Watch Smithereens

"She was a legend in her own mind."
  • R
  • 1982
  • 1 hr 29 min
  • 6.7  (2,580)
  • 72

Smithereens is a 1982 American independent film that was directed by Susan Seidelman. The film is about a young woman named Wren (Susan Berman) who runs away from her small town in New Jersey to make it big in the music industry in New York City. Wren is a self-centered, ambitious, and scheming girl, who considers herself a punk rock queen and dreams of becoming famous, even if it means using or harming others on the way.

As she tries to make her way up the ranks, Wren becomes more and more ruthless, willing to do whatever it takes to achieve her goals. She cons, manipulates, and cheats everyone she meets, from her roommates to her boyfriend and acquaintances, eventually meeting a musician named Eric (Richard Hell), who is pretty well-off and well-connected in the music scene. Wren is desperate to use Eric's connections to help launch her own career, and soon she becomes involved with him on a personal level, hoping to use him as a stepping stone. However, as events unfold, Wren realizes that the only one she can count on is herself.

The film follows Wren on her journey to "make it" in New York City, showcasing the city's punk rock scene and the struggle for fame and recognition in the entertainment industry. The gritty streets and dirty apartments that Wren inhabits are a far cry from the Hollywood glamour she seeks, but she remains determined to make it big, despite the challenges she faces. Along the way, Wren encounters a number of interesting and memorable characters, including Paul (Brad Rijn), a film projectionist, who is interested in Wren, but who she often mistreats and abuses.

Smithereens was one of the first films to showcase the punk rock scene in New York City in the early 1980s. The film captures the grittiness and rawness of the city during that time, and as a result, has become somewhat of a cult classic in the independent film world. The soundtrack of the film features many of the emerging punk bands of the time, including The Feelies, Richard Hell and the Voidoids, and The Lounge Lizards, and adds to the film's authenticity.

The film is a character study of Wren, who is portrayed as an ambitious, yet flawed young woman, who is willing to do anything to achieve her dreams. Wren is selfish, manipulative, and often cruel to those around her, but she is also driven and focused, and viewers can't help but feel somewhat sympathetic to her plight, despite her many flaws. Susan Berman delivers a brilliant performance as Wren, showcasing her range as an actress and bringing depth and nuance to her character.

Overall, Smithereens is a powerful and engaging film that explores the themes of ambition, fame, and self-discovery in a raw and unflinching way. The film's portrayal of the punk rock scene in New York City serves as a snapshot of a time and place that has since disappeared, and its exploration of the flawed, yet compelling character of Wren, remains as relevant today as it was when the film was first released. This is a must-see film for anyone interested in independent cinema, punk rock, or the gritty reality of life in New York City.

Smithereens is a 1982 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 29 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.7 and a MetaScore of 72.

Where to Watch Smithereens
Smithereens is available to watch free on Plex, Tubi TV and Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Max, The Roku Channel, Apple TV and Google Play. Some platforms allow you to rent Smithereens for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 29 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.7  (2,580)
  • Metascore