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The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1968)

G | | Drama | 31 July 1968 (USA)
2:58 | Trailer
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)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Spiros Antonapoulos
Charles Spirmonedes
Margaret 'Mick' Kelly
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 ...
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 <mportell@s-cwis.unomaha.edu>

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?


George Peppard was sent the script by Warner Bros. but his agent talked him out of it, telling him that the part of Singer, a deaf mute, was too weak and "might be a homosexual." See more »


When Dr. Copeland goes in to see Judge Bronson he enters via a swinging door with a glass panel in it. A member of the camera crew is reflected in the glass as it swings shut. See more »


Mick: [Lying on the beach on a blanket] Kiss me, Harry. Kiss me the way married people kiss.
Harry: Do you think we should?
Mick: Please let me have just one thing the way I want it to be.
[He kisses her]
See more »

Crazy Credits

And Introducing

Sondra Locke

as Mick See more »


Symphony #47 in C Major, 'Jupiter,' K 551
By Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart(1788)
[Heard at concert in movie theater and on record Singer gives to Mick]
See more »

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User Reviews

a heartbreaking experience
2 January 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I saw this movie as a 15 year old when it came out. I remember it was a Saturday night and none of my friends were around. My parents didn't have any plans either and asked if I would like to go to a movie with them. Although spending a Saturday night with ones' parents couldn't be more uncool for a teenage boy, I agreed. The story and performances sucked me in from the beginning and held me there while the unbearable sadness of the final scene tore my heart out. Of course teenage boys aren't supposed to be that sentimental so it took all my strength to hold back this tidal wave of grief that cut through me. As we walked out of the theatre and through the parking lot and got into the car I said nothing. After a few minutes my mother said, "Mark, you're awfully quiet". I shot back at her "leave me alone", which she did. I didn't want reality to intrude upon the profoundly deep feelings I was experiencing. That feeling stayed with me for months. Only decades later did I realize that the movie touched on a very personal sadness in my life that as a teenage boy I couldn't begin to grapple with. Micks' mothers inability to express love for her mirrored a similar void in my relationship with my father. During a particularly depressed part of my adulthood, while I was grappling with the reality of having an unloving father, one day I found myself thinking about this movie. Oh! That's why the movie had such a devastating effect on me! It brought to the surface all of the sadness, isolation and loneliness I suppressed as a child who wasn't loved for who he was! That's the definition of a true work of art. This movie had the ability to allow me to feel what I was unable to as a child and only years later would I be able to understand the reason for the overwhelming sadness I felt then.

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