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February 25, 2023

River Phoenix and Martha Plimpton in the Promotional Shoot for ‘Running on Empty’ (1988)

Running on Empty is a 1988 American drama film directed by Sidney Lumet and written by Naomi Foner and starring River Phoenix, Judd Hirsch, Christine Lahti, and Martha Plimpton. It was produced by Lorimar Film Entertainment. It is the story of a counterculture couple on the run from the FBI, and how one of their sons starts to break out of this fugitive lifestyle.

Phoenix was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Danny Pope in the film; Naomi Foner was nominated for Best Original Screenplay. Phoenix was nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture at the Golden Globes; Lahti was nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture Drama. The film was nominated for Best Director and Best Motion Picture Drama, and it won a Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay. Plimpton was nominated for a Young Artist Award for Best Young Actress in a Motion Picture. In a backstage interview on March 21, 1989, at the 61st Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon, Phoenix expressed his wishes for the film to have a sequel.

The film marked the second time that Phoenix and Plimpton played romantic interests, having co-starred in the film The Mosquito Coast two years earlier.


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