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The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1968)

G  |   |  Drama  |  31 July 1968 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 2,615 users  
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When deaf mute Singer moves to a small city to be near his only friend confined in a hospital, he grows attached to his landlady's sensitive 16-year-old daughter.


(novel), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Spiros Antonapoulos
Peter Mamakos ...
Charles Spirmonedes
Margaret 'Mick' Kelly
Biff McGuire ...
Mr. Kelly
Jackie Marlowe ...
Bubber Kelly
Laurinda Barrett ...
Mrs. Margaret Kelly
Robbie Barnes ...
Ralph Kelly
Wayne Smith ...
Richard Fingar ...
Sucker Wells
Sherri Vise ...
Gavin Paulin ...
Percy Rodrigues ...
Dr. Copeland (as Percy Rodriguez)


Sentimental story centers around a deaf-mute, Singer, and Mick, a teenager who lives in the house where he rents a room. Mick and Singer become friends, though they are separated by Singer's lack of communication ability and Mick's struggle with teenage problems. The lives of the people Singer touches are varied, linked only by their friendship with Singer. His friends include a deaf-mute, a drunk, and a doctor. Singer does his best to help those around him solve their problems, but who is there to help him solve his own? Written by Melissa Portell <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


...and from this man who could not speak or hear, the girl heard many things.




G | See all certifications »



Release Date:

31 July 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das Herz ist ein einsamer Jäger  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Sondra Locke plays a 16-year-old in the film. She was actually 23 during filming and turned 24 before the film was released. See more »


Carnival is supposedly taking place on a warm summer night judging from characters' lightweight costumes but actors' frosty breath can be seen in a number of shots. See more »


Mrs. Kelly: [Watching Mick's party guests leave] Well, there they go. Can't say as I blame them either.
[She shakes her head]
Mrs. Kelly: After all, you did throw them out.
Mick: Well, I don't care. I don't care one little bit! Here I thought they were all so smart and grown up and everything, and they're not. They're not even as grown up as me!
See more »

Crazy Credits

And Introducing

Sondra Locke

as Mick See more »


Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Bloodlust! (1994) See more »


The Color of the Wind Is Cold
Written by Dave Grusin and Hermine Hilton
Performed by Mac Davis
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User Reviews

My Personal Favorite
28 November 2003 | by (In the Pacific now; L.I. past) – See all my reviews

I'm 55, and have seen countless movies in my day, from silents to computerized re-makes of classics. I won't repeat all the wonderful things said about this movie by others, but only endorse their views and feelings: The filming, the setting, the story, the casting, the music....combined they add up to make this movie stand out a bit above all others. I saw "Lonely Hunter" when it came out, and perhaps 2 or 3 times since then, and it has certainly stood the test of time. I don't see how you could find a more moving, sensitive, and thought-provoking production. Only recently have I read the book, and, despite one viewer's comments, believe the film to be a wonderfully compact and visual interpretation of same; a joy to behold, and one that has positively influenced my life in many ways. Would just like to add that the latest movie to have such an effect on me, although not necessarily for the positive(!), has been "American Beauty". "The Heart" surely rates a 10/10!

42 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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