The Wild Life (1984) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Wild Life (1984)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Comprised of classic teen movie elements scattered like croutons over a salad, this undistinguished high school drama involves several inconsequential stories at once, set in a seven-day period before the beginning of school. Tom Drake (Christopher Penn, Sean's brother) is a high-school wrestler who loves Eileen (Jenny Wright), but she is more than just a little dubious about their relationship. Since her lecherous boss (Rick Moranis) will not leave her alone, men are at a low ebb in her life. Bill Conrad (Eric Stoltz) is a friend of Tom's who has already graduated and who asks him to share his apartment for awhile to help him out financially. Bill then decides to split with his girlfriend Anita (Lea Thompson), who is suddenly too young for his new status as a high-school grad. Miffed at his rejection, Anita starts a liaison with David Curtiss (Hart Bochner), without knowing that David is married and a father. Other than Bill's 15-year-old brother Jim (Ilan Mitchell-Smith), who follows a Vietnam vet around in adulation, the entire focus of the film is on teen love relationships played by twentysomethings from the vantage point of tensomethings, more or less.


Eric Stoltz
as Bill Conrad
Hart Bochner
as David Curtiss
Robert Ridgely
as Craig Davis
Jack Kehoe
as Mr. Parker
Randy Quaid
as Charlie
Dick Rude
as Eddie
Robert Chestnut
as Eddie's Friend
Sherilyn Fenn
as Penny Hallin
Leo Penn
as Tom's Dad
Hildy Brooks
as Mrs. Conrad
Lee Ving
as Installer
William Bramley
as Security Officer
Dean Devlin
as Liquor Store Clerk
Brynja Willis
as Stewardess
Leigh Lombardi
as Stewardess
Kim Vignal
as Girl by the Pool
Nancy Wilson
as David's Wife
Ben Stein
as Surplus Salesman
Keone Young
as Japanese Bowler
Tony Epper
as Redneck Drunk
Ted White
as Redneck Drunk
Barbara London
as Sales Girl
Ed Call
as Captain of the Plumbing Team
Ron Wood
as Refrigerator Raider
John Linson
as Donut Kid
Ed Berke
as Man Next Door
Jess Weinstein
as Donut Kid
Jessica Rains
as Woman Next Door
Jeff Savenick
as Guy in Bed
Nicky Beat
as Punker
Karen Haber
as Shoplifter
Sue Bowser
as Girl at Party
Jayne Walters
as Female Customer
Tracy Hutchinson
as Poker Girl #2
Chris Penn
as Tom Drake
Inga Ojala
as Girl at Counter
Edward Call
as Captain of the Plumbing Team
View All

Critic Reviews for The Wild Life

All Critics (1)

Practically every character is unremittingly dull, while Chris Penn's bad-boy party animal is insufferable from first frame to last.

April 19, 2021 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Wild Life


An average teen drama like Fast Times at Ridgemont High and other like it. The cast is good, and the characters are interesting, but the story is all over the place. This movie could have been better.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

The Wild Life Quotes

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