6.8/10
3,743
27 user 9 critic

Racing with the Moon (1984)

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

Director:

Richard Benjamin

Writer:

Steve Kloves
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Cast

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 Bob Maroff ... Al
Dominic Nardini Dominic Nardini ... Soldier with Annie
John Brandon John Brandon ... Mr. Kaiser
Eve Brent ... Mrs. Kaiser
Suzanne Adkinson Suzanne Adkinson ... Sally Kaiser
Shawn Schepps ... Gretchen
Charles Miller Charles Miller ... Arnie
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

It was 1943...There was so little time left to learn about life! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 March 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Adiós a la inocencia See more »

Filming Locations:

Fort Bragg, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,803,432, 25 March 1984, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$6,045,647
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

Right before the fight scene in the bowling alley, Gatsby Boy bowls a strike. However, when Hopper charges down the alley after him, the 7 pin is shown still standing. See more »

Quotes

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!
See more »

Connections

References True to the Army (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

Says My Heart
by Frank Loesser (as F. Loesser) and Burton Lane (as B. Lane)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Movie about Ordinary People
19 November 2013 | by romanorum1See all my reviews

This film is a coming-of-age story focusing on two teens in their final weeks at their quaint home town of Pont Muir, California (really Ft. Bragg/Mendocino) before their 1943 military induction. Henry "Hopper" Nash (Sean Penn), son of a gravedigger, is bright, sensitive, and cultured. His best friend, Nicky (Nicholas Cage), although not unintelligent, is reckless and self-destructive. Although he does not really play pool, he likes to hustle sailors at that table-game. Both Hopper and Nicky like to hitch rides on passing trains. Hopper meets Caddy Winger (Elizabeth McGovern) when he purchases tickets from her at the local movie house. He thinks she is rich ("She's a Gatsby!"), but in reality she is the daughter of a maid who is employed by a rich family at a mansion "on the hill." They date and soon fall in love. Nicky also has a girlfriend, Sally Kaiser (Suzanne Adkinson), whom he does not always treat well.

"Racing with the Moon" beautifully captures the setting of a west coast town in the winter of 1942-1943. Nice period sets include the roller skating rink, the soda fountain, and the bowling alley with pin-boys. The feature carefully develops the characters of teenagers and honestly tells their story of early love. The storyline may not always be pretty, as Sally becomes pregnant and Nicky's attitude is not the best. However there is not a false note in the movie. Some of the popular songs include "Tangerine," "Heart and Soul," and "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy."

Beyond the film lies a lingering question as mankind is currently engaged in the greatest, most destructive war in its history. Assuming that both boys taste combat and are placed in similar situations, and knowing about their individual characters, whom do you think has the better chance of returning home in 1945?


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