When he reviewed "River's Edge," KNBC film critic David Sheehan reported that numerous audience members found the movie so objectionable that they left the theater midway through the film to demand their money back. He specifically cited the exit of a female audience member who stood up, voiced her outrage loudly, then stalked out.
Also at that screening was Jim Dobson, the L.A. publicist who represents Ione Skye (who plays Clarissa in the film). He remembers the incident differently.
"When this lady got up and started screaming, 'How would you like it if this happened to your daughter?' and so forth, a bunch of people in the theater told her to shut up, but the audience was obviously shaken by her outburst. She really was hysterical.
"It's true that a number of people--all women--did leave the theater, but I think it's because this woman completely disrupted the rhythm of the film. I've seen 'River's Edge' four times, and that was the only time I've seen any response of that nature from the audience."
Asked to respond to Sheehan's allegations, Mann Theater representative William Hertz said, "This is the first I've heard about it, and if we were having incidents of this sort I'm sure I would've heard about it."
When this reporter attended a noon screening of the film at Mann's Chinese, there were no walkouts. Many in the audience, in fact, applauded at the end of the film.