Gleaming the Cube

Gleaming the Cube

Although it wasn’t my favorite skateboarding-themed movie, Gleaming the Cube was probably the most popular and commercially successful of the bunch.

(Thanks to RetroJunk for uploading this awesome trailer to YouTube!)

Coming in on the tail end of skateboarding’s resurgence, 1989’s Gleaming the Cube starred Christian Slater as a skateboarding punk investigating the murder of his adopted brother.

Once again the legendary skateboarding Bones Brigade made an appearance in this film. Led by Stacy Peralta, some of the more famous skaters that appeared in the film included Mike McGill, Mark “Gator” Rogowski, Rodney Mullen, Eric Dressen, Lance Mountain, Mike Vallely, Natas Kaupas, Tommy Guerrero, and many others. The film also features Tony Hawk as “Buddy,” a Pizza Hut delivery driver.

For some reason back in the 1980s I was really good at winning radio dial-in contests. I owned a phone with over-sized buttons (that helped me dial quickly) along with redial and “flash” features, all of which helped me dial radio stations both quickly and repeatedly. Late one night I ended up winning tickets to the debut showing of Gleaming the Cube. Along with the movie tickets, I also won a movie poster and this t-shirt:


This shirt hasn’t fit in 20 years, and I recently donated it to Goodwill. I hope whoever buys it has at least heard of the movie. It would be even more awesome if they were a skater.

Random Trivia: The term “gleaming the cube” is a nonsense term. “In a 1983 interview with Thrasher magazine, pro-skater Neil Blender was asked if he had ever “gleemed inside a cube,” which is apparently where the term came from. In the film, Slater’s character defines “gleaming the cube” as “pushing your limits to the edge.” The DVD contains an easter egg; by highlighting the skateboard on the main menu, you can watch a short featurette titled “What does Gleaming the Cube mean?”.


Rob O'Hara

I'm into old video games, old arcade games, old computer games, writing, photography, computer/network security, and of course, the 1980s!

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Was a skater at the time, so I saw this in theaters. Was “stoked” to see Tony Hawk in a Pizza Hut truck. I think this also goes by the name “A Brother’s Justice”, which kind of takes the skating out of it.

  2. This and Thrashin’ were on a loop pretty much all throughout 89-90 in my house. These along with Rad and North Shore.

  3. I was never a skater (never did learn how to actually skate on a skateboard) and never really watched any skating movies (in fact, I can’t think of a single one besides this that I watched), but I loved this movie back in the day.

    The only other skating related one I can think of that I watched was solar babies. That one didn’t have boards, but the main characters all went around on rollerskates.

  4. That’s awesome, Flack! I have to say that this has one of the best tag lines on a movie poster for the 80’s.

  5. I’ve never seen this movie. Now I must find it and watch it.

  6. Gleaming the Cube is definitely a classic. It’s not as much a “skating movie” as it is a movie that features skateboarders. Between this, Pump up the Volume, and Heathers, it’s no wonder Christian Slater was a favorite actor of mine back in the day.

    Shawn, be sure to check out my post on Friday — I think you’ll really like that one!

  7. I have to go with Airborne as my go-to skateboard movie.

  8. I think I’ll make that tag line my Twitter bio.

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