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At Close Range is an incredibly good movie. It’s from 1986 and I found it on Amazon Prime, as well as Tubi which is a free streaming service and it looks like it is available on Showtime as well, although I currently don’t have that one.
It has a star studded cast including:
Sean Penn, Mary Stuart Masterson, Chris Penn, Christopher Walken, Crispin Glover and Kiefer Sutherland.
It is an excellent movie all on it’s own. One of the reviews I read said “I recommend this movie to anyone and everyone.”
This is one of the few old true crime movies that I hadn’t seen, and hadn’t heard about the case before watching. I’m not kidding when I say that there were at least two parts that had me absolutely speechless. Like jaw dropping.
I was so blown away by this movie that I decided to move it up in the recording schedule.
The movie starts out with the words: Based on a True Story.
And I’m going to tell you….this movie follows so close to the real story…it’s one of the closest to the real stories I’ve ever seen. So, I’ll tell you about the movie which is just about the whole real story, and then at the end I’ll tell you about the bits that were included just for the movie, and I’ll go over what really happened in those instances.
Sources for this episode:
Bruce Johnston (criminal) – Wikipedia
The Kiddie Gang: The True Crime Story Behind the Film ‘At Close Range’ (didyouknowfacts.com)
Bruce Johnston Sr., 63; Notorious Killer Dies in Prison – Los Angeles Times (latimes.com)
James Foley’s “At Close Range” and the Real Story of the Johnston Gang (treepony.com) This is an excellent review of the movie.
Com. v. Johnston, 42 A.3d 1120 – CourtListener.com
Latest appeal denied for Norman and David Johnston | News | delcotimes.com
‘Tired’ Escapee Gives Up The Fight – The Washington Post
Escape revives a town’s bad memories (post-gazette.com)
The Actual Truth Behind Devil’s Road in Chadds Ford, PA (wjbr.com)
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