .... makeup artist: Mr. De Niro
Paul LeBlanc .... wig consultant
Jo-Anne Smith-Ojeil .... makeup artist (as Jo-Anne Smith Ojeil)
Production Management
Casey Grant .... unit production manager
Donald Hauer .... unit production manager: Utah (as Don Hauer)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Paul Etherington .... key second assistant director
Sharon Gerhard .... second assistant director: Utah
Lynda Gilman .... second assistant director: Washington (as Lynda M. Gilman)
Peter E. Hirsch .... second second assistant director (as Peter Hirsch)
Rachel Leiterman .... second assistant director
Seanna McPherson .... dgc trainee
Kevin Speckmaier .... third assistant director
Bill Westley .... first assistant director
Art Department
Jan Kobylka .... construction coordinator
Neil McLeod .... assistant property master
Grant Swain .... property master
John Garrett .... on set dresser (uncredited)
Clyde Klotz .... illustrator (uncredited)
Barry Kootchin .... head scenic artist (uncredited)
Joel McKee .... assistant property master (uncredited)
Bob Warner .... painter (uncredited)
Victor J. Zolfo .... assistant set decorator (uncredited)
Sound Department
John Benson .... sound effects editor
Destiny Borden .... assistant sound editor
Donald D. Brown .... boom operator (as Don Brown)
Jane E. Carpenter .... dialogue editor (as Jane Carpenter-Wilson)
Tim Chilton .... foley artist
Simon Coke .... dialogue editor
Christine Danelski .... foley editor
Christopher Flick .... foley editor
Sukey Fontelieu .... dialogue editor
Gary A. Hecker .... foley mixer (as Gary Hecker)
Michael Herbick .... sound re-recording mixer
Holly Huckins .... adr editor
Richard King .... supervising sound editor
Cliff Latimer .... supervising adr editor
Melissa Lytle .... assistant sound editor
Martin Maryska .... sound effects editor
Karen Minahan .... assistant sound editor
Donald O. Mitchell .... sound re-recording mixer
Frank A. Montaño .... sound re-recording mixer (as Frank A. Montano)
Eric Potter .... sound effects
E. Jeane Putnam .... foley editor
Nico Salvato .... assistant sound editor (as Monique Salvato)
Jill Schachne .... foley artist
Rob Young .... production mixer
John Soukup .... sound transfer (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Nick Lawson .... special effects
Mike Vézina .... special effects coordinator (as Mike Vezina)
Dan Cervin .... special effects technician (uncredited)
Doug Hubbard .... special effects (uncredited)
Michael Walls .... special effects assistant (uncredited)
Charles Andre .... stunt double: Robert DeNiro
Kevin J. Andruschak .... stunts
Jim Dunn .... stunts
Tom Eirikson .... stunts
Marcia Holley .... stunts
David Jacox .... stunts
Matt Johnston .... stunts
Michael Langlois .... stunts (as Mike Langlois)
Cotton Mather .... stunts
Cole McLarty .... stunts
Gary McLarty .... stunts
Fred Perron .... stunts
John Polce .... stunts
John Scott .... stunts
Betty Thomas Quee .... stunt coordinator (as Betty Thomas)
Betty Thomas Quee .... stunts (as Betty Thomas)
Fred Waugh .... stunts
Ric Roman Waugh .... stunts (as Ric Waugh)
Duane Dickinson .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Chuck Finch .... chief lighting technician (as Robert [Chuck] Finch)
James L. Hurford .... key grip (as Jim Hurford)
Stephen Jackson .... chief lighting technician (as Steve Jackson)
Burton Kuchera .... assistant chief lighting technician
John McCallum .... first assistant camera (as Sandy McCallum)
Rose Mihalyi .... second assistant camera
Andrew Mulkani .... second grip
Dave Owen .... camera operator: "b" camera
Jeff Plecas .... dolly grip
Mike Roberts .... camera operator (as Michael Roberts)
Takashi Seida .... still photographer
Rick Wiley .... best boy grip: Washington (as Richard Wiley)
Jamie Barber .... first assistant camera (uncredited)
Shaun Lawless .... lighting technician (uncredited)
Stephen Les .... grip (uncredited)
Stan McClain .... camera operator: Wescam camera (uncredited)
Klaus Melchior .... video assist operator: 24 Frame Coordinator (uncredited)
Cam North .... first assistant camera: "b" camera (uncredited)
George Ramage .... electrician (uncredited)
Casting Department
Stuart Aikins .... casting: Canada
Julie Delia .... casting assistant
William Haines .... casting assistant: Canada
James Forsyth .... extras casting (uncredited)
Louise Mackiewicz .... extras casting assistant (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Thomas L. Pankiewich .... wardrobe: men (as Tom Pankiewich)
Nicola Ryall .... wardrobe: women
Barbara Marko .... costumer (uncredited)
Marienne O'Brien .... costumer (uncredited)
Ellen Ryba .... costumer (uncredited)
Mary Zophres .... assistant costume designer (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Donah Bassett .... negative cutter
Fiona Duncanson .... assistant film editor
Peter Lonsdale .... associate film editor (as Peter N. Lonsdale)
Eric O. Schusterman .... assistant film editor
Location Management
Mike Fantasia .... location manager: Washington
James Sallis .... location manager
Arlene Sibley .... location manager: Utah
Kent Phillip Johnson .... assistant location manager (uncredited)
Music Department
Sonny Kompanek .... conductor
Sonny Kompanek .... orchestrator
Allan Mason .... music supervisor
Adam Milo Smalley .... music editor
John Beal .... composer: trailer (uncredited)
John Moses .... musician: clarinetist (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Rory Moffatt .... transportation captain
Ian 'Moss' Urquhart .... transportation coordinator (as Ian [Moss] Urquhart)
Jim Filippone .... helicopter pilot: transportation (uncredited)
Other crew
Sheila Aquiline .... assistant production accountant
Robin Chambers .... assistant: Mr. De Niro
Robert Dawson .... title designer
Chantel Garayalde .... assistant: Ms. Barkin
Penny Gibbs .... production coordinator
Karen Gordon .... production accountant
Isabel Johnson .... production secretary
Patti McReynolds .... craft service
Patti McReynolds .... first aid
Yvonne Melville .... production coordinator
Tricia Owen .... assistant: Michael Caton-Jones
Brigitte Prochaska .... unit publicist
Patti Roberts-Nelson .... production associate (as Patti Roberts Nelson)
Marshall Schlom .... script supervisor: Utah
Christine Wilson .... script supervisor
Jeffrey T. Barabe .... assistant: Mr. DeNiro (uncredited)
Bill Daly .... post-production accountant manager (uncredited)
Jodi Duncan .... stand-in (uncredited)
Anne C. Ford .... assistant accountant (uncredited)
Barbara Gregson .... film researcher (uncredited)
Beverly Jusi .... post-production accountant (uncredited)
Peter Kelley .... dialogue coach: Eliza Dushku (uncredited)
Todd Lester .... security officer (uncredited)
Marshall Dancing Elk Lucas .... production assistant (uncredited)
Andrew Magarian .... acting coach (uncredited)
Heather Murphy .... production coordinator: USA (uncredited)
Mari Raymer .... production assistant (uncredited)
Robert Andrew Reeves .... production assistant (uncredited)
Dan Rudert .... helicopter pilot (uncredited)
Lee A. Steadman .... production assistant (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for strong language and sexuality
115 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Caroline (Toby's mother) smokes L&M cigarettes.See more »
Continuity: Speedometer on car reads the same when Dwight Hansen drives erratically to scare Tobias and then later on when Tobias takes Dwight's car for a joy ride; also the speedometer says speeds of 70 mph plus yet the odometer never moves.See more »
[first lines]
Tobias 'Toby' Wolff:It was 1957. We were driving from Florida to Utah. After my mother was beaten up by her boyfriend, we got in the Nash and high-tailed it for the uranium fields. We were gonna get rich and change our luck, which hadn't been so hot since our family broke up five years back.
See more »
Magic MomentsSee more »


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60 out of 67 people found the following review useful.
A remarkably compelling piece of work, with groundbreaking performances by DeNiro and DiCaprio, 9 February 2002
Author: mattymatt4ever from Jersey City, NJ

I heard of this movie before, but I had no knowledge of what it was about, and basically rented it because it looked good and Robert DeNiro is the star--my Number One favorite actor.

Well, DeNiro's performance is one of the high points of the film, and he is extraordinary as the abusive father who seems pleasant and jovial at times, but can turn violent when you push his buttons. Leonardo DiCaprio is also great, in one of the best performances of his career. Over the years, he's been gaining a reputation as a glamour guy. And that he is, but you must see his performance in this movie before regarding him as "just another pretty face." He was still in his early teens (I'm guessing) when he made this film, so this was a long time before he hit it big with "Titanic." Ellen Barkin is also good, but I wish her character could've been developed a little more. I kept wondering, during the course of the film, why she felt like withstanding Dwight's abuse for such a long period of time. In the beginning of the film, she's established as a free spirit--the kind of woman that romances a man, then drives off to another state to find her next man. Well, why didn't she do the same thing with this jerk? The film is based on a true story, so I'm sure she really did stay with him that long, but I just wanted to know her motives.

"This Boy's Life" is a solid, beautifully made slice-of-life that kept me glued to the screen from start to finish. The climax is an emotional powerhouse that made me want to stand up and cheer. Please check out this underrated masterpiece!

My score: 9 (out of 10)

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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for This Boy's Life (1993)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Dwight's first wife lingazi7
Versus the Book geraldpayne
Dwights first wife?
What about Pearl?! El_Dude_Brother
Was Dwight 'deficient' in sexual life? technotrone
My dad is Dwight Recoveringcouchpotato
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