The Wild Life

Cast: Chris Penn, Eric Stoltz, Jenny Wright, Ilan Mitchell-Smith & Lea Thompson

Crew: Written By: Cameron Crowe Directed By: Art Linson Produced By: Cameron Crowe & Art Linson DP: James Glennon Editor: Michael Jablow Costume Designer: Marilyn Vance

Theatrical Release Date: September 28, 1984


  • Early titles included A New Life for Jim and The Last High School Movie.
  • Some comments from Cameron about his least successful film:
    • “The only movie that I’ve ever been a part of where the money guys `got it’ was The Wild Life.” “I’m used to them not getting it. They didn’t get Almost Famous; they didn’t get Jerry Maguire; they definitely didn’t get Singles and Say Anything... was barely released. In many ways it’s a miracle that we’re even sitting here talking about my work in film, because the only stuff that wasn’t a battle for me was rock journalism.”
    • “It started out with good intentions but was marketed as a followup to Fast Times which it wasn’t.” Director James L. Brooks was the only one who would talk to me after The Wild Life.”
  • Christopher Penn’s real-life dad, Leo Penn, plays his father.
  • Cameron has a cameo as Cop #2.
  • Nancy Wilson appears as the wife of the Hart Bochner (the cop dating Lea Thompson).
  • Look for Dean Devlin as the liquor store clerk. Dean would later produce such blockbuster films as Stargate, Independence Day and The Patriot.
  • Other stars in early film roles from Sherilyn Fenn (Twin Peaks), Rick Moranis (Ghostbusters), Randy Quaid, and Ben Stein.