Ben Affleck's character of "Gunner" was inspired by the life of Ted Steeg who also appears in the movie as the Minister. Dan Wakefield, the film's screenwriter (and author of the adapted novel) also appears briefly in the film (s Farmer #2) Wakefield and Steeg were friends in Indiana who later roomed together in New York City's Greenwich Village. Wakefield chronicles this halcyon period in his book, "New York in the Fifties", which was also made into a documentary in 2001. See more »
One of the games that Buddy throws out is CAREERS, which was first published in 1955; the film is set in 1954. See more »
I may be in the minority here, and in fact I probably am, but I LOVED this movie. The play is amazing, and the adaptation is so true to the original that it really makes the experience enjoyable. I'd like to clear one thing up that I read earlier: it's not a "suicide" scene. It's a "cutting" scene. The two are very different, and shouldn't be confused.
At any rate, the plight of Sonny Burns, the protagonist of this film, is so easy to identify with, and the way he sees Gunner is so typical and real that this film really is refreshing and understandable. The oppressive blanket of the 1950's plays another role in this film, really as one of the more important characters. Sonny doesn't know how to deal with a lot of different things, and he isn't being told/taught how to do so by his parents or his society.
It's a sad movie, but filled with hope at the same time. It's worth seeing, and for me, is worth buying on DVD whenever it freakin' comes out. I give it a 10 and stand by that rating based on its emotional merit and strength.
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