Made in the USA

Director: Ken Friedman
Screenwriters: Ken Friedman

Institute History

  • 1988 Sundance Film Festival


Made in U.S.A, is an environmentalist’s Easy Rider, a road movie across America the not-so-beautiful. Despite its off-beat humor and real locations, the film ultimately has the quality of a chilling, contemporary fable.

High-tailing it out of Centralia, Pennsylvania, where coal fires burn beneath deserted streets, Tuck (Christopher Penn) and Dar (Adrian Pasdar) head west for California. Using a series of stolen cars and pilfered groceries the two drift to Times Beach, Missouri, another town destroyed by environmental disregard. There they meet Annie (Lori Singer) and continue westward with a string of more car thefts. They divert long enough to return a young Indian girl to her reservation, a land left barren by a legacy of uranium mining. Their final arrival on a California beach offers something other than what immediately meets their eyes..

— Tony Safford

Screening Details

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]