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Friend's Love Brings In a Lost Soul in 'Stealing Home'

April 22, 1993|GREG HERNANDEZ

In the same year that she won an Oscar for "The Accused," Jodie Foster starred in "Stealing Home," a heartwarming film that didn't score big at the box office.

But Foster has never been more luminous than she is in this 1988 film about a washed-up baseball player, Billy Wyatt (Mark Harmon), who returns to his hometown after his childhood friend, Katie Chandler (Foster), has killed herself.

The film unfolds in flashbacks as Wyatt confronts his past and all his broken dreams. He is an alcoholic drifting aimlessly through life and is estranged from his old friends and family.

But as he is surrounded by his past, he remembers his adventures with the free-spirited but troubled Katie, a close family friend who was Wyatt's baby-sitter, best friend and, eventually, his lover.

Because Harmon portrays Wyatt as an adult, he and Foster don't have a single scene together. But it's just as well: Foster shines in her scenes with William McNamara, who portrays Wyatt as a teen-ager.

The two are featured in the best scenes in the film--those in which they are on the East Coast during the summer of 1964. Their on-screen chemistry makes the film watchable and memorable.

A soundtrack with oldies such as "Sherry," "Please Mr. Postman" and "All I Have to Do Is Dream" helps to set the nostalgic tone of the film, which includes some hilarious coming-of-age scenes with McNamara and Jonathan Silverman, who plays Wyatt's best pal.

The film comes full circle as Wyatt, in his mid-30s, ties the loose ends of his life with the inspiration of his lifelong friend.

"Stealing Home" (1988), directed by Steven Kampmann and Will Aldis. 98 minutes. Rated PG-13.

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