- 1 hr 31 min
The coming of age drama Fandango takes a nostalgic look at college life during the Vietnam War; the movie is notable for explaining the fears and dreams of college graduates at the beginning of the 1970s. Initially produced as a student film by writer director Kevin Reynolds lasting just 30 minutes and condensing the story Fandango was extended to a feature after producer Steven Spielberg saw the short and found funding for a feature film. Produced by Spielberg's own company Amblin Entertainment and Warner Brothers Fandango the movie was not a commercial success when released, but has grown to become a cult classic through DVD and VHS distribution. Fandango opens in a Fraternity house at the University of Texas where Gardner Barnes is in his room as a graduation party goes on in the house; Gardener, played by Kevin Costner rips a picture of his ex-girlfriend in half before moving to the party. Gardner is a member of a group called The Groovers that includes his friends Kenneth Waggener, Phil Hicks, Lester and Dorman. The friends are all graduating and fearful of embarking on the next stage of their life in the real world; Kenneth, portrayed by Sam Robards and Gardner both reveal they have been drafted to the U.S. Army to fight in the Vietnam War. The Groovers decide to set out on a road trip to the Rio Grande river in order to retrieve Dom, who has been buried there during their college careers. Setting off in Phil's car The Groovers become stranded in a small Texan town and begin to reveal their fears during a party in a graveyard during which they find the grave of a soldier killed during a tour of duty in Vietnam. The movie concludes with Gardner organizing a wedding for Phil and his fiancee, who is revealed to be Gardner's ex-girlfriend. The group then split up and head off for the next stage of their lives.