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1959. Baltimore. A group of college-age buddies struggle with their imminent passage into adulthood.


Levinson’s self-penned 1982 directorial debut and the first of his “Baltimore films” is a disarming reminiscence on buddydom. Revolving on a fine young ensemble — Mickey Rourke, Ellen Barkin, Daniel Stern, Kevin Bacon and Steve Guttenberg among them — it’s an affectionate observation of young men trying to grow up, stay cool and comprehend women over cups of java and smokes.

Rourke dominates, but there are great bits all round: Guttenberg’s character, for example, who refuses to marry unless his girl can pass a test on his football team, and who was based on a cousin of Levinson’s.

A witty and biting screenplay is excellently portrayed by an ensemble, who would all soon become big stars.