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SEAN PENN & NICOLAS CAGE IN 'RACING WITH THE MOON'

year: 1984 cast: Sean Penn, Elizabeth McGovern, Nicolas Cage, Bob Maroff, Michael Madsen rating: ***
From the very beginning, as Sean Penn’s Henry “Hopper” Nash breaks out of a classical piano piece into a racy show tune – ticking off his uptight music teacher during a private lesson – we know he’s a rebel.

Set in 1942, America's in the throes of the Second World War. Hopper and his pal Nicky, played with fiery charisma by Nicolas Cage, are high school seniors and in a month will both go overseas. RACING WITH THE MOON centers around that month yet too little time’s spent with the friends, both working hard at a bowling alley.
Bob Maroff breaks up Sean Penn and Crispin Glover
In the days before pins were loaded mechanically, the working class pals sweat hard for their paycheck despite harassment from local rich kids. And then something catches Hopper's attention: the mesmerizing blue eyes of Elizabeth McGovern’s Caddie Winger, a… or who seems to be a… upper class “Gatsby Girl” that Hopper spends most of his time chasing and eventually falling in love with.

Although Penn and McGovern have good chemistry, and their love story, set in the backdrop of the gorgeous California coastline, is the kind of nostalgia liken to old windswept romances, there’s not much to their relationship other than hormones masked as something deeper.
Sean Penn and Elizabeth McGovern
It’s during sporadic breaks, when Hopper and Nicky chase after moving trains, or try hustling tough Navy guys at pool, that we’re not only entertained but the impending war seems that much palpable.

And although the pace is slowed by a melodramatic subplot involving Nicky’s girlfriend’s abortion and other distractions, here's a film that successfully takes you back into another time and place.
Nicolas Cage and Michael Talbott
Michael Madsen as a crippled vet
Drinking at work before machines will take your job
Crispin Glover as a snarky rich kid
Elizabeth McGovern
BUY RACING WITH THE MOON AT AMAZON
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