February 13, 1978 12:00 PM

This hokey but not insubstantial film brings Cicely Tyson and Paul Winfield together for the first time since Sounder. Surprisingly, the two Oscar nominees are overshadowed by 16-year-old Larry Scott, who plays a bright, troubled student at a Los Angeles junior high. Puzzled and hurt by the disappearance of his father, the boy turns to heroin, steals from his own family and ends up in a drug rehabilitation center. Scott turns in a warm, believable performance as an adolescent struggling for instant maturity. Although the screenplay sags periodically, Scott is always there to stretch it taut again. (R)

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