Vision Quest

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Vision Quest
File:Vision Quest (1985 film) poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Harold Becker
Produced by Jon Peters
Peter Guber
Screenplay by Darryl Ponicsan
Based on Vision Quest 
by Terry Davis
Music by Tangerine Dream
Cinematography Owen Roizman
Edited by Maury Winetrobe
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release dates
  • February 15, 1985 (1985-02-15)
Running time
107 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $12,993,175

Vision Quest (released in the UK and Australia as Crazy for You) is a 1985 coming of age drama film starring Matthew Modine, Linda Fiorentino, and Ronny Cox. It is based on Terry Davis' novel of the same name.[1] Modine plays a Spokane high school wrestler who falls in love with an older woman, an aspiring artist from New Jersey on her way to San Francisco. The film includes an appearance by Madonna, her first in a major motion picture, playing a singer at a local bar, where she performs the songs "Crazy for You" and "Gambler". In some countries, the title of the film was changed to market on Madonna's emerging fame and the popularity of the song "Crazy for You".[2]

The film was shot in Spokane, Washington, in the fall of 1983.


In this coming-of-age story, Louden Swain (Matthew Modine) is a high school wrestler who has just turned eighteen and decided that he needs to do something truly meaningful in his life. Against the wishes of those around him, he embarks on a mission to drop two weight classes in order to challenge the toughest opponent, Brian Shute (Frank Jasper), a menacing 3-time state champion from nearby rival Hoover High School, who has never been defeated in his high school career. In his zeal to drop from 190 pounds to 168 pounds, against the wishes of his coach (Charles Hallahan) and teammates, he disrupts the team around him and creates health problems of his own.

Meanwhile, his father (Ronny Cox) has taken on a boarder named Carla (Linda Fiorentino) from Trenton, New Jersey, passing through on her way to San Francisco. Though she is older, Louden begins to fall in love with her and begins to lose sight of his goals as a wrestler. Worse, his drastic weight loss culminates in an unhealthy situation in which he gets frequent nosebleeds due, Louden claims, to a lack of iron in his diet (which costs him a match that he should have won). He and Carla finally admit their love for one another, but she realizes this is distracting him from his goals. She decides to move out and continue on to San Francisco, but not before seeing Louden's big match in which he defeats Shute in the final seconds with an over-under hip toss.



The film was shot at Rogers High School in northeast Spokane, referred to as "Thompson High School" in the film.[3]

Interior cafeteria scenes were filmed at Ferris High School on Spokane's South Hill. Some of the locker room scenes were filmed in the boys' locker room of Shadle Park High School in northwest Spokane.

Madonna's scene was filmed at the Big Foot Tavern on North Division Street in Spokane.[4]

Other scenes were shot at The Onion Restaurant downtown and the North Central High School gym.


The film had moderate success in theaters in the U.S. in 1985, earning a gross of $13 million. It has received a rating of 58% at Rotten Tomatoes[5] and has become somewhat of a cult classic among middle and high school wrestlers for its various wrestling scenes, in particular Louden's extreme weight loss measures and workout regimen.[6]

Differences from the book

The film was based on the novel of the same name by Terry Davis.

  • Louden wrestles at 147, not 168.
  • Thompson High School, which was used in the film, appears to relate more toward Spokane's North Central High School was actually based on Spokane's Shadle Park High School, North Central's rival school, where author Terry Davis graduated from (Shadle's team made a brief appearance as Sherman High School).
  • In the book, Carla was living with Louden, but for longer than the movie version and was actually settled down with him, living in Spokane.
  • Gary Shute was the actual name of the character in the book that Louden was going to wrestle (the book ends when their match begins). He was also from Evergreen High School; rather than Hoover High School (which appears in the movie to be based on Mead High School).
  • In the book, Otto Laft had a much larger role than in the movie.
  • Elmo, the cook who works with Louden, was a black former boxer, and Gene Tanneran, Louden's English teacher, was white and going out with a cheerleader. In the movie, Tanneran is a black former basketball player, and Elmo is white.
  • In the book, the mysterious guest at the hotel Louden works in is gay and makes many passes at him. In the movie, he's also gay but also practices t'ai chi ch'uan. He only makes a pass at Louden once around the beginning of the film while showing him some moves.
  • In the film, Louden beats Shute in their highly anticipated match. In the book, the story ends as the match is about to begin.


Vision Quest
Soundtrack album by Various
Released February 12, 1985
Recorded 1978–85
Genre AOR, pop rock
Length 40:24
Label Geffen Records
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[7]

The soundtrack to the motion picture was released by Geffen Records on February 12, 1985; it was renamed Crazy for You in some countries such as Australia and the UK due to the new popularity of pop singer Madonna and her song "Crazy for You".

The soundtrack does not include the background instrumental music by Tangerine Dream, which was released on the fan project Tangerine Tree 73: Soundtrax.

The album peaked at #11 in the Billboard charts.[8]

No. Title Writer(s) Performer Length
1. "Only the Young"   Jonathan Cain, Steve Perry, Neal Schon Journey 4:01
2. "Change"   Holly Knight John Waite 3:14
3. "Shout to the Top!"   Paul Weller The Style Council 4:18
4. "Gambler"   Madonna Madonna 3:54
5. "She's On the Zoom"   Don Henley, Danny Kortchmar Don Henley 3:18
6. "Hungry for Heaven"   Jimmy Bain, Ronnie James Dio Dio 4:12
7. "Lunatic Fringe"   Tom Cochrane Red Rider 4:20
8. "I'll Fall in Love Again"   Sammy Hagar Sammy Hagar 4:11
9. "Hot Blooded"   Lou Gramm, Mick Jones Foreigner 4:24
10. "Crazy for You"   John Bettis, Jon Lind Madonna 4:08

Potential remake

In 2009, interest in a remake was generated after Taylor Lautner of Twilight fame expressed interest. E! News claimed a script existed which Lautner reportedly approved.[9]

External links