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The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1968)

Approved  |   |  Drama  |  31 July 1968 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 2,494 users  
Reviews: 41 user | 12 critic

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.

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

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Cast

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

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 <mportell@s-cwis.unomaha.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

31 July 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das Herz ist ein einsamer Jäger  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Unable to find white suits large enough to fit Chuck McCann, costumers had him wear old suits previously worn by studio character actor Sydney Greenstreet. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Mick: [At the gravesite] Why did he do it? I keep asking myself that over and over.
Doctor Copeland: Oh, I don't suppose any of us will ever know that. None of us ever knew him... not really. We all brought our troubles to him, never stopping to think he may have troubles of his own.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter
(uncredited)
Written by Dave Grusin and Peggy Lee
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User Reviews

 
Poignant sixties film with diversity issues abound -- sensitive Alan Arkin performance
2 January 2000 | by (sf, usa) – See all my reviews

I cannot forget the theme music of "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter" by Dave Grusin. There's a certain pervading peacefulness listening to its strains. Watching the film again on cable reminded me how impressed I was when I first saw it. Ever since, I kept an eye on movies with Alan Arkin in it -- his performance as John Singer, a deaf-mute, was sensitively delivered and commanded respect. It was Sondra Locke's debut appearance. She was young and slim, perfect for the role of "Mick", who learned to accept his disability and was able to share her love of music with him.

Along this life's journey of Singer, his friends included Chuck McCann as the plump fellow deaf-mute, who's playful and loved chocolates; Stacy Keach as the recovering alcoholic and new found chess mate; Percy Rodriguez as the self-righteous black Doctor who has his strife and discords with his daughter Portia, portrayed by a young Cicely Tyson. Lessons in diversity and tolerance are subtly evident as the story progresses. The ending is certainly not of Hollywood standard. Cinematographer James Wong Howe certainly tied in hope through his lens on the final shot with Mick (Sondra Locke) in it.

This film about reaching out and touching someone, irrespective of one's ability to verbally communicate or via signs, of one's race, color, or background, still rings true.


17 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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