Taglines: He’s on the outside looking in at the American Dream.
John Wisdom is a young man just out of college. on the night of his high school graduation, he got drunk and stole a car. With a grand theft auto conviction he’s branded a felon and as a result can’t hold down a decent job. Seeing no future for himself, Wisdom takes a left turn: he decides to becomes a criminal “for the people,” evocative of Robin Hood.
After seeing news reports about impoverished farmers and working class being sent to the bank to pay ownership debts, Wisdom goes on a bank robbing spree with his girlfriend, Karen Simmons; they erase loan and mortgage records, buying time for the poor to pay their debts.
With the FBI after them, things take a turn for the worse when a panicky Karen kills a local sheriff. She and Wisdom make a run for the Canada–US border, but when Karen is shot by a police helicopter, Wisdom leaves her in the care of some high school students and their teacher. He resumes his flight but is surrounded by police and federal agents at a college football field.
As Wisdom appears to be reaching for his gun, he is riddled with gunfire and dies. John wakes up where the film started, in his parents’ bathroom. He emerges from the shower and proceeds to get ready for his job interview. His entire story has apparently been a daydream.
Wisdom is a 1986 American romantic crime film written and directed by its star Emilio Estevez in his filmmaking debut. The film also stars Demi Moore, along with Tom Skeritt and Veronica Cartwright (both of Alien fame) as Estevez’s parents. The end credits song is “Home Again” by Oingo Boingo and the score by Danny Elfman. The movie is dedicated to the memory of Henry Proach, who was a good friend of Estevez, and who appears briefly in the picture.
Directed by: Emilio Estevez
Starring: Emilio Estevez, Demi Moore, Tom Skerritt, Veronica Cartwright, William Allen Young, Richard Minchenberg, Liam Sullivan, Gene Ross, Barbara Stamm
Screenplay by: Emilio Estevez
Production Design by: Dennis Gassner
Cinematography by: Adam Greenberg
Film Editing by: Michael Kahn
Costume Design by: Jonathan Kinsey
Set Decoration by: Richard Hoover
Art Direction by: Dins Danielsen
Music by: Danny Elfman
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox (USA), Cannon Films (International)
Release Date: January 2, 1987