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The Indian Runner (1991)

Cast: Jeff Jensen, Jeff Jensen, David Morse, more...
Director: Sean Penn, Sean Penn
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: MGM
Genre: Drama
Running Time: 126 min.
Languages: English, Spanish, French
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
    see additional details...

The Indian Runner, Sean Penn's debut film as director (he also wrote the script, based on the Bruce Springsteen song "Highway Patrolman") is a brooding tale of two brothers -- one peaceful and sedate, the other violent and aggressive -- whose natures, left unchecked since they were children, are set to the boiling point as they head toward middle-age. David Morse is the quiet brother, Joe Roberts, who is a deputy sheriff in a small town. His older brother Frank (Viggo Mortensen) shows up on Joe's doorsteps, after a recent run-in with the police. Frank tells Joe that he is coming back home to stay and that he has given up his criminal life. His wife Maria (Valeria Golino) is skeptical, but Joe tells her that he is prepared to help Frank get his life back together. Frank has almost convinced himself that his future holds real promise and he's ready to start a new life with his pregnant girlfriend Dorothy (Patricia Arquette). But, once again, Frank's violent temper explodes, and everyone's plans for Frank's future crumble into rubble. ~ Paul Brenner, All Movie Guide

The release status of this DVD is currently pending. We will update our catalog once changes occur. Thank you!

GreenCine Member Reviews

Wounded Man, Walking by TaoG November 24, 2004 - 7:58 PM PST
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
If you've known somebody with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) you'll understand how brilliantly Viggo Mortensen brings to life the particular estrangement, the detachment of a person who has untreated PTSD--part of the bodies natural shock reaction in the after-math of extreme trauma. If you like Mortensen in The Lord of the Rings, be prepared to plum a bit deeper into darkness and witness a performance that easily should have been an Oscar nomination in 1991, up against Anthony Hopkins, De Niro, Nick Nolte, Warren Beatty and Robin Williams. Leave it to Sean Penn--to write, produce and direct a distinguished first film so damn close to the bone...

Beautiful Bluntness by tboot June 25, 2002 - 9:40 AM PDT
7 out of 7 members found this review helpful
The Indian Runner snuck into one of the dinky downstairs auditoriums at a multiplex in San Francisco in 1991, without benefit of press screenings or even advertising--dumped by its uninterested distributor. I watched it there, alone in the auditorium, one Sunday evening during its lonely one-week run, and I've never quite been able to shake the film's spooky power -- the stark Nebraska landscapes, the naked tenderness of every single performance (leave it Sean Penn to see the sweetness hiding behind Charles Bronson's previously-unpenetrated typecast shell), perceptive use of early '70s music, and the beautiful bluntness of its language and gesture.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.90)
51 Votes
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Where Was His/Her Oscar Nomination?
Many times I have wondered this aloud...
We May Be Through With the Past...
...but the past ain't through with us. These are the immortal words spoken by three different characters in P.T. Anderson's "Magnolia," quite possibly the greatest film to deal with how our past catches up to us no matter how far we run.

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