7.2/10
14,005
67 user 29 critic

Children of a Lesser God (1986)

A new speech teacher at a school for the deaf falls in love with the janitor, a deaf woman speechless by choice.

Director:

Randa Haines

Writers:

Mark Medoff (stage play), Hesper Anderson (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
William Hurt ... James
Marlee Matlin ... Sarah
Piper Laurie ... Mrs. Norman
Philip Bosco ... Dr. Curtis Franklin
Allison Gompf Allison Gompf ... Lydia
John F. Cleary John F. Cleary ... Johnny
Philip Holmes Philip Holmes ... Glen
Georgia Ann Cline Georgia Ann Cline ... Cheryl
William D. Byrd William D. Byrd ... Danny
Frank Carter Jr. Frank Carter Jr. ... Tony
John Limnidis John Limnidis ... William
Bob Hiltermann ... Orin
E. Katherine Kerr ... Mary Lee Ochs
John Basinger John Basinger ... Alan Jones
Barry Magnani Barry Magnani ... Tom Schuyler
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Storyline

Having taught at the best institutions in the country aside from other more eclectic jobs, James Leeds, with progressive methods, has just started teaching at a school for the deaf on an island off the New England coast, he assigned primarily to a speech class for the upper grades. At the school, he quickly notices the young cleaning woman, who he learns is twenty-five year old Sarah Norman and who, deaf herself, was once a student there and has been there since the age of five. He can see that she is bright, headstrong and angry, on top of which she doesn't speak, the latter issues a result of a troubled home life, her mother, her only touchstone to family, who she has purposefully not seen in eight years. As he is able to get through to most of his students to feel more and more comfortable in speaking for a more holistic life, Jim, with the reluctant blessing of the school's superintendent Dr. Curtis Franklin, who has always and still considers Sarah a proverbial pain in the ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A love beyond words. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

31 October 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Te amaré en silencio See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,909,084, 5 October 1986

Gross USA:

$31,853,080

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$31,853,080
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was selected to screen in competition at the Berlin Film Festival in 1987 where the film won the prestigious Silver Bear award for Outstanding Artistic Contribution. See more »

Goofs

The DVD back lists a main character as "John" Leeds, when the name should be "JAMES" Leeds. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dr. Curtis Franklin: This is the most amazing résumé I've ever seen.
James Leeds: I've been with some really good schools. The best.
Dr. Curtis Franklin: All of them. All of the best. One right after another. You've also been with the Lucky Erin Bar and Grill.
James Leeds: Pittsburgh. Bartender.
Dr. Curtis Franklin: And a disc jockey.
James Leeds: Yeah, that was in Oklahoma. I used to broadcast in sign language.
Dr. Curtis Franklin: You've covered all the map, Mr. Leeds.
James Leeds: I've got a lot of energy.
Dr. Curtis Franklin: I'm sure you do have a lot of energy and a lot of new ideas. I did too when...
[...]
See more »


Soundtracks

I've Been Loving You Too Long
by Otis Redding & Jerry Butler
Performed by Otis Redding
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corporation by arrangement with Warner Special products
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great, Convincing, Authentic
8 November 2005 | by cndiverSee all my reviews

Yes, this is a love story about two unusually attractive people but its power comes from Hurt and Matlin's ability to increasingly convey vulnerability and authenticity as they fight to become completely real to each other. Marlee in particular is remarkable in her expressiveness. There is a scene where she watches Hurt while she's in an indoor swimming pool and you only see her eyes over the edge of the pool -- but the depth and variety of what "just those eyes" express!

Because all of us intuitively know what they are going through as they strip away layer after layer -- who of us hasn't feared exposure of the person we feel the world shouldn't see? -- we are drawn into their revealing their secret selves because we wish we knew who OUR OWN secret self is.

And the film is funny, engaging, touching, crazy and human!


26 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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