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Over the Edge film image

Over the Edge

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When we asked Slash/Back filmmaker Nyla Innuksuk to nominate two movies which influenced her, we anticipated that she would come back with John Carpenter’s The Thing (screening Friday 24th), but her second choice came as a surprise – even if, in retrospect, it makes perfect sense. Over the Edge was never a commercial success, although it did get a second theatrical release in 1981 at the clamouring of fans who discovered the movie on HBO. The debut of Matt Dillon, this is a potent portrait of teen delinquents bored and ignored in a desolate Colorado “planned community,” a suburban tract designed to keep the middle class safe and secure – so long as they’re not kids. The more the adults crack down on them, the harder the teenagers kick back at them.

Director Jonathan Kaplan was a graduate of Roger Corman exploitation movies (and before that, a student of Martin Scorsese) who would go on to make The Accused and some 40 episodes of ER. Screenwriter Tim Hunter would also carve out a long career directing in TV (including episodes of Twin Peaks) but not before directing another exceptionally dark and arresting teen movie, River’s Edge. Although the film was not a box office hit, it absolutely hit a nerve, and remains relevant to this day.

Over the Edge pretty much defined my whole personality. It was really cool. Total anarchy.

Kurt Cobain

This allegory of an America ever under construction examines, in a nuanced, even-handed manner, the money-obsessed mindset of adults, parents and entrenched authorities no less than the hostile recalcitrance of errant youth on their road to nowhere.

Anton Bitel, Little White Lies

A sensitive and deceptively shocking portrait of middle-class decadence and alienation set against an impersonal, dehumanized, futuristic Sunbelt society.

Bruce McCabe, Boston Globe


Jonathan Kaplan


Matt Dillon, Michael Eric Kramer, Pamela Ludwig, Vincent Spano, Harry Northup, Tom Fergus

Country of Origin






95 min

Book Tickets

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George Litto


Charles S. Haas, Tim Hunter


Andrew Davis


Robert Barrere

Original Music

Sol Kaplan

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