Marshall Herskovitz directed this tearjerking schizophrenic combination of The Wonder Years and To Kill a Mockingbird. It is 1972, and John Leary (Danny De Vito) and his two sons Jack (Robert J. Steinmiller Jr.) and Dylan (Miko Hughes) have just moved to Oakland, California. John is a television celebrity who has been fired from one station after another, appearing now on a cheap local station as the Saturday night host of a horror-film showcase. But John spends most of the time drinking and grieving over the loss of his wife, who was recently killed in an accident. The children try to adapt to their new school, and the family tries to adapt to the collection of kooks that populate their neighborhood. Foremost among them is Norman Strick (Gary Sinise), a sinister neo-Nazi who lives across the street. When Strick circulates a petition for the local white-supremacist candidate, John gets drunk and attacks him on his television show. As a result, Strick takes his revenge by abducting one of John's children.
by Paul Brenner synopsis