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The best juvenile delinquent movie you've (probably) never seen

Posteroveredge Viceland.com has published a tremendous, cooler-than-cool oral history of the making of 1979's Over the Edge, one of the best (and least seen) films about contemporary suburban teenagers getting into all sorts of trouble.

Best remembered as the 14 year-old Matt Dillon's debut film, Over the Edge is, to my knowledge, the first cautionary tale ever made about how the sterility and blankness of gated suburban communities leads to terminally bored kids, and you know what happens when idle hands abound. Larry Clark, Gus Van Sant and even John Hughes all sprang from this movie.


Here is Dillon talking about his relationship with the film's director, Jonathan Kaplan:

Jonathan was great. He was like a big kid; we just loved him, we really did. He was the perfect guy to direct that movie. He was fun. Whenever you were around him your mood just elevated. There was always a lift with him. He had a great energy, and a great personality. We were very direct with each other. He’d say, “Get the f--- out of here!” And I’d go, “No! F--- you!” That’s the way we related to each other.


In the scene that takes place at the police station— I’ve just been arrested—Jonathan gave me the type of direction which was perfect for a 14-year-old kid. He told me to knock the typewriter off the desk. But one of the writers came running in and said, “You can’t do that! I have to actually use that typewriter to write tomorrow’s scene!”

I was like, “C’mon, Jonathan. You said I get to knock the typewriter off.” Jonathan said, “All right, listen, I’m sorry, but you can’t knock over the typewriter. But here’s what we can do. In the party scene that’s coming up, instead of walking into the party with just one girl, I’ll let you walk into the party with your arms around two girls.” I thought, That’s good. That’s a good deal.


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One of my favorite juvenile delinquint films of all time.

These kids were actually close in age to their characters, unlike many films with young people in their twenties portraying teens.

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I didn't see this movie- to bad for me. Your review is so good- I can't wait to see it! You make it sound like a "must see". Funny how some of the greatest movies stay hidden from the public- probably because they are not educational or money-making enough.

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