Spotlight – C Thomas Howell

Here is a collection of 5 of my favourite C Thomas Howell films, if you enjoy this list then check out my other actor lists here.


The Outsiders (1983)

An american coming of age movie by Frankic Ford Coppola turned out to kickstart a new brat pack into 80’s cinema history. This dream team included C Thomas Howell, who won the Young Artist Award for his performance. following the turbulent lives of teen gangs in rural Oklahoma, the Greasers and Socials, regularly meet up to fight, but during one of these altercations that results in the death of one of the Socials the stakes are raised and the boys are forced to go into hiding but their rivalry carries on.Howell plays a pivotal role and really acts his heart out, bright eyed and energetic he adds a rough edge to some of the otherwise wooden characters in this hard but thrilling drama.

The Hitcher (1986)

Robert Hamon’s The Hitcher is one of those cult movies which really leaves an imprint. Starring Rutger Hauer alongside a young and slightly nieven C Thomas Howell the film is a road movie straight from a blistering Hell. Howell plays a character called Jim who’s transporting a car from Chicago to San Diego, he picked up a random hitcher (Hauer) who claims to be a serial killer, after ditching him he carries on but life isn’t that simple as the hitcher then starts to play a sadistic game and follows Jim along the highway killing mercilessly as he goes and taunting the frightened young man. It’s one of those movies with such a gripping narrative and brilliant characters, that everything about it is just so good, there really isn’t a sore point to note.

Kid (1990)

I remember Howell from this movie more than any other as it’s one of my mother’s favourite films and I enjoyed watching it with her, secretly I used it as a manual for how I was going to defeat all the school bullies.. but that’s another story. It has a lot in common with Thunder Heart, Wild Thing and Free a hippie family is driven out of town and unfortunately killed by the locals, but their son survives and returns for revenge. Howell is incredibly versatile in this wonderfully bloody payback movie, one moment he’s the cute boy next door, then he slips into a cold hearted killer with no visible emotions. From what I know at the time of writing this, there’s still no sign of this Western styled film on DVD, which is a real shame as he co stars, R. Lee Ermey, Dale Dye and Michael Bowen. and includes the line “Dude you look like you just got banged by the dick of doom”.

Pure Danger (1996)

This is never rated very high but I find it intriguing and a bit laughable at times too. A paroled short order cook and his lover a tantalising waitress go on the run after accidentally acquiring a bag filled with diamonds. Totally unaware of this business they soon find two warring gangs are hot on their heels. It’s a harmless fun adventure that i kick back to from time to time but in his long list of movies, for me it’s one of his better efforts and I have to give it some extra kudos for Howells cartel style mustache in a film where everyone is trying to act gangster, it’s hard to actually be a tough guy but with that facial hair he commands respect.. (lol).

Hillside Strangler (2004)

A mild TV movie about the real life serial killers, starring Howell and Nicholas Turturro as Kenneth Bianchi and his cousin Angelo who failed careers and lives results in them becoming serial sex offenders and murderers. In terms of movies made from serial crimes and with its limited budget it’s actually quite attentive to the details and more enjoyable than a lot of other killer mishaps.


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