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The Stone Boy (1984)

 -  Drama  -  4 April 1984 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 550 users  
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A Midwestern farm family faces major emotional adjustment after a tragedy results in the death of an older brother.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jason Presson ...
Nora Hillerman (as Susan Blackstone)
Kenneth Anderson ...
Sheriff #1
John L. Strandell ...
Sheriff #2
Tom Duncan ...
Danna Duffy ...
Quentin Rhoades ...
Mark Melander ...


A Midwestern farm family faces major emotional adjustment after a tragedy results in the death of an older brother.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


In one fatal moment he stood alone. His silence so loud it was deafening.








Release Date:

4 April 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dečak od kamena  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Camera shadow on the backs of fireworks spectators. See more »


Andy Jansen: Days are years and years are days when it comes to sorrow. There ain't no such thing as time. It's the way it is.
See more »


Version of The Stone Boy (1960) See more »


Jamboree In The Hills
Written and Sung by Mayf Nutter
Courtesy of Mayf Nutter Music, BMI
See more »

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User Reviews

Sometimes, I wish I could just wander away. I don't mean go buy a ticket, get on a bus. I just mean, wander away.
23 February 2010 | by (Nova Scotia, Canada) – See all my reviews

It's hard to say sometimes why exactly a film is so effective. From the moment I first came across "The Stone Boy", something told me it would be a great film. In spite of that, it seemed very unlikely that I'd ever have the opportunity to actually see it for myself. Then, one day, while looking through the online catalogue of my local library, I saw that they had recently purchased the DVD release of this film. Which I'm extremely glad for, because the cinematography is of a stunning depth and quality that an old VHS copy could never replicate.

And speaking of the cinematography, I must single it out as far and above the most stunning aspect of this film. As a photographer who pursues very nearly the exact visual style portrayed in "The Stone Boy", I'm a firm believer in the fact that a great cinematographer can almost single-handedly carry a film. Here, he has a lot of help from an extremely talented cast, and a director who understands perfectly what the story needs. But to have Juan Ruiz Anchía behind the camera makes virtually every scene something of beauty. And you can almost never say that. Most films would never even expect such a thing of you. Scene after scene captures some detail, some little bit of visual magic that takes your breath away.

The director, Christopher Cain, has had a long and interesting career. As far as I can gather, this film is not very representative of it. But, sometimes, to catch a director near the beginnings of his career, before all the big budgets and loss of focus, there's a real subtle magic to be found. Cain steps back in this film, lets things happen with a life of their own, and then ever further. Much like early John Sayles films, characters are given space to breathe, time to talk. Side stories happen because they do, and that's how life is. Cain displays a remarkable, raw, even outright painful understanding of human nature in this film.

The acting ties much of this story together. When people talk, when they exist in this film, they do so as actual people, not held back by the fact that they are playing characters. Gina Berriault's script allows immensely talented and respected actors like Wilford Brimley, Robert Duvall, Glenn Close, and Frederic Forrest to spend time simply existing. Whether the things they have to say are minor or of deep significance, it all comes down with the weight of pure reality.

When you look at the actors involved, or the great soundtrack by James Horner, it seems strange that such a film be very nearly forgotten. Maybe much of what makes "The Stone Boy" what it is was the time period it was made in. There's this 1970s hangover feeling to this picture that reminds me deeply of my own childhood. People talk of the 80s in terms of modern styles and music, but that's not the 80s I lived in or remember. The look of the images, the understated and dark knowing quality of the acting, and the overall result should get under the skin of any person who grew up in or near this era of time in rural North America. I see myself in this. I see how I saw the world. And a film like "The Stone Boy" sees the world for how it truly is.

For more of this feeling, please see:

The Black Stallion (1979), Never Cry Wolf (1983), Tender Mercies (1983), Testament (1983), Places in the Heart (1984), Matewan (1987), High Tide (1987), Driving Miss Daisy (1989), The Secret Garden (1993), The Secret of Roan Inish (1994), Wendy and Lucy (2008)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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