Erik, a loner, finds a friend in Dexter, an eleven-year-old boy with AIDS. They vow to find a cure for AIDS together and save Dexter's life in an eventful summer.


Peter Horton


Robert Kuhn
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Brad Renfro ... Erik
Aeryk Egan Aeryk Egan ... Tyler
Delphine French Delphine French ... Tyler's Girlfriend
Mona Powell Mona Powell ... Tyler's Girlfriend
Andrew Broder Andrew Broder ... Tyler's Buddy
Jeremy Howard ... Tyler's Buddy #2
Joseph Mazzello ... Dexter
Annabella Sciorra ... Linda
Diana Scarwid ... Gail
Rosemary Corman Rosemary Corman ... Elderly Woman in Street
T. Mychael Rambo T. Mychael Rambo ... Garbageman #1
David Alan Smith ... Garbageman #2
Delia Jurek Delia Jurek ... Angry Woman
Fran Korba Fran Korba ... Elderly Women in Market
John Carroll Lynch ... Skipper #1 (as John Lynch)


Having just moved to a new town, Erik (Brad Renfro) is thrilled when he makes friends with his younger neighbor, Dexter (Joseph Mazzello), and his friendly mom (Annabella Sciorra). Despite the disapproval of his own neglectful mother (Diana Scarwid), Erik grows close to Dexter, who suffers from AIDS. As the disease's impact on Dexter's life grows more noticeable, Erik and Dexter embark on a quest to New Orleans down the Mississippi River, where hope may yet lie with a doctor there. Written by yusufpiskin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Two boys found a way to make one summer last a lifetime.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for emotional thematic elements, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The last movie to be produced by Island World. See more »


The amount of ice-cream in the glasses changes between shots. See more »


Erik: One time there was this kid, and he went swimming after eating, and he got a stomach cramp and he started to drown, but the sturgeon general grabbed him by his shirt and put him on the shore.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Renée Humphrey's character was named 'Angel', although her tattoo was misspelled as 'Angle', so she's credited as the latter instead of 'Angel'. See more »


Referenced in Kidsongs: Let's Put on a Show (1995) See more »


My Great Escape
Written and Performed by Marc Cohn
See more »

User Reviews

One of the few films that manages to be touching without being cheesy
13 December 2006 | by jay_zheadSee all my reviews

I had seen The Cure when I was a kid and I loved it then. Now, years later, I got a hold of a copy almost by accident, and watched it again. Being a kid, you don't really have the ability to procure things for yourself that you want, that is usually a prerogative of your parents - but when I watched it again now I felt sorry that I did not do more to get a copy of this movie back then, and consequently almost forgot about it until today.

This really is a beautiful movie. It tells the story of the unlikely friendship between a hard-edged, misfit kid - who takes his cues from his horrible, abusive mother - and his neighbor, a slightly younger boy who has AIDS.

Right, you say. Another one of "those". A tear jerker. A bucket movie. A morality tail. Yeah, I know, I hate those too. Only this one isn't. It is one of the very few movies among those many I have seen that pulls off a very rare trick: it conveys a truly sad story (and yes, a morality tale) but without a single moment where it feels cheesy, forced or in any other way "hollywoody". It shows a REAL relationship between two REAL boys, who interact as REAL kids do. And through that interaction the good-natured, loving character of the older boy, Eric, starts to shine through his "tough-guy" persona, as he takes on a kind of big-brotherly care for Dexter, his HIV-positive younger neighbor. Together, they embark on an adventure to find a cure - which to Erik seems to be just around the corner - so that all this silly AIDS thing will go away and they can be friends forever.

The production is top notch. But, of course, what really carries this movie, is the performances of the two leads - Brad Renfro and Joseph Mazzello. Especially Mazzello, who is simply stunning - he does convey a sense of frailty needed for an ailing boy, but at the same time he manages to make Dexter a truly energetic and determined character. He shines at the scene where the boys confront Pony: his impulse to protect his older friend lunges him forth, drives him to say what he says - and only afterwards, the horror is depicted on his face, as he realizes that what he himself said is true: his blood is poison... Renfro also has his moments, in particular the scenes with his mother: he depicts perfectly how this macho, street-wise kid is left completely frozen and numb when faced with his abusive, storming mother, and can't get a word in to contradict her as she forbids his relationship with the ailing boy out of her fear and ignorance. Annabella Sciorra also gives a memorable performance as Dexter's mother, who ultimately becomes, in a sense, a mother figure to Erik as well.

I've first seen this film when I was at school back in America, and loved it - not at all a given concerning movies of this sort. But the behavior of the kids in this movie was so real, I could easily relate to them. Ironically enough, the teacher who had shown us this movie (a wonderful woman, I'm still in touch with her) got in trouble for it, as some uptight parent complained about it having the scene when the two boys are looking at a Playboy... Pathetic. Seriously, will Americans ever get over this ridiculous phobia, I do not know. There was a hardly-distinguishable shot of a playboy cover in the movie and thus it is not shown in schools... how sad. Kids need to see this movie. It is more inspiring and educational than all the "official" after-school specials put together.

Oh, and one more thing. I know I'm rambling, but nevertheless... The score. It's great. I am a musician, and as such I know Dave Grusin from his records: he is a well known Jazz pianist and record producer. Up until this movie I really did not know that he did movie scores as well, even though when I later checked I found out that I had unknowingly watched several movies he worked on. Really, a wonderful job there.

All in all, a solid Ten. I'd recommend this movie to anyone. And I'm definitely going to see it with my younger siblings - they can use watching a film like this among all the standard special-effect hysteria they usually see.

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Release Date:

21 April 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Cure See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,206,415, 23 April 1995

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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