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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
[At the gravesite]
Why did he do it? I keep asking myself that over and over.
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.
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Poignant sixties film with diversity issues abound -- sensitive Alan Arkin performance
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.
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