Moviedrome Mondays: At Close Range (1986)

Welcome back my dear readers for my first Moviedrome Monday entry in 4 weeks. Glad to be back though πŸ™‚ Since I could not find a youtube video link of Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox introducing director James Foley’s 1986 Neo-noir/crime drama At Close Range (reportedly based on a true story), readers will have to rely on Cox’s intro transcript (read here). The episode’s original airdate was July 14, 1991 (read here). This stylish film benefits largely from two things – superb performances from it’s entire cast (especially Sean Penn and Christopher Walken) and Madonna’s emotionally charged song Live to Tell, which is (based on my knowledge) played in instrumental form here (been a while since I have seen it). Nevertheless, the drama never really ignites like it should – maybe uninvolving is too strong a word on Cox’s part, but he is right that something essential is missing from it. All in all, a good (If not very good) film, but not a great one.

Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer

Here is a youtube video link to a music video of Madonna’s aforementioned song Live to Tell

12 thoughts on “Moviedrome Mondays: At Close Range (1986)

  1. I had this film on VHS, after enjoying it at the cinema. I thought Walken was excellent in it. I might get around to buying a DVD copy soon.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. It hit on all eight for me, John. I liked everything about it, even the pacing, but I can see where its quietness could be used against it. It’s hard to believe that James Foley directed this and Glengarry Glen Ross and the sequels to Fifty Shades of Grey.

  3. I hadn’t realised At Close Range was written by Elia Kazan’s son. After reading Cox’s introduction I might finally get around to watching this, if only for Walken’s performance.

  4. For me, James Foley directed two very good films – 1990’s After Dark My Sweet and 1992’s Glengarry Glen Ross. While At Close Range ranks slightly short from those two, at least it is better than the rest of his back catalogue. Anyway, thanks for dropping by πŸ™‚

  5. Been a while since I heard the instrumental version, but I do love Madonna’s version of it, which is very moving. Anyway, thanks for dropping by πŸ™‚

  6. That and check out the Madonna song Live to Tell, which provided a youtube link to πŸ™‚ Anyway, thanks for dropping by πŸ™‚

  7. I recall seeing this a long time ago when I was young and stuff. It was a bit shocking and didn’t leave a good taste. I sure didn’t think Sean and Walken would become the big Stars they became. Look how young Walken looks!! He wasn’t always the grizzly character we’ve come to know. Not a movie I recommended to anyone.

  8. I love Christopher Walken. This is definitely one of his best. God, I wish time would stand still and he hadn’t gotten old and stopped making movies. Ah, well….
    Nice, concise review! πŸ™‚

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