Hard Choices

Director: Rick King
Screenwriters: Rick King

Institute History

  • 1985 Sundance Film Festival


Hard Choices is a dynamic and fast—paced story of a juvenile offender who is an accessory to his brothers bungled attempt to rob a sleepy small town pharmacy which results in the killing of a policeman. The boy is held in the small town jail and may be tried as an adult, facing a possible life sentence. From the first minute he arrives in jail, he has to fight for his life.

Enter a female social worker who has heard of his plight through her informal prison grapevine. She knows the local sheriff and persuades him to grant the boy his right to a private cell. As she and the boy’s relationship grows and he sinks deeper into the criminal system, the young woman makes a difficult choice. She makes a play for justice instead of the law and breaks the kid out of jail, Aided by the local drug dealer, played nicely by John Sayles, they escape by airplane to start a new life in Florida.

As their love matures, both believe they did the best thing, even if it means a lifetime on the run. The make plans to fly to South America to set up a smuggling operation for their drug running friend. But the Sheriff shows up and first arrests the girl. Now the boy, fast growing into a man, must make the hardest choice of his life—to run to freedom or to stay with the woman he loves. Hard Choices is a bittersweet story that is tight, honest and well-acted.

Screening Details

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