On Our Own (TV Movie 1988) Poster

(1988 TV Movie)

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The family that runs away together stays together
jeben7 September 2000
A tough life gets tougher when the three children of a single mom are scheduled to be sent to separate foster homes after her untimely passing.

To stay together, the older boy plans a daring, high risk escape to find a distant lost uncle- their only remaining next of kin.

Their trek takes the three fearful runaways on a chase through the desert in a classic beetle, penniless, hungry, desperate, terrorized by delinquents and too young to drive, hunted by the ever threatening civil authorities.

What the movie lacks in acting and plot realism, it makes up for in the honest human need to be a part of a fulfilled and complete family- even if that family is cobbled together with spare parts of broken lives.

Sure, the ending is forced and too over-dramatic for the critical movie goer, but every heart beats the same cry for family togetherness and belonging.

With all its weaknesses, I still give this movie a strong recommendation.
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Powerful story!
IsoscelesKramer7 June 2001
It's really too bad that nobody knows about this movie. I think if it were just spruced up a little and if it weren't so low-budget, I think one of the major film companies might have wanted to take it. I first saw this movie when I was 11, and I thought it was so powerful with the many great, yet illegal lengths that Mitchell goes to just to keep his family together. It inspired me then and it amazes me now. If you're lucky enough to find a copy of this movie, don't miss it!
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Great Movie
lovedonegirl19 February 2006
My cousins and I have watched this movie ever since we were little. I don't know exactly what it is about this movie, but we latched on to this endearing movie and it has become a special part of our family's memories.

I totally and absolutely recommend this movie to anyone who likes good wholesome family movies because that is exactly what this is. The things that the four kids get themselves into is absolutely hilarious to watch. It is an old movie but don't let that fool you. This is one of the best movies out there that shows such strong sibling bond for each other.
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OK viewing for young kids. Very mild spoiler.
headhunter4623 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
According to other reviewers the acting was awful. One must consider the year of the movie and the age of the child actors. I thought the kids did quite well. Some of the antics taken by the kids who suddenly found themselves orphaned were quite believable. Some were a bit over done, but they were necessary in the flow of events.

The four children did not wish to be separated in foster care which is understandable so they went on the run. Trust me, homes that are willing to take FOUR children are few and far between. The kids used their wits, a little thievery, and a whole lot of luck to go looking for "uncle jack".

Looking back the movie did a fair job of showing kids who watch this how much trouble can come of taking off without adult help. The movie had a "happy ending" which some reviewers thought was corny but hey, it's a "family movie".

There were consequences for their dangerous and ILLEGAL behavior which is good because young impressionable kids watching it need to know that lying and breaking the law will get you into trouble. And that you will be expected to PAY for your misdeeds. That is an attitude too often lacking in the minds of some of today's young people.

Due to the moral teachings of this film and the happy ending I rated it a six.
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Great Family Movie
arthur1955200217 June 2002
Own Our Own is a Great Family Movie because:

1) We have all thought of doing what necessity drove these kids to do. 2)The methods of the Child Welfare people too often have led to this dilemna. Do they have hearts? It sure doesn't show when they follow the Letter of the Law. 3) Everything worked out in the end. Values were upheld and a difficult situation was made right. Remember, this movie is a FAMILY movie. I found it to be a refreshing change from all those "shoot-em up" and "blow -em up" movies that are so boringly common today.
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Best Movie Ever
sburton73 October 2008
The Commenter before me stated this movie is the worst that was ever forced upon him/her as a child. I have to say though that I loved this movie when was little and I still love it today. The movie has the best running theme of all-family togetherness. Considering the time period the movie was released I thought the movie was acted out well. I only wish I could still find a copy of it somewhere!! Of all the 1980's films I watched as a kid this was on of my favorites. I know I probably watched it at least once a week with my brother and my mom. I would definitely recommend it to anyone I know-or don't know. So if you do find a copy of it I suggest watching it! It's wonderful and heartwarming.
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A great movie for the family =]
MrPinkRox15 November 2006
"on our own" is a touching story of four kids who run away from foster home after their mother dies, with only one suitcase, their dog Ralph and $9 they set off in their mums old car in search of their uncle Jack. On the way their car breaks down and they meet Peggy Williams, a schoolteacher on holidays and she offers to help them out. Together she and the children search for uncle Jack but are forced to hide from the authorities that plan to take them back into foster care as they do so. This film tells a story of love, friendship and how important it is to stick with your family as the children venture out on their amazing journey.
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there has never been a more touching film
WildFrostMW1810 June 2003
I havent seen a good film lately that could beat the value of this movie! I notice you cant find it any where thank goodness I have it already! I am a big 80's fan even though I was born 1984! and dont remeber the 80's much! I loved this movie and I recommend it to everyone!
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I love this movie!!!
andersonerica259 January 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Yes it is an old movie but I love it still to this day! My sister's and I would watch this movie at LEAST once a day!!! Not too many people know about this movie which shocks me! One of my favorite parts (I have a lot of favorite parts) is when Travis finds the quarter for the slot machine, wins, and those guys try to take it from them and the lady comes (I think her name was Pam right?)and saves them. Then towards the end when they're at their uncle's and in the horse stable and he shoves that mean kids face in the horse poo lol. Just an overall great movie with a great way of showing how family should stick together it's all you got in this world!! This movie really hits home for me!! Love love love!!!! Did I say I LOVE this movie lol!
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Chasity-Alvarez30 September 2014
This movie is a heart warming movie for all ages. It will make you laugh, make you cry, but it will teach you lessons (great for younger audiences). I wore my copy out years ago, it's one of those timeless movies you will want to watch again and again. These kids show what family means, they give you an incite to an often silent world.

Mitch comes off a mischievous perhaps, but he's just trying to find a solution to his circumstances.

Kate, she reminds me of myself in a lot of ways. Looking out for the younger kids, without realizing it, she transforms into a miniature mother.

The two younger kids, will grab your heart, from the thumb sucking little girl, to the boy attached to his dog.

Peggy will teach you what it means to truly put yourself out there, helping someone with no intention of getting anything back.

Uncle Jack will teach you that in fact, money doesn't make a happy life. He will instill in you values without ever meaning to.

A must watch movie, after watching once, you will pick it back up over the years, and as you grow, you will discover more lessons you hadn't seen before.

I wish I could find this DVD for sale somewhere!
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Acceptable family film that shines a small but significant light on the foster child situation
inkblot1127 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Four kids, two boys and two girls, lose their mother. Because there are so many children, the authorities decide it is virtually impossible to keep them together and make plans to separate them into different foster homes. The kids hate the idea and decide to take matters into their own hands. Escaping with their beloved dog, they decide to trek from Los Angeles to Arizona, where they have an uncle named Jack. On the run, they encounter problems, of course. It is necessary to pump-and-run at the gas station, when they have no more money to fill the car's gas tank, although they do promise the owner to return the money "someday". They also manage to crash their car in the Arizona desert and have to rely on the kindness of a sweet and pretty lady to get them to their destination. Will these children succeed in beating the odds and manage to stick together? This is an acceptable family film. The children are lovable and natural actors while the pretty lady who helps them out of a bad situation is an attractive woman with a winning attitude. On the other hand, the production values are merely adequate, as the film was probably made on a shoestring budget, and the costumes are nothing to write home about, either. The Arizona locale's beauty, however, is very apparent. Most importantly, the plight of suddenly orphaned children strikes one straight through the heart, as one can see how splitting siblings up in foster care would result in great turmoil and sadness. If you want to show your family a "good" film, with adventure and important messages, this might do for an evening. It has no objectionable language or situations and, more wonderfully, delivers a solid story for children of all ages.
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You tell that Mitch, I've got an earful for him! ...and a hug!
Sanpaco1314 October 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I used to watch this movie all the time when I was a kid. I loved it because it has some really good adventure in it. Its about a group of kids who decide to go on a road trip to find their Uncle Jack after their mom dies. They run away from foster care in LA and set out for Arizona with an LA detective on their tail and only $9 in their pockets. Luckily in 1988 that at least buys them a decent lunch for a day. They face a number of challenges along the way including being stranded in the desert, and facing bullies after hitting a jackpot on a slot machine. They also make friends with a school teacher on vacation who agrees to help them even after they steal her car.

As an adult, having just rewatched this, the movie has even more to offer than simply nostalgia as I was expecting. It truly is a heartwarming movie about family and friendship and doing what is right even when it doesn't fit in with "the rules" or is inconvenient for you. I found myself in years multiple times thinking about how hard it would be for me now to lose my parents, my dog, and be separated from my family all at once. How much harder would that be for a group of children? I can't help but wonder what I would do if I were in Peggy's position.

Anyway, this is a great family movie. One that I remember watching as a kid and I'm sure I will be sharing with my own children in the future.
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If Only Driving a Bus Were Really This Easy
vanhalen198428 February 2008
Warning: Spoilers
If I were to rate this movie based solely on the acting/script/production, etc., I would give it one star. All these elements are awful. I can partially forgive this, in light of the film's $250 budget. The movie does contain many entertaining scenes, mostly those of the unintentionally funny variety. Some of these include: a 14-year-old kid stealing and driving a bus, teenage hooligans (one of whom is sporting a Joy Division t-shirt) getting scared away from harassing the film's protagonists by a woman brandishing an obviously fake firearm, and an encounter with a plastic bull's skull in the Arizona desert.

I would have given it 5 stars just for the entertainment value were it not for the presence of that horribly annoying, morally pontificating old granny. I had to dock one star just because of her. Who the *bleep* makes a wedding cake with black frosting, anyhow? In all fairness, I feel I must reveal that these cringe-inducing "granny" scenes were added to the film after its rights were purchased by Feature Films for Families. So the original version probably does deserve 5 stars. This one doesn't.
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gk_chesterton-13 February 2004
As a child, this movie was one of the many "Family Movies" line films that were forced upon me by my parents. Even back then, I remember thinking that this was a terrible movie, and it only looks worse as an adult.

Sure, it's badly paced, badly acted and all-around boring, but what makes this movie really offensive is the ham-handed way it tries to shove a moral down our throats that isn't upheld by the story itself. Basicly, every illegal thing the kids do, they do because they have no acceptable alternative. Instead of placing the blame where it belongs- on the people who put them in such a desperate situation in the first place- we get an infuriating speech from a Random Granny about how the kids should know better than to Break The Law. Thanks, Betty Crocker.

Parents, please, don't inflict this movie on your kids. I'm never going to get those lost IQ points back, and they won't either.
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I loved this when I was a kid.
slytherins_queen23 June 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I really did, I used to beg to watch it. I dunno why, I just was in love with the story. Recently I just uncovered the tape and decided to rewatch it, well it wasn't as fun as it was when I was a kid that's for certain. The acting is very very wooden, and the scenarios beyond cliché. And some things are perfectly illogical, for instance the oldest boy Mitch had never driven a car before in his life and suddenly his driving like a pro? Wow, I wish I was that talented LOL. The plot had a lot of potential though, and I think it was part of the charm that made me want to watch it over and over again when I was younger, kids defying adults, kids being rebellious, meeting their Uncle Jack. Yeah it was the dreams that made me watch this obviously not the realism. It moved to fast my liking, I realize that this is just a cute little family film but there should have been a lot more plot development, not only with the kids but with Jack, Jack's girlfriend and with Peggy.

I felt that the relationship with Peggy and Jack moved a lot to fast and then in the end kind of left us hanging. That being said there were a lot of good moments where I still laughed out loud. Travis was the funniest out of the kids, that kid had a knack for comedy."Do you even know what that is?"

"Mud?" "Yeah because mud is green." LOL.

I kinda hope that this movie WILL be remade. I mean Hollywood remakes the good movie, why can't they re make the bad, eh? I see Julia Roberts as Peggy, Dakota Fanning as Kate, Elle Fanning as Lori, Zach Mills as Travis Skandar Keynes as Mitch and George Clooney as Uncle Jack. Hey, I know it's not possible but a girl can dream eh? All in all not the best movie you'll ever see in your life but certainly an enjoyable light hearted one.
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the movie that BOMBED the nation
doohicky184 April 2000
o`k if you are in the mood for a cheesey indy film that has the plot of used tissue and acting that could scare away burt renolds,then this is the movie for you.if you don`t fall asleep through the first 10 minutes of it you might eventually relize that this is a movie that you are watching and not a bad dream! it will make you laugh,it will make you cry, it will make you wish you doing something better with your time.the only thing it has going good for it is the crappy acting.it will have you laughing for hours. you really need to see this movie just for a laugh!
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