An orphaned boy is raised by a Latino family in the 1950s.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Max Madore ...
Young Eddie
...
Ernesto
...
Margaret
...
Frank Haley
Marissa Baca ...
Young Francesca
Daniel O'Haco ...
Alberto Montoya (as Danny O'Haco)
...
Eddie Haley
David Alexander Johnston ...
Principal (as David A. Johnston)
...
Brad
Dave Adams ...
Coach Allen (as David Adams)
Michael Heistand ...
Chris
...
Francesca
Heather Conforto ...
Julie (as Heather Rae)
Miguel Ortega ...
Manny
Donald Everett Axinn ...
Gas Station Attendant
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Storyline

"Spin" tells the story of a boy who loses his parents in a plane crash, is taken in by his uncle (Tucci), who then leaves him for ten years in the care of his Hispanic ranch hand (Blades) and his wife (Delany). Once in high school, Eddie (Merriman) reconnects with a girl from his past (Garces), and their growing interracial relationship teaches the sometimes-sullen Eddie to think of others before himself. Written by Anonymous

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Genres:

Drama | Family

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and some violent images | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

24 October 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le pilote  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Donald Everett Axinn: author of the novel credited as 'Gas Station Attendant'. See more »

Goofs

When Eddie gets into the plane to fly to Mexico and pick up Francesca, he starts the plane from the interior. The Piper seen in the film was a model that did not have an interior starting mechanism - someone had to spin the propeller to start the aircraft. See more »

Soundtracks

Las Mananitas
Traditional
Arranged by Elizabeth Carbe and Jean-Pierre Durand
courtesy of 5 Alarm Music
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User Reviews

 
Growing Up Is Very Hard To Do
28 August 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

SPIN takes a road much traveled - the coming of age tale of a child whose parents are suddenly absent - but the result is much stronger a story than most in this genre. Based on the novel by Donald Everett Axinn and adapted for the screen by writer/director James Redford (yes, son of Robert Redford, but strong enough a talent not to need to depend on shadows!), SPIN is an evocative moment in history (the 1950s) when the world was more quiet and young people would work their ways through the maze of adolescence without clouds of outside threats. This, then, becomes more poignant and sensitive a study of one lad's growing up to become an adult facing mirrors of those faces from the past and the present.

Eddie Haley (Max Madore) is very young when his parents die in a plane crash and is placed in the care of his parent's workers Margaret and Ernesto Bejarano (Dana Delaney and Rubén Blades) at the decision of his pilot uncle Major Haley (Stanley Tucci) - a man whose own demons have left him seemingly invulnerable to intimacy and family, electing to move away from the Haley ranch and its responsibilities rather than raising Eddie. Eddie's companion as a child is Francesca (Marissa Baca) who, while not an orphan, is motherless and living with a cruel father. They bond and in addition to the very supportive Bejaranos provide Eddie with as much footing as he is able to manage.

Move forward to Eddie as a teenager (Ryan Merriman) and he has become a mild punk, floundering around seeking meaning to life and afraid of relationships - fearing he will be ultimately deserted. Francesca (Paula Garcés) moves back into town from Mexico and gradually the two become close and involved: Eddie's demons and issues riddle him while Francesca's equally brittle demons seem to make her stronger. Major Haley returns, is at first greatly resented by Eddie until the Major teaches Eddie to fly a plane left to him by his departed father. The relationship that develops between the two is as strong as it is difficult. A tragedy involving Francesca and her father occurs resulting finally in Eddie's ability to feel mature emotions and follows his courage and his heart to change his and Francesca's lives.

Redford keeps this potentially saccharine story in tight reins, never allowing bathos but always sharing a view that each of us is human and capable of errors, but equally capable of recovering and resolving consequences. The cast is uniformly strong with Tucci giving one of his finest and most subtle performances to date. Merriman is young and shows great promise: Blades and Delany are seasoned veterans and bring a realistic rapport that adds to the credibility of a story also dealing with ethnic prejudice. The cinematography by Paul Ryan is excellent - some of the best aerial photography outside of the usual war scenes on film. Recommended, not because it is a great movie, but because it is an honest one and the first example of James Redford's seemingly generous talent. Grady Harp


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