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Directed by Tony Bill, loyal to the buddy themes that made his name as a producer (from The Sting to Going in Style). Alan Ormsby's screenplay (can this be the same Alan Ormsby who directed Deranged?) posits a flowering of human feeling between a sensitive teen entering high school in Chicago and the apparently surly, sinister thug he enlists for protection against the school's creeps. Wandering from Maxwell Street locations to the Ambassador East, Bill seems to be reaching for a socially significant background, though in the end the tale hinges on primitive, bone-crunching notions of revenge. A film of ingredients, rather than ideas realized and integrated: it panders on different, disjunctive levels. With Adam Baldwin, Matt Dillon, Ruth Gordon, Martin Mull, and John Houseman (1980).

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