Running on Empty

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Released 1988

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Movie Summary

Director:
Sidney Lumet
Released:
1988
Rating:
PG-13

Running on Empty is a 1988 drama about a family on the run from law enforcement. Arthur Pope (Judd Hirsch) and his wife, Annie (Christine Lahti), were active in the anti-war movement during the 1970s. When the bombing of a napalm factory went horribly wrong and injured an innocent janitor, the couple went underground and into hiding. With the help of old friends, they have managed to stay afloat financially, moving from town to town under assumed names as they raise their son, Danny (River Phoenix). Things become difficult, however, when Danny's talent as a pianist begins to draw public attention. His teachers encourage him to apply to Juilliard, but Danny's spotty academic record causes problems since he has constantly attended schools under different names. He also falls in love for the first time with a young girl named Lorna (Martha Plimpton), to whom he confides his family's dark secret. Arthur, Annie and Danny must all ultimately decide how to move forward with their own lives -- to stay hidden or return to real life.

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    Drama