In 1942 California, two young men await induction into the U.S. Marines and say goodbye to their girlfriends.


Richard Benjamin


Steve Kloves
1 win. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Sean Penn ... Henry 'Hopper' Nash
Elizabeth McGovern ... Caddie Winger
Nicolas Cage ... Nicky / Bud
John Karlen ... Mr. Nash
Rutanya Alda ... Mrs. Nash
Max Showalter ... Mr. Arthur
Crispin Glover ... Gatsby Boy
Barbara Howard Barbara Howard ... Gatsby Girl
Bob Maroff ... Al
Dominic Nardini Dominic Nardini ... Soldier with Annie
John Brandon ... Mr. Kaiser
Eve Brent ... Mrs. Kaiser
Suzanne Adkinson Suzanne Adkinson ... Sally Kaiser
Shawn Schepps ... Gretchen
Charles Miller Charles Miller ... Arnie


Henry and Nicky are small town pals from blue collar families with only a short time before they ship off to World War II. Henry begins romancing new-to-town Caddie Winger, believing her to be wealthy. Mischievious and irresponsible, Nicky gets into trouble which forces the other two to become involved, testing their relationship, as well as the friendship between the boys. Written by David Fowler

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


IT'S 1943 and they're trying to fit it all in before they have to leave it all behind [Australia Theatrical] See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Director Richard Benjamin cast Sean Penn after seeing him in a New York stage play called "The Slab Boys," while Benjamin cast Nicolas Cage after seeing him in Valley Girl (1983). See more »


The movie starts in December, 1942, and when Sean Penn goes to the movies, there is a newsreel discussing the "Teenage Draft Bill." The first peacetime draft was authorized by Congress in September 1940, and a bill passed November 11, 1942, lowering the draft age to 18, which would be that "Teenage Draft Bill". Yet, the copyright of the newsreel is clearly 1937, 4 years before that bill. Obviously, the newsreel is a mixture of a different title screen from that of the newsreel. See more »


Nicky: You drink too much.
Nicky: ME?
Henry 'Hopper' Nash/Lou: Pisses me off, pisses me off badly. Because when you drink too much, it makes your brain soft.
Nicky: [Drunkenly slur-laughing] Lemme, I gotta show you something.
Nicky: [Does an awkward hip-thrust dance] Before I started drinking, I could not do that!
Henry 'Hopper' Nash/Lou: Why would you wanna do that?
Nicky: It gives me pleasure!
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References This Gun for Hire (1942) See more »


Just a Melody For a Memory
by E.Y. Harburg, Irving Kahal, Jay Gorney, Sammy Fain
See more »

User Reviews

Sensitive and Wonderful Coming of Age Story
17 January 2012 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

In the Christmas of 1942, in Point Muir, California, the seventeen years-old Henry "Hopper" Nash (Sean Penn) is the best friend of the reckless Nicky (Nicolas Cage), who dates the local Sally Kaiser (Suzanne Adkinson). Henry and Nicky have enlisted themselves in the U.S. Marines and they are waiting to be summoned to travel very soon.

When Henry sees the gorgeous Caddie Winger (Elizabeth McGovern), he has a crush on her and follows Caddie to find where she lives. He discovers that her address is a fancy manor on the top of the hill and Henry believes she is a wealthy teenager while she is actually the daughter of the maid.

Sooner Caddie and Henry date each other and they fall in love with each other. Meanwhile Sally gets pregnant and Nicky needs a large amount for an abortion. They try to raise the money and when Nicky is desperate, he takes an attitude that will test his friendship with Henry.

"Racing with the Moon" is a sensitive and wonderful coming of age story. This film is the second feature of Richard Benjamin that shows an excellent work of direction giving the right doses of drama, romance and humor to the story.

Sean Peen and Nicholas Cage give credibility to their irresponsible characters and the lovely Elizabeth McGovern is so beautiful that mesmerizes when the camera shows her beautiful face and eyes. The costumes and art direction are also fantastic and only yesterday I saw this film for the first time on DVD. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Adeus à Inocência" ("Farewell to the Innocence")

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

23 March 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Racing with the Moon See more »

Filming Locations:

Fort Bragg, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$6,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,803,432, 25 March 1984

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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