Youngblood (1986 film)

Youngblood (released in the Philippines as Fight for Love) is a 1986 American drama sports film directed, co-produced, and co-written by Peter Markle, and starring Rob Lowe, Cynthia Gibb and Patrick Swayze. The film's cast also includes Keanu Reeves in his first feature film role.

Youngblood (1986 film) poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPeter Markle
Written byPeter Markle
John Whitman
Produced byPeter Markle
Peter Bart
Patrick Wells
CinematographyMark Irwin
Edited byJack Hofstra
Stephen E. Rivkin
Music byWilliam Orbit
The Guber-Peters Company
United Artists
Distributed byMGM/UA Entertainment Company
Release date
  • January 30, 1986 (1986-01-30)
Running time
110 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$8 million
Box office$15,448,384


Dean Youngblood, a 17-year-old farmhand from rural New York, has dreams of playing in the National Hockey League. Dean voices these dreams to his father who disapproves; however, Dean's brother, Kelly, convinces their father to relent. Dean travels to Canada to try out for the Hamilton Mustangs where he demonstrates his offensive skills but displays a lack of physical toughness. Carl Racki, who is competing for a spot, engages him in a fight and quickly defeats him. Despite this, the Mustangs head coach, a former NHL All-Star, selects Dean for the team. Dean also begins a flirtation with the coach's daughter, Jessie.

After his team mentor, Derek Sutton, is deliberately injured by Racki (now with a rival team), Dean returns home. His brother inspires him to keep playing, and his father teaches him some fighting skills. Dean returns to the team, ready to confront Racki in the final game of the Memorial Cup playoffs.

The game ends with a winning penalty shot goal by Dean with 3 seconds left. As time expires, he confronts and defeats Racki in a fight and is carried off the ice on the shoulders of his teammates.




The filming of Youngblood took place in the east end of Toronto in the summer of 1984. Ted Reeve Arena was used as the setting for the interior of the Hamilton Mustangs home rink while Scarborough Arena Gardens was used for the setting of the arena's exterior. St Michaels College School arena was used as well.[1][2] While there was a Memorial Cup eligible Ontario Hockey League (OHL) team located in Hamilton in 1986, they were called the Hamilton Steelhawks, as compared to the film's fictional Hamilton Mustangs.

Several of the cast and crew had actual hockey experience and skills, though star Rob Lowe had to learn to skate, and both he and Patrick Swayze, a better skater, used doubles for many of their on-ice skating scenes. Director and writer Peter Markle was a former minor-pro and international player for the USA. Cinematographer Mark Irwin, a Canadian, wore skates and a helmet and devised a special rig for shooting hockey scenes on the ice. The film's hockey consultant, Eric Nesterenko, a 20 year National Hockey League veteran and Stanley Cup Champion, in addition to playing the father of Lowe's character.[1] Keanu Reeves, who played the Mustangs goalie, had played goalie at a Toronto high school, earning the nickname "The Wall".[1] George Finn, who played villain Carl Racki, was a former major junior player, and enforcer, in the OHL.[1] Many of the other uncredited team members were actual major junior or NCAA hockey players, as well as two active NHL players, Steve Thomas and Peter Zezel.[1]

Lowe later said he "hated" learning how to skate. "I don't like any sport where you're already exhausted when you're done putting on the equipment. But that said, once I got the equipment on and was out on the ice, I loved that. I loved hitting people, being hit, skating. I love the exertion and competition, so that was all great. But it's a lot of work putting all of that shit on! Give me a surfboard and let me just paddle into the ocean."[3]


Youngblood was released in the United States on January 30, 1986. In the Philippines, the film was released as Fight for Love six years later, on July 15, 1992.[4]

Critical responseEdit

The film gained a mediocre reception, with critics finding the plot derivative.[5][6][7] However, it became a popular VHS video rental and cable TV showing.[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f Barry, Sal (August 7, 2016). "The Making of 'Youngblood: An Oral History". The Hockey News. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
  2. ^ Fleischer, David (January 19, 2017). "Where the Rob Lowe Cult Classic Youngblood Was Filmed in Toronto". Torontoist. St. Joseph Media. Retrieved August 25, 2017.
  3. ^ Harris, Will (February 8, 2017). "Of all his films, Rob Lowe wants you to go back and watch Bad Influence". The AV Club. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  4. ^ "Opens Today". Manila Standard. Kamahalan Publishing Corp. July 15, 1992. p. 19. Retrieved February 23, 2021. Featuring the hit song, "Whatever Happened to Our Love"
  5. ^ PATRICK GOLDSTEIN (August 26, 1994). "Movie Reviews : A Violent 'Youngblood': . . . The Puck Stops Here". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
  6. ^ Maslin, Janet (January 31, 1986). "THE SCREEN: ROB LOWE STARS AS 'YOUNGBLOOD'". New York Times. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
  7. ^ "Youngbloo". Roger Ebert. 1986-01-31. Retrieved August 24, 2012.

External linksEdit