Peter Yates

Looking back at 'Diner,' 30 years later

Looking back at 'Diner,' 30 years later

Few films in movie history — and maybe no other film by a first-time writer-director — proved to be the breakthrough moment for as many talents as a made-in-Baltimore comedy-drama called "Diner."

Viewers still respond to all the people in it, not as old friends but as fresh discoveries. That seductive fellow with the voice that flows as fluidly as his pompadour — my God, it's Mickey Rourke. That gal with the asymmetrically alluring mouth and the heartbreaking way with a line — could it be Ellen Barkin? And that eccentric, dangerous charmer who beats Cornell and Bryn Mawr to the answers on "College Bowl" as it plays on his TV — yes, it's Kevin Bacon.