21 user 13 critic

The Wild Life (1984)

Eighties teen romp involving Bill and his new apartment, Jim and his rebellious antics, Tom and his crazy self, and Anita with her older man David.


Art Linson


Cameron Crowe




Cast overview, first billed only:
Chris Penn ... Tom Drake (as Christopher Penn)
Ilan Mitchell-Smith ... Jim Conrad
Eric Stoltz ... Bill Conrad
Jenny Wright ... Eileen
Lea Thompson ... Anita
Brin Berliner ... Tony
Rick Moranis ... Harry
Hart Bochner ... David Curtiss
Susan Rinell ... Donna (as Susan Blackstone)
Cari Anne Warder Cari Anne Warder ... Julie
Robert Ridgely ... Craig Davis
Jack Kehoe ... Mr. Parker
Simone White Simone White ... Brenda (as Jennifer White)
Beth McKinley Beth McKinley ... Robin
Michael Bowen ... Vince


Eighties teen romp involving Bill and his new apartment, Jim and his rebellious antics, Tom and his crazy self, and Anita with her older man David. Written by Josh Pasnak <chainsaw@intouch.bc.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


From the creators of 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High" - something even faster! See more »


Comedy | Drama


R | See all certifications »






Release Date:

28 September 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Attention Délires! See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,001,000, 30 September 1984, Wide Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Ronnie Wood: Guitarist for The Rolling Stones as the "refrigerator raider" during the party scene. See more »


Jim corrects Tony, telling him not use the phrase 'Nam instead of Vietnam, and that veterans hate when regular people do that. He then almost immediately uses 'Nam when telling his story about Charlie getting spit on by a bank teller. See more »


[repeated line]
Tom Drake: It's casual.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK video version was cut by 1 min 7 secs to remove all footage of nunchakus and to edit a scene where a cigarette is lit by an ignited aerosol can. See more »


References Apocalypse Now (1979) See more »


The Girl Can't Help It
Written by Bobby Troup
Performed by Little Richard
Courtesy of Specialty Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

Always brings back memories....funny, funny film...
20 June 2017 | by Starrman21See all my reviews

There is nothing not to love about this film...it still holds up as a very funny film with some great characters attached.

For The Wild Life, the obvious connection and comparison will forever be Fast Times at Ridgemont High...which is fair and fitting. Like many of us, Cameron Crowe didn't just write down his reflections of his high school days...he painted a narrative as only he can. Visual, thematically accurate and draped with the soundtracks of our youth. As great as Fast Times is, The Wild Life is "equal to" on many levels and equally as enjoyable.

Fast Times takes place during a school year chronicling several different characters as they go through the trials and tribulations of going through high school...where The Wild Life chronicles the lives of some high school kids during a summer break that is coming to a close.

One of the things that never gets mentioned is how so much of the film takes place during the night...which for me was an underscore to the high school years for a lot of us who went to high school in the late 70's and early 80's. Outdoor parties, cruising around with friends, always looking for something to do and generally staying out all night...only to do it all over again, night after night....perhaps Art Linson had the same snapshot in his head when making this film...the story being told mostly in the evening has never been lost on me.

From a character perspective, Christopher Penn, Eric Stoltz, Jenny Wright, Lea Thompson, Ilan Mitchell-Smith were perfectly cast in their respective roles....with Hart Bochner, Rick Moranis, Ben Stein, Sherilyn Fenn, Michael Bowen, Angel Salazar, Robert Ridgely and Randy Quaid among others offering terrific supporting roles that enhances the film. The musical score penned by Eddie Van Halen is also a great accent to the film....just terrific pacing.

The Wild Life is a very enjoyable film that has several memorable lines, memorable scenes with a goof or two mixed in....but the film works to this day, still holds up.

Hats off to Art Linson for making a good, funny and memorable film...released in 1984...it still resonates with those of us who remember those days fondly.


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