6.3/10
1,450
30 user 16 critic

Smooth Talk (1985)

A free-spirited 15-year-old girl flirts with a dangerous stranger in the Northern California suburbs and must prepare herself for the frightening and traumatic consequences.

Director:

Joyce Chopra

Writers:

Joyce Carol Oates (story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been"), Tom Cole (screenplay)
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On Disc

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2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Treat Williams ... Arnold Friend
Laura Dern ... Connie
Mary Kay Place ... Katherine
Margaret Welsh ... Laura
Sara Inglis Sara Inglis ... Jill (as Sarah Inglis)
Levon Helm ... Harry
Elizabeth Berridge ... June
Geoff Hoyle Geoff Hoyle ... Ellie
William Ragsdale ... Jeff
David Berridge David Berridge ... Eddie
Cab Covay Cab Covay ... Pick-up Driver
Michael French Michael French ... Stan
Joy Carlin Joy Carlin ... Laura's Mother
Mark McKay Mark McKay ... Bobby King
Carl Mueller Carl Mueller ... Mall Boy
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Storyline

Free-spirited fifteen-year-old Connie Wyatt may be too young to drive, but she's already driving the boys crazy. Her suspicious mother wants to keep her safely at home, but Connie would rather while away the languid summer days hanging out with her friends and flirting with boys at the local burger stand. But when she flirts with a handsome and dangerous stranger named Arnold Friend, she must prepare herself for the frightening and traumatic consequences. Based on the short story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" by Joyce Carol Oates. Written by Eric Zuckerman <zuckermn@humans-only.slip.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 November 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bedrohliches Geflüster See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Rosa, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,785, 17 November 1985, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$16,785, 17 November 1985
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

The film is actually based on the short story by Joyce Carol Oates titled, "Where are you going, Where have you been?". It's often hailed as a literary masterpiece due to the many motifs and insightful views on modern culture. See more »

Goofs

When the girls are looking across the street at Franks drive-in we see the gold Pontiac already in the lot, easy to pick out due to the left brake light being out. Then we hear the car coming down the road and see it turn into the parking lot, also sporting the non working light. See more »

Quotes

Katherine: A penny.
Connie: For what?
Katherine: You know what.
Connie: For my thoughts? They're not worth it.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Siskel & Ebert: On the Sunny Side of the Screen (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Cruisin' Love
Performed by Rachel Sweet
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Strange mix of growing-pains drama and psychological study
1 February 2004 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

Laura Dern is perfect as lanky lass in a small town sparring with her parents, estranged from her older sister, desperate to be liked and to be with boys. Opening moments of this adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates' story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been"--with Dern and friends doing the mall--are realistic but nothing too original; second portion of the film, with Laura meeting smooth talking Treat Williams (who comes dressed like the James Dean poster on Dern's wall) is elongated and dry (you can almost feel the director's confidence slipping away). It's an encounter I didn't particularly care for, nor did I buy the rosy ending either. However, there are fine moments in "Smooth Talk", the most devastating of which lies in a conversation between Dern and indifferent sis Elizabeth Berridge (in a terrific performance): Dern recalls a vivid, lovely childhood memory between the two, but after listening and thinking it over, Berridge tells her, "I don't remember..." **1/2 from ****


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