Going All the Way (1997) - Rotten Tomatoes

Going All the Way (1997)



Critic Consensus: Its themes may feel overly familiar, but Going All the Way is set apart from other period coming-of-age films by the strength of its performances.

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Movie Info

Set in 1950s Indianapolis, this moving, meandering drama follows the coming-of-age of two recently returned Korean War veterans who, despite their obvious differences, form a friendship that sustains them through the trials ahead of them. They meet on a homeward bound train in 1954. Handsome, self-confident Gunner Casselman, a former high-school athlete, is returning home from Asia. He befriends awkward, skinny and introverted Sonny Burns, who spent his Army stint in Kansas City. Gunner regales Sonny with his many exciting exploits and insights about the wonders of Japan. When Sonny gets back to the stuffy confines of his family home and the ultra-conservative ways of his stodgy parents, he remembers Gunner's stories and suddenly finds his life claustrophobic and dull. Even his relationship with his reliable and marriage-minded old girlfriend feels smothering. He has no idea what he will do with his future, but he knows he doesn't want to remain in Indianapolis. With Gunner's help, Sonny gets involved with the gorgeous Gail, who lures him out of his shell and gives him the first opportunity in his life to shine. Things go well until the fateful moment when the relationship takes an intimate turn. The event causes a terrible crisis; the aftermath of which leaves Sonny forced to finally choose the course his life will take.more
Rating: R (adult situations)
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Dan Wakefield
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 1, 2001
Gramercy Pictures

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Jeremy Davies
as Sonny Burns
Ben Affleck
as Gunner Casselman
Amy Locane
as Buddy Porter
Rachel Weisz
as Marty Pilcher
Rose McGowan
as Gail Thayer
Jeff Buelterman
as Blow Mahoney
Jill Clayburgh
as Alma Burns
Lesley Ann Warren
as Nina Casselman
John E. Blazier
as Bar Patron
Richard Gaeckle
as Conductor/Ticket Tak...
Teri Beitel
as Beautiful Young Girl
Jerry Panatieri
as Religious Man
Pat Daley
as Meadowlark Resident ...
Charlie Webb
as Meadowlark Resident ...
Dave Webster
as Crooner
Ted Steeg
as Minister
Adrienne Reiswerg
as Farmer's Wife
David Aikens
as Farmer No. 1
Dan Wakefield
as Farmer No. 2
John Craig
as Doctor
Cup A' Joe
as Winkie the Dog
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Going All the Way

Critic Reviews for Going All the Way

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (8)

Wakefield's trenchant coming-of-age tale uses a classic pairing of utterly contrasting types to ground his exploration of innocence and experience, of complacency and the thirst for adventure...

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

The leading men never quite show us the essence of their unlikely friendship.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

I'm a decade younger than the characters in this movie, but I grew up in a time and place not far from the film's psychic setting. I recognized much.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Even if it's too self-conscious, Going All the Way, set in 1950s Indianapolis, nevertheless has a mix of the sweet and the forlorn that somehow works.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

The only thing that sets it apart from so many forgettable period piece coming-of-age stories is that it has been put together with a degree of care and skill.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Top Critic

An old-fashioned coming-of-age story with a newfangled art-film look...

Full Review… | September 19, 1997
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Going All the Way

In love and life there's only one way to go.

Goo Film! At any rate, the plight of Sonny Burns, the protagonist of this film, is so easy to identify with, and the way he sees Gunner is so typical and real that this film really is refreshing and understandable. The oppressive blanket of the 1950's plays another role in this film, really as one of the more important characters. Sonny doesn't know how to deal with a lot of different things, and he isn't being told/taught how to do so by his parents or his society. It's a sad movie, but filled with hope at the same time. "Going All the Way" is no 10-star film, to be sure, but the earnest efforts of cast and crew come through sufficiently that it is worth your while to give it a look. This is a character-driven film that asks you to open your heart and, although set in the 1950s, examines one aspect of the human condition that we can relate to even today.

After returning home from the Korean War, two young men search for love and fulfillment in middle America.

Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

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