License to Drive

Last updated

License to Drive
License to drive poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Greg Beeman
Produced by
Written by Neil Tolkin
Music by Jay Ferguson
Cinematography Bruce Surtees
Edited by
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date
  • July 6, 1988 (1988-07-06)(United States)
Running time
88 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$8 million
Box office$22.4 million (United States)

License to Drive is a 1988 American teen comedy film written by Neil Tolkin and directed by Greg Beeman in his feature film directorial debut. It stars Corey Haim, Corey Feldman, Heather Graham, Carol Kane, Richard Masur, Michael Manasseri, and Nina Siemaszko.


The film was in production in late 1987. It was released on July 6, 1988, in the United States and grossed over $20 million at the North American box office. It was distributed by 20th Century Fox.


Southern California teenager Les Anderson (Corey Haim) tries to get his driver's license in order to impress his crush, Mercedes Lane (Heather Graham). He fails the knowledge portion of the exam, but inadvertently causes a computer surge. Les' failing marks are thought to be irretrievable, but the Department of Motor Vehicles lets him pass the exam after comparing him to his twin sister's high marks. He eventually passes the road test, but his real test scores are finally retrieved and his license is revoked.

Les tries concealing the truth from his parents, but his mother finds out the truth and grounds him for two weeks. Les made plans to drive his grandfather's prized 1972 Cadillac Sedan de Ville prior and decides to sneak away anyway for a joyride with Mercedes. Mercedes and Les get drunk and accidentally cave in the roof of the car after dancing on it. Mercedes passes out; Les panics and goes to his best friend Dean's (Corey Feldman) house to have him fix the dent in the car's hood. Dean persuades Les to continue the joyride along with their friend Charles (Michael Manasseri), but are unaware Les still does not have his license. The three put Mercedes in the trunk of the car and continue their night on the town, causing even more damage to the Cadillac. Meanwhile, Les' pregnant mother wakes up her husband late in the night announcing she is in labor.

The next day, Les drops off Charles and Dean at their homes. Mercedes wakes up and believes that the night prior was a dream. Les drops her off at her house where they share a kiss. Les gets in trouble with his father after returning home with the damaged Cadillac. Les' mother is still in labor, but since the car's transmission will not shift into drive he is forced to drive his family to the hospital in reverse. Les' mother is taken into the hospital but a crane fails outside and a falling steel girder crushes the Cadillac, much to the shock of Les and his father.

The family tries to explain the state of the Cadillac to Les' grandfather, but Les' grandfather laughs it off as he reveals he has severely damaged Les' father's own car, a BMW, in an accident. Les' father gives the BMW to him and jokingly tells him to take good care of it. Although Les thanks his father, he has changed his mind and doesn't want it anymore. Mercedes pulls up in a white Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet and picks up Les, who gets in the driver's seat and drives away with her.



Box office

It earned $22,433,275 at the North American box office, [1] against a production budget of $8 million.

Critical response

On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, License to Drive has a "rotten" score of 24% based on 25 reviews with an average rating of 3.6/10. [2] On Metacritic, the film had an average score of 36 out of 100 based on 9 critics, indicating "Generally unfavorable reviews." [3] Chicago Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert gave the film two and a half out of four stars and described the film as "more-than-passable summer entertainment, especially when it identifies with the yearnings of its young heroes to get behind the wheel." He said the first half of the film was "very funny" but the second half was "much more predictable". [4]


Track listing
  1. "Drive My Car" by Breakfast Club – 3:13
  2. "Sweet Surrender" by Brenda K. Starr – 4:50
  3. "I Feel Free" (extended version) by Belinda Carlisle – 6:55
  4. "Time Starts Now" by Boys Club – 4:28
  5. "Get Outta My Dreams, Get into My Car" by Billy Ocean – 4:43
  6. "Crucial" by New Edition – 4:30
  7. "One More Dance" by Jonathan Butler – 4:32
  8. "Jazzy's in the House" by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – 2:55
  9. "Touch and Go" by Femme Fatale – 3:57
  10. "Make Some Noise" by Slave Raider – 3:28
  11. "Mercedes Boy" by Pebbles – 3:54 (single remix)

Songs played in the film, but not on the soundtrack

  1. "Rush Hour" by Jane Wiedlin – 4:03
  2. "Strangers in the Night" by Frank Sinatra
  3. "That's Life" by Frank Sinatra
  4. "Waiting for the Big One" by Femme Fatale

Home media

License to Drive was first released on VHS by CBS/Fox Video in late 1988. It was notable that some VHS versions of the film replaced the Nia Peeples song "Trouble" with "New Sensation" by INXS.

A special edition DVD was distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment in the United States on May 3, 2005. Special features included interviews with Corey Haim and Corey Feldman, audio commentary with Greg Beeman and Neil Tolkin, deleted scenes, TV spots, theatrical trailers, and the film's screenplay (DVD-ROM).

On January 17, 2012, Anchor Bay released the film on Blu-ray.

Unmade sequel and trilogy

In an interview on Larry King Live , on March 10, 2010, the day of Corey Haim's death, Corey Feldman revealed that he and Haim had been developing a sequel, titled License to Fly, an idea initiated by Haim. Feldman also stated that there were tentative plans for a trilogy, with a third installment called License to Dive. [5]


Fox and Davis are developing a female-driven reboot based on the film. [6] [7]

See also

Related Research Articles

Corey Feldman American actor

Corey Scott Feldman is an American actor, musician, and activist. He became well known during the 1980s, with roles as a youth in films such as Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984), Gremlins (1984), The Goonies (1985), and Stand by Me (1986). In 1987, Feldman starred in the horror film The Lost Boys with Corey Haim; they became known as "The Two Coreys" and went on to appear in other films together, including License to Drive (1988) and Dream a Little Dream (1989).

Heather Graham American actress, director, and writer

Heather Joan Graham is an American actress, director, and writer. After appearing in television commercials, her first starring role in a feature film came with the teen comedy License to Drive (1988), followed by the critically acclaimed film Drugstore Cowboy (1989). She then played supporting roles in films such as Six Degrees of Separation (1993) and Swingers (1996), and on the television series Twin Peaks (1991). She gained critical praise for her role as "Rollergirl" in the film Boogie Nights (1997).This led to major roles in Bowfinger (1999) and Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999).

Corey Haim Canadian actor

Corey Ian Haim was a Canadian actor. He starred in a number of 1980s films, such as Lucas, Silver Bullet, Murphy's Romance, License to Drive and Dream a Little Dream. His role alongside Corey Feldman in The Lost Boys made him a household name. Known as The Two Coreys, the duo became 1980s icons and appeared together in seven movies, later starring in the A&E American reality show The Two Coreys.

The Two Coreys

The Two Coreys are actors Corey Feldman and Corey Haim (1971–2010).

Richard Masur American actor

Richard Masur is an American character actor, who has appeared in more than 80 films. From 1995 to 1999, he served two terms as president of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG). Masur currently sits on the Corporate Board of the Motion Picture & Television Fund. He is best known for Nick Lobo on Rhoda (1974-1977), Stanley Uris in the tv miniseries It (1990), and Edward L. L. Moore on Younger (2016-2018).

<i>Gone in 60 Seconds</i> (2000 film) 2000 American action film directed by Dominic Sena

Gone in 60 Seconds is a 2000 American action heist film starring Nicolas Cage, Angelina Jolie, Giovanni Ribisi, Christopher Eccleston, Robert Duvall, Vinnie Jones, Delroy Lindo, Chi McBride and Will Patton. The film was directed by Dominic Sena, written by Scott Rosenberg, and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. The film is a loose remake of the 1974 H. B. Halicki film of the same name.

<i>Changing Lanes</i> 2002 American drama thriller film

Changing Lanes is a 2002 American drama thriller film directed by Roger Michell and starring Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson. The film follows a successful, young Wall Street lawyer (Affleck) who accidentally crashes his car into a vehicle driven by a middle-aged, recovering alcoholic insurance salesman (Jackson). After the lawyer leaves the scene of the accident, the two men try to get back at each other, engaging in a variety of immoral and illegal actions that end up having a major impact on each man's life.

<i>Bushwhacked</i> (film) 1995 American film directed by Greg Beeman

Bushwhacked is a 1995 American adventure comedy, film starring Daniel Stern, Jon Polito, Anthony Heald and Brad Sullivan. Directed by Greg Beeman, it was his last theatrical film before he moved on to direct television films for Disney Channel beginning in 1997. This also marked Sullivan's last theatrical film appearance before his retirement in 2000 and death in 2008.

<i>Dream Machine</i> (film) 1990 film

Dream Machine is a 1991 American comedy thriller film, starring Corey Haim, Brittney Lewis and Randall England. The screenplay was written by Eric Hendershot and based on the old urban legend of a wife selling off a Porsche for a suspiciously low price to get revenge on a cheating husband. The film was released direct-to-video in 1991.

<i>Dream a Little Dream</i> (film) 1989 film by Marc Rocco

Dream a Little Dream is a popular 1989 American fantasy-romantic comedy film directed by Marc Rocco and starring Corey Feldman, Corey Haim, Meredith Salenger, Jason Robards, Piper Laurie and Harry Dean Stanton. It was filmed in Wilmington, North Carolina. This was the third film featuring The Two Coreys. A direct to video sequel, Dream a Little Dream 2, was released in 1994.

<i>Blown Away</i> (1993 film) 1993 film by Brenton Spencer

Blown Away is a 1993 erotic thriller film directed by Brenton Spencer and starring Corey Haim, Nicole Eggert, and Corey Feldman. It is a direct-to-video film.

<i>Busted</i> (film) 1997 film directed by Corey Feldman

Busted is a 1997 comedy film, starring Corey Feldman, Corey Haim and Elliott Gould. The film marked Corey Feldman's directorial debut. Due to his frequent absences and drug use during filming, Corey Haim was eventually fired by director Corey Feldman. Feldman later said it was one of the hardest and most painful things he ever did.

Neil Tolkin is a Canadian screenwriter and film director from Montreal. He attended Westmount High School and Dawson College and McGill University.

Jamison Newlander is an American actor. He starred in the 1987 horror film The Lost Boys, playing vampire hunter Alan Frog.

Unique Whips first aired on February 8, 2005. It was a television show that aired on the defunct Speed Channel from 2005–2008. The show follows the work of Unique Autosports based on Long Island, New York as they customize celebrity automobiles. Created and Produced by Steve Hillebrand and Corey Damsker of Hollywood East The customization generally consists of car stereo, wheels, custom paint and interior work. Celebrities whose cars were featured on the show include: P. Diddy, DJ Pauly D, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Pam Anderson, Patti LaBelle, 50 Cent, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Marcus Camby, Fat Joe, and Tom Wolfe, Myles Pavao

<i>Lost Boys: The Tribe</i> 2008 film by P. J. Pesce

Lost Boys: The Tribe is a 2008 American comedy horror film directed by P. J. Pesce, which serves as a stand-alone sequel to the 1987 film, The Lost Boys. The film stars Tad Hilgenbrink, Angus Sutherland, Autumn Reeser and Corey Feldman.

Lala Cassandra Sloatman is an American model, actress and costumer. Her uncle was musician Frank Zappa; her cousins are Ahmet, Diva, Moon and Dweezil Zappa. She is frequently billed by her first name only, and sometimes as Lala Zappa.

<i>Big Shots</i> (film) 1987 American film directed by Robert Mandel

Big Shots is a 1987 American comedy adventure film directed by Robert Mandel, starring Ricky Busker and Darius McCrary.

<i>Lost Boys: The Thirst</i> 2010 American film directed by Dario Piana

Lost Boys: The Thirst is a 2010 American comedy horror action film directed by Dario Piana and stars Corey Feldman, Casey B. Dolan, Tanit Phoenix and Jamison Newlander. It is a sequel to Lost Boys: The Tribe (2008) and the third and final film of The Lost Boys trilogy.

<i>My Truth: The Rape of 2 Coreys</i> 2020 American documentary film

My Truth: The Rape of 2 Coreys is a 2020 American documentary film directed by Brian Herzlinger and produced by Corey Feldman and Arthur Jameson. Feldman also stars in the film. The film showcases allegations that Feldman and fellow actor Corey Haim were sexually abused as children by several men connected to the entertainment industry.


  1. "License to Drive (1988)". Box Office Mojo . Internet Movie Database. Archived from the original on October 3, 2011. Retrieved March 3, 2011.
  2. Staff. "License to Drive (1988)". Rotten Tomatoes . Fandango Media. Archived from the original on May 23, 2019. Retrieved June 17, 2021.
  3. "License to Drive (1988): Reviews". Metacritic . Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  4. Ebert, Roger (July 6, 1988). "License To Drive review". Chicago Sun-Times . Archived from the original on March 3, 2011. Retrieved March 3, 2011.
  5. Wigler, Josh (March 10, 2010). "Corey Feldman Tells Larry King About Corey Haim's Final Days". MTV News . MTV. Archived from the original on March 3, 2011. Retrieved March 3, 2011.
  6. Busch, Anita (August 15, 2017). "'License To Drive': Female-Driven Reboot Hits The Road With Fox And John Davis". Deadline. Archived from the original on April 20, 2020. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  7. "'License to Drive' Remake in the Works at Fox". The Hollywood Reporter . Archived from the original on April 21, 2020. Retrieved April 17, 2020.