Bad Boys (1983): Rosenthal’s Tale of Teen Hoodlums, Starring Sean Penn

Bad Boys, directed by Rock Rosenthal and scripted by Richard Di Lello, is a brutal tale of teen hoodlums in juvenile lock-up.

Sean Penn plays Mick O’Brien, a Chicago street tough who’s planning on robbing the drug dealer Paco Moreno (Esai Morales). When the scam goes uproariously bad and his partner Carl (Alan Ruck) is slain, Mick flees from the cops in his car and accidentally runs over Paco’s little brother, killing the boy.

Sent to juvenile hall, Mick encounters a violent prison society run by the murderous trustees Viking (Clancy Brown) and Tweety (Robert Lee Rush). Mick defends himself by savagely beating Viking and thus becomes the place’s new top dog.

Meanwhile, Paco seeks revenge by raping Mick’s girlfriend J.C. (Ally Sheedy). Enraged, Mick escapes with the help of his roommate Horowitz (Eric Gurry), but Mick is captured by the compassionate guard Ramon (Reni Santoni).

When Paco is arrested and sent to the same jail where Mick is, a showdown between the two rivals is inevitable and only a mtter of time before violence erupts.

Following strong performances in Taps (1981), and especially Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), Sean Penn went on to become recognized as the most gifted and versatile actor of his generation.


Running time: 123 minutes.

Directed By: Rick Rosenthal.

Written By: Richard Di Lello