The Man in the Moon

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The Man in the Moon

Theatrical release poster
Directed byRobert Mulligan
Produced byMark Rydell
Written byJenny Wingfield
StarringReese Witherspoon
Jason London
Sam Waterston
Tess Harper
Gail Strickland
Emily Warfield
Music byJames Newton Howard
Distributed byMGM
Release date(s)October 4, 1991
Running time99 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
 
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The Man in the Moon

Theatrical release poster
Directed byRobert Mulligan
Produced byMark Rydell
Written byJenny Wingfield
StarringReese Witherspoon
Jason London
Sam Waterston
Tess Harper
Gail Strickland
Emily Warfield
Music byJames Newton Howard
Distributed byMGM
Release date(s)October 4, 1991
Running time99 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

The Man in the Moon is a 1991 American drama film, directed by Robert Mulligan and starring Sam Waterston, Reese Witherspoon and Jason London. It was Mulligan's last film and Waterston's last theatrical movie before he moved to Law & Order, as well as Witherspoon's first film.

Contents

Plot summary

In the summer of the 1957, Dani (Reese Witherspoon) is a 14-year-old girl who, according to her father, is "too big to be running off by herself." Dani and her older sister Maureen, (Emily Warfield) who is going off to college in the fall, are very close. Maureen helps her mother take care of their younger sister, Missy, while their mother Abigail (Tess Harper) is pregnant with the Trant's fourth child. Dani however prefers to run off into the neighbor's pond to go swimming in the nude. It is here where she meets her new neighbor, seventeen-year-old Court Foster (Jason London). Court kicks Dani out of his pond. When Dani goes home, her mother tells her to wash up because an old friend of Mr. and Mrs. Trant's is coming for dinner with her children. Dani reluctantly showers up and puts on her Sunday's best clothes.

The Trants' old friend, turns out to be a widow, Mrs. Foster (Gail Strickland) with her three sons Court, Dennis, and Rob (Derek and Spencer Ball). When Dani realizes who Court is, the two dislike each other. Court calls Dani "a little girl". When Dani's father (Sam Waterston) tells Dani to accompany Court into town for groceries, Dani and Court drive into town and start to get along. Dani finally realizes that she is in love with Court.

Meanwhile, Maureen goes on a date to a dance with her boyfriend Billy Sanders (Bentley Mitchum) and his parents. Billy's father, (Ernie Lively) makes several advances to Maureen, especially when he dances with her. Maureen and Billy leave the dance, and she orders him to take her home. Billy however, would rather park his car and have sex with Maureen. Maureen gets angry and agrees to break up with Billy because she believes "love should be beautiful".

The next day, Dani asks Maureen for advice on how to kiss a boy. Maureen demonstrates by practicing on her hand. Dani and Court continue to go swimming during the hot sunny days and become very close friends. One day, the two agree to meet to go swimming at night, since Court has too much work to do during the day. Dani sneaks off and swims with Court until they reach the point where they are about to kiss. Court pushes Dani away, causing Dani to question him as to what she did wrong. Court asks if she has ever been kissed before. Dani lies and says she has lots of times. Court gets angry and says she is a little girl that doesn't know what she's doing, and runs off home. Dani leaves too just as a thunderstorm is breaking out. Abigail wakes up, knowing Dani isn't in the home, and runs outside looking for her. Just as Dani gets home, and runs to her mother, her mother also runs and trips on a root, landing on her stomach. Dani's father races her to the hospital, where she is treated for a fairly serious head injury. When her father returns home from the hospital, he beats Dani with his belt.

The next day, Court brings food to the Trant house and apologizes to Dani for the other night. Dani, still hurt, just ignores him at first, until Court says he would still like to be friends. The two continue their friendship and still go swimming in the pond. The next time they go swimming, they play fight and come to the point once again when Court is about to kiss Dani. He pushes her away again. The two eventually share their first kiss.

Once Dani has made up with her father, he tells Dani to invite Court over once in a while so he can get to know him better. When Court comes over for dinner, he finally meets Maureen. Dani can tell it is love at first sight for the two of them. While Dani visits her mother in the hospital before she finally gives birth to another daughter, Court comes over to the Trant house and kisses Maureen.

Over the next few days, Dani is getting pushed away by Court. When the whole family except Maureen, visits Abigail at the hospital, Court and Maureen have their first date and claim their love for each other. When the Trants arrive home with Abigail and the new baby, Maureen is nowhere to be found. She is actually at the Foster's in the fields making love with Court behind some trees. When Maureen leaves for home, Court goes back to plowing the fields and falls off the machine, and is badly injured. Dani sees this, and races home to tell her father.

When Matthew returns home, he has some of Court's blood on his clothes and the whole family realizes that Court has died. Maureen hides her pain at first, while Dani bursts into tears.

After Court's funeral, Dani continues to be angry at Maureen knowing what happened between her and Court. Dani tells her sister she doesn't want to be close to her anymore. Matthew tells Dani, while on a fishing trip, that although she has a right to be hurt, being mad won't bring Court back, and Maureen will be her sister for life. Dani goes home and comforts Maureen while she is still grieving.

The movie ends with Maureen and Dani talking outside on the porch at night, becoming close again.

Cast

ActorRole
Sam WaterstonMatthew Trant
Tess HarperAbigail Trant
Gail StricklandMarie Foster
Reese WitherspoonDani Trant
Jason LondonCourt Foster
Emily WarfieldMaureen Trant
Bentley MitchumBilly Sanders
Ernie LivelyWill Sanders
Dennis LettsDoc White
Earleen BergeronEileen Sanders
Anna ChappellMrs. Taylor
Brandi SmithMissy Trant
Derek BallFoster Twin
Spencer BallFoster Twin
Patrick HallisyJude Davinc

Reception

See also

External links