If the wrestling flick Vision Quest (1985, Warner Archive, R, $25) is remembered at all, it is for Madonna's appearance as a nightclub performer who trills two numbers: Gambler and Crazy For You. But, for NEPA audiences, Vision Quest is noteworthy for a terrific supporting performance by Michael Schoeffling.
After his debut in Sixteen Candles, the Wilkes-Barre native appeared in only a handful more movies before retiring in 1991. Vision Quest hints at the actor's potential to play characters more complicated than the dream date he embodied in Sixteen Candles.
Matthew Modine stars as a wrestler training to take on his division's undefeated champion. At first, it seems as if the story is awash in cliches. But hang on for more adventurous subplots about Modine's love affair with an older woman (Philadelphia's Linda Fiorentino) and his ongoing friendship with Schoeffling, who plays a fellow wrestler.
Wearing a Mohawk haircut and zooming around the suburbs of Spokane, Wash., on a motorcycle, Schoeffling's character looks like he doesn't have a care in the world. But as the film goes on, we see that he's abused by his father, and his fib about being part Native-American is a way to cope.
Amy Longsdorf writes about DVD and Blu-Ray releases with local connections.