Over the Edge  [DVD]
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New Grenada is a planned community in the rolling plains west of Denver. It is a soulless oasis of split levels home, coffee mornings and crushing blandness, where the adults strive to attract investment and their neglected kids are left to make their own entertainment. When the youth centre closes at dusk, this manifests in vandalism, drug-taking, theft and general hooliganism, resulting in the accidental shooting of a police officer. When the town s parents gather the next night to discuss the degenerating situation, they soon discover the kids have had all they can take. Starring Matt Dillon (Crash, Wild Things) in his first screen role, Over The Edge is a beautiful, yet starkly realised social treatise about the rhythms of teenage life, made at a time where youth crime was rampant across middle America. The vastness of the desert setting adds to the sense of hopelessness that engulfs the townsfolk and makes for a ground-breaking and memorial movie that introduced the troubled-teen cinematic genre.
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Top Customer Reviews
Maybe I'm just too middle-aged now, to really take the side of rebellious youths who then go on to, well, riot. With the riots over here last Summer appalling all but the perpetrators I'm afraid I wasn't hugely moved by their angst. Sure, I can understand the boredom and frustration of youth but I, myself was brought up on a farm and so there was always work and things to do when I was their age and so didn't suffer with that particular affliction.
I didn't mind their dalliance with drugs, at least as far as the film was concerned; that seemed very natural and added interest and I think it was these elements that bumped the certificate up to 18. The soundtrack may have appealed to those who liked those bands, they were before my time, at least in '79, when the film was released, so I can't even say that the music was great.
The young cast is undoubtedly the movie's strong point and much praise has been made on Matt Dillon's debut role. Again, maybe because of my now tender age, I found the politics and economics of it all that were causing all the social problems rather more interesting than that of the youths, which could be a bit worrying!
Despite what I've said about not fully appreciating Over the Edge, it is a good film and well made and I hope that when I come to see it again, sometime, I'll get into it more.
Let me start by saying these characters are real: Every one of us has known a Richie White or a Claude Zachary, and every one of us has fallen in love with the Cory character or one like her. We all identified with Carl Willis as the naive, but not-so-dumb- teen with ideals and dreams that seem supressed by the town around him. The plot of this movie was the plot of most of our lives and most of us wanted to break out as these kids did in the end, but we didn't because we found another voice somewhere. This movie is a good vehicle for us to look into ourselves and see what might have been had we not found other avenues to release what was frustrating us back then.
The fact that these kids in this small Colorado town felt so helpless and forgotten makes this film so real and disturbing. While it doesn't carry the absolute fear factor of the modern day "Kids", it dispels the notion that the 70s was an easier time for kids. Yes, we have a myriad of diseases and other various obstacles to contend with today, but Over the Edge shows that that era was not lost to innocence as many might believe. The movie is a must-see!
Matt Dillon's first performance is a little "spotty", but being a mere 14-year-old and plucked from his high school while cutting a class makes him more watchable knowing that he was, quite literally, from the very crowd he joined on screen.Read more ›
The soundtrack features The Ramones, Cheap Trick and a beautifully poignant ballad by Valerie Carter called 'ooh Child'.
Tim Hunter, who went on to direct Keanu Reeves in Rivers Edge, a movie with similar themes & focus, co-wrote Over The Edge, which was apparantly banned from viewing for years due to its final scenes when the kids take on their parents & the cops at the local High School emergency meeting, prompted by the shooting of Ritchie by the over-zealous redneck police officer.
This movie is the flip-side to disposable US teen trash like American Pie. The humour is cutting, the drama unfolds without the trite cliched formula & the finale is pure teen rebellion. Thoroughly thought-provoking & memorable.
Matt Dillon displays the cocky arrogance that he is so known for in later movies like The Outsiders, Rumblefish and Drugstore Cowboy and along with these movies it is essential for any serious Matt Dillon fan.
I am esterlinha Blake, Original Styla.