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Wishful Thinking is a 1988 Drama film written by Clint Howard and directed Clint Eastwood.

It was filmed alongside Eastwood's other 88 picture Bird: which featured Forest Whitaker.

Wishful Thinking shares it's title with another motion picture which starred Drew Barrymore and concerned three interlinking stories executed in the genres of a comedy and a drama film.

Wishful Thinking is much like the following films The Boys of St. Vincent 1992 (St. Vincent being a television movie) and Sleepers (1996) as it involves child male abuse at the hands of male adults.

The film however unlike Sleepers does not concern court case vengeance like the following films of the same allegory.

The film is the winner of 4 Academy Awards: 1. Best Screenplay 2. Best Director: Clint Eastwood 3. Best Supporting Actor: Steve Buscemi and 4. Best Leading Actor: Kenneth Branagh (this being the only Oscar he has actually secured as he has been nominated four times on the accounts of: 1. Writing On Hamlet, 2. Best Short Film: Swan Song, 3. Best Director on Henry V and 4. Another Best Lead Actor in the film to which he also directed Henry V.)

The film is a revered classic and to which the title (though having been used as a famous saying prior) is revered famous in it's own right for this motion picture.

The film features River Phoenix, Topher Grace, Ryan Phillipe and Jay Hernandez as the four primary kids

The adult cast comprises centrally of George Clooney, Patrick Swayze, Kenneth Branagh, David Arquette, Meg Tilly, Giovanni Ribisi, Michael Madsen, Steve Buscemi and Elizabeth Perkins.

The film features cameo performances from the acclaimed notorious director Clint Eastwood and film's writer Clint Howard respectively.

Wes Bentley, Jay Hernandez and Ryan Phillipe all make debut performances in the picture.

Bentley's performance is as the younger rapist Alexei Cavalis (a role Eastwood considered apart from Buscemi, Branagh, Arquette and Perkins was the most controversial.)

The film is set in Auburn, West Virginia.


It begins with a Wedding, An Arrest Total of Four and a farewell between a handcuffed Groom and his bespectled onward looking wife.

What follows is the 4 Time Academy Award Winning tale of four little good little bestfriend boys during the summer of 69 who are to be the four page boys in a very special wedding.

A wedding they will never forget.. For the four boys fall prey the night of the wedding to a very bad Groom and some very bad Groomsmen.

They endure the most unimaginable horrific varieties of sexual abuse, psychical abuse and degradation.

The Wedding however continues on as planned and the kids injures as minorly fixed up and told to the other questioners to be that of a group staircase fall.

The boys following the wedding are befell again by the sick group of mena and warned to never ever tell.

The Years Pass and year is 1988.

What was once boys stripped of their innocence is now severley damaged young 20 year old men.

Men with a plan...

A Plan for a one point revenge.

Not all of the men are completely in on the revenge to strike against all those who stripped them of their innocence among many other things.

What follows is the manipulation and destructive path of one particular whom makes use of another's guilt and sympathy.

It may end with all four of destroyed boys ultimatley dying and the crossover/revenge of the century.

Or it may end with the right intervention the result of Wishful Thinking


  • George Clooney as Samuel Avery
  • Patrick Swayze as Peter "Petey" Galmont/ The Groom/ Rapist of Robbie Deacon-Wallace
  • Kenneth Branagh as Justin Avery
  • David Arquette as Robbie Deacon-Wallace
  • Giovanni Ribisi as Gas Station Milton Mortimier/ Groomsmen/ Rapist of Sam Avery
  • Michael Madsen as Car Thief Philantropy Davis/ Groomsmen/ Rapist of Justin Avery
  • Wes Bentley as 16 Year Old Alexei Cavalis/ Groomsmen/ Rapist of Robbie Deacon-Wallace
  • Steve Buscemi as the Apparently Redeemed Transvetite Prostitute Blakely Donnelly/ Groomsmen/ Rapist of Jared Linefelt
  • Temuera Morrison as Officer Jared Linefelt
  • Rob Marshall as Officer Alexei Cavalis
  • Ashley Crow as Receptionist Teterson
  • Hiam Abass/ Bridesmaid of the Deacon-Wallace Wedding
  • Meg Tilly as Patricia "Patty" Galmont
  • Clint Howard as Minister Howard Forrest
  • Clint Eastwood as Father Erston Blackenrose/ Objector at Blackenrose- Deacon-Wallace Wedding
  • Elizabeth Perkins as Bride to Be Kendra Blackenrose
  • Sally Ann Howes as Mother Gerland Deacon-Wallace
  • Lois Smith as Mother Molly Linefelt
  • John Frankenheimer as Divorced Father Thomas Linfelt
  • River Phoenix as Justin Avery/ Kid
  • Ryan Phillipe as Samuel Avery/ Kid
  • Topher Grace as Robbie Deacon-Wallace/ Kid
  • Jay Hernandez as Jared Linefelt/ Kid
  • Gordon Pinsent as Galmont Wedding, Deacon-Wallace Wedding Limousine Driver
  • Philip Bosco as Auburn Sheriff Lincoln Mark
  • Paul Mazursky as Officer Malcolm Trowell
  • Greta Scacchi as Officer Marina Trumble
  • Vicki Lewis as Rookie Officer under training of Jared Linefelt Larnia Hopkins

The Boy Of The Baseball Bat Window

The Avery Brothers hail from a fairly unattractive home as seen which for the younger brother character Samuel Avery has a torn badly strung up curtain and Baseball Bat pinned to the window which is clearly visible.

This almost insignificant detail was made abundantly clear by Clint Howard that the detail should be clearly visible in Eastwood's direction as the bat would be a detail the character Robbie Deacon-Wallace would associate greatly with and in the end when Samuel Avery guns him down upon him stepping out for two seconds outside the St. Carmichael Wedding Chapel that's the last thing he narratingly states he saw.

A Brother's Guilt, A Brother's Love

Justin Avery whom Eastwood and Howard praise as the one character whom cannot be hated is the character seen as not just a ringleader of the four main men characters when they were boys but one of great compassion and selflessness.

He feels great guilt for what happened to the others and blames himself thought he shouldn't and it never was his fault just the fault of the sick men who committed those horrible acts against them.

River Phoenix was intrical to the solidification of Justin Avery as a child just as much Kenneth Branagh was for him as an adult as said by Eastwood and Howard.

Eastwood and Howard show that the film though possesses almost second to none realism in the department of the character's overrall story their attributes and downfalls despite their good natures shows that there is no hero prevails over bad guy in reality.

Justin Avery to Howard and Eastwood as stated is a character lesson that despite his almost complete person perfection and selflessness his guilt was used against him by another and was the reason for his characters death.


The soundtrack is seperated into a four disc collection. The songs to the motion picture include a large variety of the Beatles 60 classics, Jimi Hendrix and the Rolling Stones to whom in Clint Howard and Eastwood's selection all have more then one song appearing the film and on the final product soundtrack which all in all is a large film soundtrack considering some of the motion picture soundtrack of the time only ever stretched to 12 songs all in all. The George Lucas classic American Graffiti of 1973 featured a two disc collection to it's soundtrack.

Disc One Collection

  1. Locomotion- Little Eva
  2. Shout- LULU & The Luvvers
  3. I Wish You Would- The Yardbirds
  4. Too Old To Rock N Roll- Jethro Tull
  5. No More Looking Back- The Kinks
  6. Obli Di Obli Da- The Beatles
  7. Never Gonna Give You Up- Rick Astley
  8. Together Forever- Rick Astley
  9. It Would Take A Strong Strong Man- Rick Astley
  10. Never Tear Us Apart- INXS
  11. Yellow Submarine- The Beatles
  12. A Whiter Shade Of Pale- Procol Harum
  13. The Sound Of Silence- Simon & Garfunkel
  14. Misirlou- Dick Dale
  15. Apache- The Shadows
  16. I Only Want You- The Passions (First End Credits Song)

Disc Two Collection

  1. California Dreamin'- The Mamas & The Papas
  2. Pretty Woman- Roy Orbinson
  3. Somebody To Love- Jefferson Airplane
  4. Mr. Tambourine Man- The Byrds & Bob Dylan
  5. Sympathy For The Devil- The Rolling Stones
  6. You Keep Me Hangin On'- The Supremes
  7. Sunshine Of Your Love- Cream
  8. Yesterday- The Beatles
  9. The House Of The Rising Sun- The Animals
  10. I Get Around- The Beach Boys
  11. My Generation- The Who
  12. Voodoo Child- Jimi Hendrix
  13. Light My Fire- The Doors
  14. Strawberry Fields Forever- The Beatles
  15. You Really Got Me- The Kinks
  16. Solitaire- The Crystalairs (Second End Credits Song)

Disc Three Collection

  1. Whole Lotta Love- Led Zeppelin
  2. I Heard It Through the Grapevine
  3. I Want To Hold Your Hand- The Beatles
  4. Good Vibrations- The Beach Boys
  5. Purple Haze- Jimi Hendrix
  6. I Can't Get No Satisfaction- The Rolling Stones
  7. Papa's Got A Brand New Bag- James Brown
  8. Don't Stop Believin' (Midnight Train)- Journey
  9. Goodnight To The World- The Crystalairs (Third and final end credits song)