Dealing with nuclear testing and its long-lasting deadly effects, the story portrays Boy, a young widower living in the desert on a nuclear testing site. Living as a hermit, he waits for ... See full summary »
Mad with grief after the death of his Kiowa wife, Talbot awaits death under a tree with her body beside him. She begins to haunt him because he won't burn her. His father, who bought him the wife, thinks her sister might reason with him.
Ben E. King performs in the music video for "Stand by Me" from the original motion picture soundtrack for Stand by Me (1986). King sings to an audience before inviting actors River Phoenix ... See full summary »
Roy Parmenter is a veteran FBI agent who has spent the last 20 years trying to find the Russian agent who killed his partner whom he calls Scuba. When a couple of deep cover Russian agents are killed Parmenter thinks Scuba is the one doing it. The Russians who have received word from Scuba that if they want him to stop, they have to pay him. So they send a veteran Russian agent, Karpov to stop him. Parmenter was tasked with performing background checks on people applying for certain things requiring security clearance and when he comes across Jeffrey Grant who's applying to the Air Force Academy, he discovers that his parents' info is false. He also learns of Karpov coming into the country and suspects that he is here to stop Scuba and that Karpov went to the city where Jeffrey and his family live, so he decides to keep an eye on Jeffrey and his family.Written by
The filming of this movie evolved in the same pattern as the film's script's conflict. "The picture is very light in the beginning and slowly builds tension as it moves along", Director Richard Benjamin commented and added, "in the beginning it's fun, and then it reaches down into the heart of the matter, almost destroying a family. This structure is what appealed to me about the story". Producer Harry Gittes has guided the film through its continuous evolution over a four-year period. According to Gittes, it was former Columbia Chief David Puttnam who first suggested the casting of Sidney Poitier: "The signing of Sidney was one of the luckiest things that ever happened to us. Suddenly, we had the experienced pro and the young new firebrand together in a movie, and it added an extra dimension that is remarkable on-screen." See more »
When Karpov gets into the cab after crossing the border, the camera, crew, lights and a bounce board are reflected in the window. See more »
[addressing Elizabeth and Richard Grant - Soviet sleeper agents]
Your discipline is sorely wanting. The Directorate will be most unhappy. You must go to work immediately.
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River Phoenix co-stars in this political thriller as "Jeff Grant", an All-American teenager determined to enrol in the Air Force Academy to impress his parents. What he's never known is that his dad and mom (Richard Jenkins, Caroline Kava) are in reality Soviet "sleeper" agents that have long been residents of the U.S. of A. FBI agent Roy Parmenter (Sidney Poitier) finds this out, and goes out of his way to befriend Jeff, hoping to expose the parents. But while this is going on, a renegade Soviet agent, "Scuba" (Richard Lynch), is busy eliminating sleepers in hopes of a payoff. The KGB sends one of their top men, Konstantin Karpov (Richard Bradford), to apprehend Scuba.
"Little Nikita" is directed competently enough by actor / filmmaker Richard Benjamin ("My Favourite Year"), but it's almost defeated by an utterly lousy script, credited to John Hill and Bo Goldman. It has barely a believable moment, but, to be fair, the incredible absurdity of the dialogue and scenes is good for some laughs. Poitier does give the movie some life with a lively and jokey performance; he's amusing, helping to smooth over a lot of those rough spots. Phoenix is good as the kid who's confronted with this truth about his folks that seems impossible to swallow. In fact, it's this excellent cast (also including Jerry Hardin as Poitiers' superior, Loretta Devine as a guidance counsellor who gets into bed with Poitier, and a briefly seen Lucy Deakins as Jeffs' girlfriend) that makes this preposterous movie as entertaining as it is. It really goes off the rails towards the end, with a priceless climax that turns the parents into action heroes! This is followed by more nonsense - a standoff on a trolley, a denouement on a border crossing.
Somewhat fun on a no-brainer level, but Phoenix's next picture, "Running on Empty", about another average American kid forced to deal with an unpleasant reality about his folks, is superior.
Six out of 10.
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