7.7/10
12,558
96 user 44 critic

Running on Empty (1988)

PG-13 | | Crime, Drama, Music | 9 September 1988 (USA)
The eldest son of a fugitive family comes of age and wants to live a life of his own.

Director:

Sidney Lumet

Writer:

Naomi Foner

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christine Lahti ... Annie Pope
River Phoenix ... Danny Pope
Judd Hirsch ... Arthur Pope
Jonas Abry Jonas Abry ... Harry Pope
Martha Plimpton ... Lorna Phillips
Ed Crowley ... Mr. Phillips
L.M. Kit Carson ... Gus Winant
Steven Hill ... Donald Patterson
Augusta Dabney Augusta Dabney ... Abigail Patterson
David Margulies ... Dr. Jonah Reiff
Lynne Thigpen ... Contact at Eldridge St.
Marcia Jean Kurtz ... School Clerk
Sloane Shelton ... Mrs. Phillips
Justine Johnston Justine Johnston ... Librarian
Herb Lovelle ... Hospital Clerk
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Storyline

The Popes are a family who haven't been able to use their real identity for years. In the late sixties, the parents set a weapons lab afire in an effort to hinder the government's Vietnam war campaign. Ever since then, the Popes have been on the run with the authorities never far behind. Today, their eldest son wants a life of his own although he is aware that would mean that his parents would either get caught or he will never see them again. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In 1971, Arthur and Annie Pope blew up a napalm lab to protest the war... Ever since then they have been on the run from the FBI. They chose their lives. Now their son must choose his.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Music | Romance

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 September 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Flucht ins Ungewisse See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,835,116
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

River Phoenix starred in two films that year with similar plots, this one and Little Nikita (1988). The difference is that in this film his character's parents were Sixties radicals in hiding and in "Little Nikita" his character's parents were Soviet spies. See more »

Goofs

During Danny's Juilliard audition, one of the school's admissions officers stated that he needed to supply them with SAT scores. Juilliard does not, and never has, required applicants to submit standardized test scores. See more »

Quotes

Michael: They need me.
Lorna: I need you.
See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Breakthrough Stars of 1992 (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Oh Pretty Woman
Written by Roy Orbison & Bill Dees
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Doesn't make the mistake of glorifying crime
19 January 2003 | by SnobbyDudeSee all my reviews

This is a fantastic movie. Definitely one of the 5 best I've seen in recent memory. Someone that wrote a review here felt that the two parents are placed upon a pedestal by the film makers, but I don't think this is the case at all. They are accountable for their actions and know what they did was wrong. They have to pay for their actions throughout their lives and will likely turn themselves in as soon as they can be assured that their kids will be safe. The kids are the ones I feel sorry for, not the parents.

I think the main point of the movie is to make people aware of how the actions/decisions they make can hurt other people, including themselves. People often make rash decisions without thinking about the long term consequences their actions cause for themselves and other people.


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