Fandango (1985)

“There’s nothing wrong with going nowhere, son. It’s a privilege of youth.” Before Kevin Costner’s ego took off and he made a string of turkeys like Waterworld and The Postman, he actually starred as Gardner in this decent movie about five college buddies in the class of ’71 (called “The Groovers”). These slackers take one last road trip across Texas in search of their old buddy “Dom” before some of them have to head to Vietnam. Judd Nelson plays a geek named Phil who must prove his mettle by skydiving from what looks like a crop-dusting plane. One of the “Groovers” stays passed out in the car for nearly the entire duration of the film. Fandango also stars Sam Robards as “Kenneth,” Chuck Bush as “Dorman” and Marvin J. McIntyre as “Truman Sparks.” Let’s face it, Fandango inevitably goes nowhere but it’s a great ride. The film was directed by Kevin Reynolds (it evolved out of a student film that he made at USC film school called Proof), who had actually co-written the right-wing Cold War revenge fantasy Red Dawn (1984) with John Milius. Steven Spielberg reportedly helped fund the film but took his name off the credits because he didn’t like the finished product. Reynolds directed Costner again in the critically lambasted 1995 post-apocalyptic film Waterworld and the critically acclaimed History Channel miniseries Hatfields & McCoys (2012). Quentin Tarantino called Fandango “one of the best directorial debuts in the history of cinema.”

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