This Boy's Life

This Boy's Life
Biography | Drama

Directed byMichael Caton-Jones
Produced byFitch Cady
Art Linson
Screenplay byRobert Getchell
Based onThis Boy's Life by
Tobias Wolff
StarringLeonardo DiCaprio
Robert De Niro
Ellen Barkin
Music byCarter Burwell
CinematographyDavid Watkin
Editing byJim Clark
StudioKnickerbocker Films
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date(s)April 9, 1993 (1993-04-09) (Limited)
April 23, 1993 (1993-04-23)
Running time114 minutes
CountryUnited States


Nomadic, flaky Caroline Wolff just wants to settle down in one place, find a decent man, and provide a better home for her and her son, Toby (Leonardo DiCaprio). When she moves to Seattle and meets the seemingly respectable Dwight Hansen, she thinks she has got it made. Toby, however, feels differently after Dwight's true personality is revealed after spending a few months with Dwight and his children away from Caroline. The boy's stepfather-to-be seems to want to mold Toby into a better person, but his method includes emotionally, verbally, and physically abusing the boy.

The marriage proceeds, and soon Caroline, too, recognizes Dwight's need to dominate everyone around him. She sticks with it, though, convinced it is the best thing for her son, and several years of dysfunction ensue. During this time, Toby befriends a classmate, the misfit and ambiguously homosextual, Arthur Gayle. Toby continues to chafe under the yoke of his repressive stepfather. Hoping to leave Concrete and live with his older brother Gregory, Toby decides to apply for east-coast prep-school scholarships. Realizing his grades are not adequate to apply, Toby devises a plan to submit falsified grade reports. Meanwhile, the friendship between Arthur and Toby becomes strained when Arthur confronts Toby regarding his behavior; Arthur tells Toby he is acting more and more like Dwight and asks Toby, "why should you be the one who gets to leave?" Even so, Arthur helps his friend get the papers Toby needs to falsify his grade records and Toby sends in his prep-school applications. After numerous rejections, Toby is accepted to the Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania with a full scholarship.

At the end of the film following two years of marriage, Caroline defends Toby during a physically violent argument between her son and husband and they are both seen leaving Dwight and Concrete.

Rated R 

(strong language and sexuality)

Leonardo plays main character Toby, who lives with his mom until Dwight cames and becames his Stepfather-but not for long :)


Leo in This Boy's Life

*My Review* 

I think that it is a good movie, but not

one of my favorite ones of his. He did really

brilliant according to his acting in the role.

It does have violence and I feel really sad that

someone had to go through this.

(It is based on a book by: Tobias Wolff)

Reviews from IMDb

A terrific introduction of Leo's talents
Author: Kristine from Chicago, Illinois

Robert DeNiro is one of the finest living actors of Hollywood, most of his movies are pure gold, not to mention this fine film "This Boy's Life". He and not too well known at the time Leonardo made a wonderful coming of age story. Toby is a boy who is constantly on the move with his mother. He gets into trouble at school, smokes, and swears, not your straight arrow kid. But when his mother's new boyfriend, Dwight, offers to take him and turn him into a "straight arrow" boy with a good future, he does so. When he and the mother finally marry, Dwight's true colors start to show and not for the good. He's an alcoholic and abusive drunk who will not rest until everyone goes into his ways of thinking. With some other little unknowns like Eliza Dushku and Tobey Maguire, this is a terrific film.

The acting is just incredible. The chemistry that feeds off of Robert and Leo going back and forth of their fights and anger, it's incredible. Leo's talents just shine and I would highly recommend this film if you enjoyed "Stand By Me". What a great movie!


  • Continuity: Injured finger that's still bandaged months later in the timeline of the story.

  • Continuity: When they're all having dinner after Caroline wins the shooting contest, Skipper asks Pearl for the salt and pepper and you can just about see that Pearl is not wearing glasses. But in the next shot of her, she is wearing glasses.

  • Continuity: During the finger cutting scene, the finger shown in close up with special effects is not the finger shown when the camera pans back to original shot.
  • Continuity: Speedometer on car reads the same when Dwight Hansen drives erratically to scare Tobias and then later on when Tobias takes Dwight's car for a joy ride; also the speedometer says speeds of 70 mph plus yet the odometer never moves.

Leonardo DiCaprio was 19 years old


Nice Hair....



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