Vision Quest

February 15th, 1985


Vision Quest

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Vision Quest is a coming of age movie in which high school wrestler Louden Swain decides he wants to...

Release Year: 1985

Rating: 6.1/10 (3,889 voted)

Director: Harold Becker

Stars: Matthew Modine, Linda Fiorentino, Michael Schoeffling

Vision Quest is a coming of age movie in which high school wrestler Louden Swain decides he wants to be something more than an average high school athlete and sets his sights on a prize that many don't think he can win - he then sets out to reach his goal alone, without much support from his father or coach. His father rents a room to a young drifter, Carla. Swain falls in love with her and she helps him stay focused and prevents him from losing sight of his goals.

Writers: Terry Davis, Darryl Ponicsan

Matthew Modine - Louden Swain
Linda Fiorentino - Carla
Michael Schoeffling - Kuch
Ronny Cox - Louden's Dad
Harold Sylvester - Tanneran
Charles Hallahan - Coach
J.C. Quinn - Elmo (as J. C. Quinn)
Daphne Zuniga - Margie Epstein
R.H. Thomson - Kevin (as R. H. Thomson)
Gary Kasper - Otto
Raphael Sbarge - Schmoozler
Forest Whitaker - Balldozer
Frank Jasper - Shute
Roberts Blossom - Grandpa
James Gammon - Kuch's Dad

Taglines: All he needed was a lucky break. Then one day she moved in.

Release Date: 15 February 1985

Filming Locations: Monroe Bridge, Spokane, Washington, USA

Gross: $12,900,000 (USA)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

J.C. Quinn, who plays Elmo the cook in the Hotel where Louden (Modine) works, also starred in Gross Anatomy as Joe's Father (Papa Slovak).

Revealing mistakes: The boxes of detergent that fall on Louden at the supermarket are clearly empty.

Louden Swain: My name's Louden, Louden Swain. Last week I turned 18. I wasn't ready for it. I haven't done anything yet. So I made this deal with myself. This is the year I make my mark.

User Review

Trite Plot, Sappy Star; so WHY is it so GOOD?

Rating: 7/10

While I bought the soundtrack to 'Vision Quest' while the movie was still new, I didn't bother to see the movie until recently. While a great soundtrack and a braless Linda Fiorentino was quite appealing, the 'high school wrestler' plot didn't interest me at all. A few years later, after seeing the sappy Matthew Modine in 'Married to the Mob, ' I lost all interest in 'Vision Quest'. However, after catching (I wish) Linda Fiorentino in 'Men in Black,' and finding 'Vision Quest on ENCORE, I thought, 'What the heck? It's free.' So, my wife and I snuggled in and watched. We were glad we did. Sure, Modine was sappy, but so was his character, Loudan Swain. Loudan's a goofy kid who just turned 18. He's also smart and athletic and decent. He's a wrestler and he plans to beat the best high school wrestler in the state. Loudan wants this not for glory or awards; he just believes he can do it and makes a superhuman effort to lose the weight required to compete in the champ's weight class. His buddy, Kuch, who fancies himself an American Indian, observes Loudan is making a 'vision quest' for self discovery. During Loudan's journey and 'rite of passage to manhood' he meets Carla, a street smart, sexy girl three years his senior. Loudan falls for Carla and now has two dreams, to fight the champ and to win Carla.

Daryl Ponicson ('The Last Detail,' 'Cinderella Liberty) wrote the fine, incisive screenplay from the novel by Terry Davis. The movie has a lot to say about life and how dedication leads to genius. The language is rough, but quite natural. Linda Fiorentino has the movies funniest line, which refers to the 'Holland Tunnel', but J. C. Quinn, who plays Modene's chef friend, has the most poetic monologue, regarding Pele and soccer. Even though things don't work out exactly as Loudan expected, he's uplifted and exhilarated and you will be, too.

The outstanding soundtrack contains music by Tangerine Dream, Journey, REO Speedwagon and Madonna, among others. While the songs were not written for the movie (except, probably the Oscar worthy 'Crazy for You'), they work extremely well. Credit director Howard Becker ('The Onion Field,' 'Sea of Love') for getting the best from his talented cast of actors and musicians. 'Vision Quest' is not a great movie, but a good one. I give it a '7'.


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