6.5/10
4,671
35 user 12 critic

The Boy Who Could Fly (1986)

An autistic boy who dreams of flying touches everyone he meets, including a new family who has moved in after their father dies.

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Writer:

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ON DISC
3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Mrs. D'Gregario
Jennifer Michas ...
Mona
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Erin
Aura Pithart ...
Colette
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Joe (as Cam Bancroft)
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Gary (as Jason Priestly)
Chris Arnold ...
Sonny
Sean Kelso ...
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Storyline

Charlene Michaelson, her two children - teen-aged Amelia 'Milly' Michaelson and precocious adolescent Louis Michaelson - and their dog Max move into a new house in a new neighborhood after the passing of Charlene's husband/the kids' father, Donald Michaelson. Beyond life without Donald, they are all nervous about starting a new life, which, for Charlene, means getting back into the workforce after thirteen years. Milly quickly settles into the neighborhood if only because she becomes fascinated with their next door neighbor, teen-aged Eric Gibb, who authorities believe is autistic. Orphaned Eric has never spoken a word, and without having been told about the incident, began to think he could fly at the exact moment his parents died in a plane crash. Many believe Eric's belief is because he felt he could thus save his parents. Eric's guardian is his dipsomaniac Uncle Hugo Gibb. Milly's high school teacher, Mrs. Carolyn Sherman, who used to be a special needs teacher, looks after Eric ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Wish hard enough... love long enough... and anything's possible. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 September 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Chlopiec, który umial latac  »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$7,177,431
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In one scene Fred Savage plays the "Last Starfighter" video game from the 1984 film, also directed by director Nick Castle. See more »

Goofs

Cables holding Eric can visibly be seen as he and Millie are falling off the roof of the school before they crash into Millie's mom. See more »

Quotes

Milly: I found out about the boy next door. His name's Eric Gibb. They think he's autistic.
Louis Michaelson: He's got some marbles loose, or what?
Milly: Well, they don't exactly know, but he's never spoken a word in his life and he doesn't like being around people. There's some institute that wants to come and take him away, but Mrs. Sherman says he's better off with his uncle. He's in my class at school. Mrs. Sherman, she used to teach those kinds of kids. She thinks that maybe being around normal people will help him, or ...
[...]
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Connections

Features Press Your Luck (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Back of the Bus
Music by Bruce Broughton
Lyrics and vocals by Nick Castle
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User Reviews

 
A warm and poignant tale.
16 May 2000 | by See all my reviews

In an atmosphere of fantasy, the movie explores several real human issues. The story centers on a mother (Bonnie Bedelia), her young teenage daughter (Lucy Deakins), and her pre-teen son (Fred Savage) as they struggle to cope after the beloved father's sudden passing. Their grief is intensified by the manner of his death and their almost immediately having to adjust to a new life, a new home, a new neighborhood, and for the kids, a new school and new friends. Into this mix enters Eric (Jay Underwood), the apparently autistic teenage boy next door, who is coping with demons of his own as a result of his parents' sudden death in an airplane crash. So grief is involved, and adjustment, and trying to fit in, and acceptance of human differences, and courage, and love - love within a family group and among people, as well as real boy/girl love. Writer-director Nick Castle deals with these issues with respectful sensitivity, as does the excellent ensemble cast of Lucy Deakins, Jay Underwood, Bonnie Bedelia, Fred Savage, Colleen Dewhurst, Fred Gwynne, and Mindy Cohn. That fantasy might be important to plot movement shouldn't be surprising, considering the movie's title. However, whether that fantasy is allegorical or real, or both, is in the eyes of the beholder. In any case, it's a warm and poignant tale, and it deserves a high place in the literature of motion pictures.


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