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Children of a Lesser God (1986)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  31 October 1986 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 11,069 users  
Reviews: 58 user | 27 critic

James is a new speech teacher at a school for the deaf. He falls for Sarah, a pupil who decided to stay on at the school rather than venture into the big bad world. She shuns him at first, ... See full summary »



(stage play), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mrs. Norman
Dr. Curtis Franklin
Allison Gompf ...
John F. Cleary ...
Philip Holmes ...
Georgia Ann Cline ...
William D. Byrd ...
Frank Carter Jr. ...
John Limnidis ...
E. Katherine Kerr ...
Mary Lee Ochs
John Basinger ...
Alan Jones
Barry Magnani ...
Tom Schuyler


James is a new speech teacher at a school for the deaf. He falls for Sarah, a pupil who decided to stay on at the school rather than venture into the big bad world. She shuns him at first, refusing to read his lips and only using signs. Will her feelings change over time? Written by Colin Tinto <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A love beyond words. See more »


Drama | Romance


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




Release Date:

31 October 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Te amaré en silencio  »

Box Office


$31,853,080 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Debut theatrical feature film directed by Randa Haines. See more »


The DVD back lists a main character as "John" Leeds, when the name should be "JAMES" Leeds. See more »


[first lines]
Dr. Curtis Franklin: This is the most amazing résumé I've ever seen.
James Leeds: I've been with some really good schools. The best.
Dr. Curtis Franklin: All of them. All of the best. One right after another. You've also been with the Lucky Erin Bar and Grill.
James Leeds: Pittsburgh. Bartender.
Dr. Curtis Franklin: And a disc jockey.
James Leeds: Yeah, that was in Oklahoma. I used to broadcast in sign language.
Dr. Curtis Franklin: You've covered all the map, Mr. Leeds.
James Leeds: I've got a lot of energy.
Dr. Curtis Franklin: I'm sure you do have a lot of energy and a lot of new ideas. I did too when...
See more »


Isn't It Romantic
by Lorenz Hart & Richard Rodgers
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Shouting without a sound.
11 September 2005 | by (Minnesota) – See all my reviews

When I first saw this movie I knew only the hand alphabet, but this movie made me want to learn more. After years of picking up bits here and there I am amazed at how well William Hurt used signs. Personally I think basic sign language should be taught in all schools. This is a very touching love story and I never get tired of seeing it. James is not perfect as the teacher trying to deaf students to speak. He makes many mistakes, but you can see how he cares very much. The love he has for Sarah is very real. I felt so sorry for Sarah but I also knew that she was a survivor. I would love to have that kind of strength. I have seen Marlee Matlin in lots of things since this and she is definitely a great actor.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Is this the only movie primarily about Deaf people? Abe_Phroman
Film ruined by the score Allie-18
ASL or Signed English? Cheer_Cat
did the actors need to learn to sign?? shortie__9a
Meaning of Title mattpt83
Climax? baybveeka-1
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