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The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1968)

G | | Drama | 31 July 1968 (USA)
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.

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Spiros Antonapoulos
...
Charles Spirmonedes
...
Beaudine
...
...
Jackie Marlowe ...
Bubber Kelly
Laurinda Barrett ...
Robbie Barnes ...
Ralph Kelly
Wayne Smith ...
Richard Fingar ...
Sucker Wells
Sherri Vise ...
Delores
Gavin Paulin ...
Spareribs
...
Dr. Copeland (as Percy Rodriguez)
...
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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:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

31 July 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das Herz ist ein einsamer Jäger  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mary Badham tested unsuccessfully for the role of Mick. 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

Doctor Copeland: [Hearing that his son-in-law's leg has been amputated] Must be something I can do.
Portia: I'll tell you what you're gonna do. They're sendin' Willie home as soon as he can travel. He's gonna need a lot of care, so we're gonna move him here.
Doctor Copeland: [Visibly distraught] Of course, yes.
Portia: [Bitterly] I'll cook and do the cleanin' and such... but all the time you'll know I'm hating you. I got a feelin' I'm gonna be a very good hater... and if I ain't, I can learn.
See more »

Crazy Credits

And Introducing

Sondra Locke

as Mick 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
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Brilliantly filmed story of infinite compassion
7 March 2002 | by ((Sheffield, England)) – See all my reviews

There is no doubt about it, but when Hollywood decides to make a cinematic masterpiece, and at the same time draws upon indigenous American social and cultural mores, as exemplified by a writer of the talent of Carson McCullers, the result can be both breath-taking and almost overwhelming. It is partly their very `Americaness' that makes films like THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER so unique and special to someone like myself who is not American. And this film in particular shows a side of the American psyche which is all too often neglected and unacknowledged in movies. The novel on which it is based is, sadly perhaps, too complex and long to adapt to the screen without sacrificing some aspect of the many subplots it contains, and although I regret the loss of the radical political dimension, the subtle and heart-wrenching way loneliness, racism, impoverishment, snobbery, and disadvantage are conveyed are so powerfully treated that the end result is a film of almost unbearable sadness and melancholy... and yet... And yet there is an element of tremendous hope also at work; of the human spirit overcoming huge odds and learning life's lessons as the various characters go along and work out their individual destinies. Superb ensemble acting from all concerned, and technical credits of the highest order make this one of the most deeply satisfying films I have ever seen in my life. A masterpiece, and one that could only have been made in the USA.


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