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Strays (1997)

 -  Drama  -  18 January 1997 (USA)
5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 1,119 users  
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A macho cruiser comes of age. Frustrated by the repetitious grind of one night stands and aimless hustling, study drug dealer Rick is looking for meaning and intimacy in his life. Like his ... See full summary »

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Title: Strays (1997)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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T.K. Kirkland ...
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Suzanne Lanza ...
Darnell Williams ...
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Eugene Osborne Smith ...
Temple Brooks ...
Amy
Loni Sabrina Stuart ...
DeAngela Parrish ...
Marko Kalfa ...
Joey Iovino ...
Louis Albert Von Steidl ...
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Storyline

A macho cruiser comes of age. Frustrated by the repetitious grind of one night stands and aimless hustling, study drug dealer Rick is looking for meaning and intimacy in his life. Like his testosterone-tweaked buddies, Rick is a "stray" # lacking a traditional family structure and wrestling subconsciously with the psychological bruises inflicted by his father's absence. Shielding any vulnerability under the toughened cloak of detachment, Rich has administered his life with deliberate effort to avoid reliance on anyone or anything. But things are about to change. When Rick meets Heather, a corn-fed walking talking "girl next door," he suddenly perceives a new avenue and an opportunity for an open, committed relationship. Though the chemistry between the couple is immediately charged, Rick's street cheek and volatile aggression flare, threatening to extinguish their relationship before it begins. Trying to assimilate into Heather's world, Rick takes heat from his perpetually adolescent ... Written by Rebecca Yeldham

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language, some sexual content and drug material | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

18 January 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Przybledy  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The role of Caparzo in Saving Private Ryan (1998) was written just for Vin Diesel after director Steven Spielberg saw Diesel's independent film Strays (1997), which was also his directorial, writing, producing and lead acting debut. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Heather: Are you alright?
Rick: Are your parents still together?
Heather: Yeah, why?
Rick: My mother used to see this guy, Frank. He's was an illustrator, not that he had done anything. But he used to bring me these books, children's books, as gifts. He eventually uh, left my mom - most of them did. Anyway, he bought me this, this one book, and it was the only book that I begged my mom to read to me. It was called Ferdinand, Ferdinand the Bull. And he wrote on the inside, To a very special kid. And then, Life's...
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Connections

References The Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Come To You
Written by Shani Rigsbee
Performed by Shani Rigsbee
Publishing by Cherokee Charm Music (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Cherokee Music Group
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User Reviews

 
Relationshipe and how to form and keep them
17 January 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

STRAYS (or DOORMEN as his script was initially titled) marks the entry of Vin Diesel (AKA Mark Sinclair Vincent) into the film world in a very small budget (under $50,000.), independent 1997 movie he wrote, directed and acted the major role. To appreciate this very realistic, modest, slice of New York life the film presents, it helps to watch the features added to the DVD (the film is released to the public for the first time): interviews with the cast and with Diesel give a sensitive and heartwarming background that enhances the movie experience. Though Diesel studied acting and worked in theater in New York prior to this film, it was not until he made his own film that he captured the attention of the people who make things happen. And now that Vin Diesel is a major Hollywood presence it is fascinating to see this initial opener.

The plot is simple enough: Rick (Diesel) is a minor drug dealer who also works as a bouncer with his buddy Tony (F. Valentino Morales), and hangs with Fred (Joey Dedio) and his 'brother' (Mike Epps, in his first role in film). The guys live mainly for easy sex and camaraderie - all of the have been raised by mothers without knowing their fathers (thus, are 'strays'). As Rick matures he grows tired of his shallow lifestyle, misses the connection with his mother he never developed, and is prime bait for a relationship. Into his life steps Heather (Suzanne Lanza), a wholesome Midwestern girl, the two have a mutual attraction, but as their courtship dance progresses Heather disapproves of Rick's at times gang-like behavior and his drug dealing. They come together in an extended park bench conversation (excellent writing) during which they realize they each have repairs to do on their previous lives before they can enter a serious relationship.

One aspect of this little film that makes it a cut above the many others like it is the quality of natural acting Diesel draws from his cast: uncredited female actors who provide the sex interest for the men are variably excellent, and Morales, Dedio and Lanza are particularly strong in their commitment to ensemble acting. The script is fairly strong, though the barrage of expletives becomes tiresome after a while. Yet in the end, Diesel establishes his skills as a serious actor and as a fine director and writer, and for the chance to see one of Hollywood's major talents in his nascent stage, this film is well worth watching. Grady Harp


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