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Actors: Stanley Tucci, Dana Delany, Rubén Blades, Ryan Merriman, Paula Garcés
Director: James Redford
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Kids & Family
PG-13     2005     1hr 47min

In this intimate coming-of-age adventure, a teenage boy (Ryan Merriman) learns about the dangers and pleasures of love, life and flying. This superbly acted tale, told by award-winning director James Redford, is as beautif...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Stanley Tucci, Dana Delany, Rubén Blades, Ryan Merriman, Paula Garcés
Director: James Redford
Creators: James Redford, Claudine Magre, Donald Everett Axinn, Elaine Rogers, Jay Parini, Laurel Ladevich
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Kids & Family
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Family Life, Family Films
Studio: Screen Media
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 05/24/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 47min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English

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Member Movie Reviews

Torkel E. (Torbjorn) from FAIRHOPE, AL
Reviewed on 7/17/2013...
Very heartwarming movie.

Movie Reviews

Learning to soar
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 06/07/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Young Eddie becomes an orphan when his pilot father dies in a plane crash, and is left in the guardianship of his uncle, U.S. Air Force Major Haley (Stanley Tucci), who leaves the parenting to his housekeepers, (Dana Delany and Rubén Blades). We follow Eddie as a child (Max Madore), but mostly in his teen years. Ryan Merriman gives a convincing and sensitive portrayal of Eddie as a youth, struggling to find his identity, falling in love without the ability to adequately express his feelings, and the inevitable drama that comes with growing into adulthood.
Though the plot is sometimes predictable, there are many intense moments, and the acting by all is excellent. Tucci, Blades and Delany are all terrific, and as Eddie's love interest, Paula Garcés is lovely as Francesca, a girl with an abusive and controlling father (Daniel O'Haco).

I'm partial to films that are about flight, and single engine airplanes are a central part of this story, which is well written and directed by James Redford (son of Robert) in his film directorial debut, based on the novel by Donald Everett Axinn. The cinematography by Paul Ryan is wonderful, with beautifully framed shots, and the aerial photography stupendous.
Set in Arizona in the 1950s, it has a good feel for the era, and the place.
Family friendly with no gratuitous violence, this is a quiet, sensitive coming-of-age film that won't set the world on fire, but is nice, satisfying viewing, and is probably the start of a long career for Ryan Merriman.
Total running time is 107 minutes.
Growing Up Is Very Hard To Do
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 08/28/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"SPIN takes a road much traveled - the coming of age tale of a child whose parents are suddenly absent - but the result is much stronger a story than most in this genre. Based on the novel by Donald Everett Axinn and adapted for the screen by writer/director James Redford (yes, son of Robert Redford, but strong enough a talent not to need to depend on shadows!), SPIN is an evocative moment in history (the 1950s) when the world was more quiet and young people would work their ways through the maze of adolescence without clouds of outside threats. This, then, becomes more poignant and sensitive a study of one lad's growing up to become an adult facing mirrors of those faces from the past and the present.

Eddie Haley (Max Madore) is very young when his parents die in a plane crash and is placed in the care of his parent's workers Margaret and Ernesto Bejarano (Dana Delaney and Rubén Blades) at the decision of his pilot uncle Major Haley (Stanley Tucci) - a man whose own demons have left him seemingly invulnerable to intimacy and family, electing to move away from the Haley ranch and its responsibilities rather than raising Eddie. Eddie's companion as a child is Francesca (Marissa Baca) who, while not an orphan, is motherless and living with a cruel father. They bond and in addition to the very supportive Bejaranos provide Eddie with as much footing as he is able to manage.

Move forward to Eddie as a teenager (Ryan Merriman) and he has become a mild punk, floundering around seeking meaning to life and afraid of relationships - fearing he will be ultimately deserted. Francesca (Paula Garcés) moves back into town from Mexico and gradually the two become close and involved: Eddie's demons and issues riddle him while Francesca's equally brittle demons seem to make her stronger. Major Haley returns, is at first greatly resented by Eddie until the Major teaches Eddie to fly a plane left to him by his departed father. The relationship that develops between the two is as strong as it is difficult. A tragedy involving Francesca and her father occurs resulting finally in Eddie's ability to feel mature emotions and follows his courage and his heart to change his and Francesca's lives.

Redford keeps this potentially saccharine story in tight reins, never allowing bathos but always sharing a view that each of us is human and capable of errors, but equally capable of recovering and resolving consequences. The cast is uniformly strong with Tucci giving one of his finest and most subtle performances to date. Merriman is young and shows great promise: Blades and Delany are seasoned veterans and bring a realistic rapport that adds to the credibility of a story also dealing with ethnic prejudice. The cinematography by Paul Ryan is excellent - some of the best aerial photography outside of the usual war scenes on film. Recommended, not because it is a great movie, but because it is an honest one and the first example of James Redford's seemingly generous talent. Grady Harp, August 05

Paula Garces Steals The Show
James A. Dean | Arlington, TX United States | 12/14/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Most know her from "Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle", but Ms. Garces takes a strong dramatic turn in this movie and steals the show. Looking even more beautiful in this time piece, she makes you wish that she was in every scene. Excellent movie and well worth the bargain basement price it is being offered on here for."