IMDb > Children of a Lesser God (1986)
Children of a Lesser God
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Children of a Lesser God (1986) More at IMDbPro »

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Children of a Lesser God -- Based on the hit Broadway play, it's the uplifting love story of John Leeds (William Hurt), an idealistic special education teacher, and a headstrong deaf girl named Sarah (Marlee Matlin). At first, Leeds sees Sarah as a teaching challenge. But soon their teacher/student relationship blossoms into a love so passionate it shatters the barrier of silence that keeps them apart.
Children of a Lesser God -- Trailer


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Up 72% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Mark Medoff (stage play)
Hesper Anderson (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Children of a Lesser God on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
31 October 1986 (USA) See more »
A love beyond words. See more »
James is a new speech teacher at a school for the deaf. He falls for Sarah, a pupil who decided to stay... See more » | Add synopsis »
Won Oscar. Another 5 wins & 11 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Beautiful and Touching See more (61 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

William Hurt ... James Leeds

Marlee Matlin ... Sarah Norman

Piper Laurie ... Mrs. Norman

Philip Bosco ... Dr. Curtis Franklin
Allison Gompf ... Lydia
John F. Cleary ... Johnny
Philip Holmes ... Glen

Georgia Ann Cline ... Cheryl
William D. Byrd ... Danny
Frank Carter Jr. ... Tony
John Limnidis ... William

Bob Hiltermann ... Orin

E. Katherine Kerr ... Mary Lee Ochs
John Basinger ... Alan Jones
Barry Magnani ... Tom Schuyler
Linda Bove ... Marian Loesser
Ann Hanson ... Martha Franklin
James Carrington ... Mr. Harrison
Max Brown ... Glen's Father
María Cellario ... Glen's Mother
Jon-Paul Dougherty ... Glen's Brother
Linda Swim ... Sarah's Friend
Lois Clowater ... Sarah's Friend
Allan R. Francis ... Waiter
Richard Kendall ... Cafeteria Cook
Christopher Shay ... Ricky
Laraine Isa ... Woman in Beauty Shop
Nanci Kendall ... Woman at Party
Marie Brazil ... Mother
Charlene Legere ... Child
Leigh French ... Announcer (voice)

Archie Hahn ... Announcer (voice) (as Archie Hahn III)

Jack Blessing ... Announcer (voice)

Nicholas Guest ... Announcer (voice)
Gigi Vorgan ... Announcer (voice)

Lynne Marie Stewart ... Announcer (voice)

Directed by
Randa Haines 
Writing credits
Mark Medoff (stage play)

Hesper Anderson (screenplay) and
Mark Medoff (screenplay)

James Carrington  uncredited

Produced by
Candace Koethe .... associate producer
Patrick J. Palmer .... producer (as Patrick Palmer)
Burt Sugarman .... producer
Original Music by
Michael Convertino 
Cinematography by
John Seale (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Lisa Fruchtman 
Casting by
Gretchen Rennell 
Production Design by
Gene Callahan 
Art Direction by
Barbra Matis 
Set Decoration by
Rose Marie McSherry 
Costume Design by
Renée April  (as Renee April)
Makeup Department
Ann Brodie .... makeup designer
Paul LeBlanc .... hair stylist
Production Management
Stéphane Reichel .... unit production manager (as Stephane Reichel)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jim Kaufman .... first assistant director
Patrick J. Palmer .... second unit director (as Patrick Palmer)
Kim H. Winther .... second assistant director (as Kim Winther)
Art Department
Guenter Bartlik .... head scenic artist
Daniel R. Bradette .... assistant property master
J. Tracy Budd .... property master
Tom Doherty .... first assistant art director (as Thomas Doherty)
Kathy Ebbinghaus .... art department trainee
Mark S. Freeborn .... assistant set decorator (as Mark Freeborn)
Barry Gardner .... stand-by painter
Weits Jekel .... construction supervisor
Gilles Léonard .... set dresser (as Gilles Leonard)
Michael O'Connor .... set dresser
Richard Reseigne .... construction design coordinator
Sound Department
James Ashwill .... foley mixer
George Berndt .... adr editor
Ruth Bird .... assistant sound editor
Paul Brown .... sound consultant
Dody Dorn .... sound editor (as Dody J. Dorn)
Dennis Drummond .... sound editor
Patrick Drummond .... sound editor
Ken Dufva .... foley artist
Walter A. Gest .... sound re-recordist
Robert Grieve .... supervising sound editor (as Robert A. Grieve)
Richard Lightstone .... production sound mixer
Robert J. Litt .... re-recording mixer
Stephanie Lowry .... assistant sound editor (as Stephanie Ng)
Steve Maslow .... re-recording mixer
Jim Thompson .... boom operator (as James L. Thompson)
Elliot Tyson .... re-recording mixer
Linda Whittlesey .... foley editor
John Roesch .... foley artist (uncredited)
Donald C. Rogers .... technical director of sound (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Ron Thiessen .... special effects assistant
David Neil Trifunovich .... special effects supervisor (as Neil Trifunovich)
Camera and Electrical Department
David Crone .... Steadicam services
Robert Daprato .... dolly grip
Steve Ferrier .... assistant head electrician
Paul Gravel .... first assistant camera: second unit
Paul Gravel .... focus puller
Dave Grinstead .... grip
Manfred Guthe .... director of photography: second unit (as Fred Guthe)
Kevin Jewison .... first assistant camera
Joseph Peters .... electrician
Bill Pryde .... second assistant camera
Ron Renzetti .... grip
Paul Roscorla .... electrician
Takashi Seida .... still photographer
Randy Tambling .... key grip
Rae Thurston .... head electrician
Pauline Heaton .... cinematographer: underwater unit (uncredited)
Casting Department
Ruth Lambert .... casting assistant
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Fabienne April .... costumer
Mario Davignon .... assistant costumer
Arthur Rowsell .... costumer
Editorial Department
Mary Bauer .... associate editor
Ron Lambert .... color timer
Bryan McMahan .... colorist: mastering
Tony Merzetti .... apprentice editor
Jenny Weyman-Cockle .... first assistant editor: Canada
Bob Sarles .... apprentice editor (uncredited)
Location Management
Marie Brazil .... location assistant: Ms. Haines
Michael Jewison .... location manager
Music Department
Gary Barlough .... synthesizer programming
Else Blangsted .... supervising music editor
Chris Boardman .... orchestrator
Michael Convertino .... additional orchestrator
M.B. Gordy .... musician: Percussion
Stephen Mitchell .... composer: additional music
Stephen Mitchell .... musician
James Thatcher .... musician: french horn
Shirley Walker .... additional orchestrator
Shirley Walker .... conductor
Dan Wallin .... music scoring mixer
John Beal .... composer: trailer (uncredited)
Craig Harris .... music designer: Sarah's underwater silence (uncredited)
Craig Harris .... musician: synthesizers, score sequencing and studio production (uncredited)
John Neufeld .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Transportation Department
David Beaudrow .... driver captain
Craig S. Kohne .... driver captain
Nick Sweetman .... transportation coordinator
Other crew
Alan R. Barwiolek .... sign language instructor: Mr. Hurt
Bryan Blanford .... production assistant
Stanley Brossette .... unit publicist (as Stanley R. Brossette)
Jan A. Campbell .... assistant production accountant
Eve Cantor .... assistant production coordinator
James Carrington .... special actor's consultant
Robin Chaykin .... production associate
Brian Cole .... craft service
Joyce L. Cole .... sign language interpreter: Ms. Matlin
Christopher Cook .... producer's coordinator
Marnie Craig .... caterer
Susanna David .... script supervisor
John Fredericks .... production assistant
Terry Gould .... production assistant
Stephen Jacobs .... sign language interpreter
Margaret Johnson .... first aid
Richard Kendall .... technical advisor
Mary Beth Miller .... sign language instructor: Mr. Hurt
Margaret Amy Moar .... stand-in: Marlee Matlin
Leanne Moore .... production accountant
Bonnie Palef .... producer's coordinator (as Bonnie Palef-Woolf)
Toni Phillips .... production assistant
Michel Pradier .... production assistant
Valley Via Reseigne .... production coordinator
Nikki Sahagen .... associate choreographer
Patti Shore .... sign language interpreter: Ms. Matlin
Dan Siretta .... choreographer
Krista Steeves .... production assistant
Joanne Tickle .... production secretary
Pat Vaughan .... stand-in: William Hurt
Carole Wattles .... accounting clerk
Lou Fant .... sign language coach (uncredited)
Greg Ferris .... marketing canada (uncredited)
Paul F. McCarthy .... stand-in (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
119 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Initially, Marlee Matlin believed that she was rendered deaf in infancy before the age of two by a bout of roseola infantum or infantile measles but later found out that roseola doesn't cause deafness. In the 1990s, a doctor told her mother that he believed that Matlin had a genetically malformed cochlea, which meant that she could likely hear when she was born but that her hearing receded over the first couple of years of her life.See more »
Revealing mistakes: Multiple cars had the license tag "3952" -- a blue Ford and a brown Pontiac.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 »
I've Been Loving You Too LongSee more »


How does it end?
See more »
28 out of 29 people found the following review useful.
Beautiful and Touching, 2 April 2004
Author: Spud-38 from Butler, GA

Hollywood is full of overly wrought love stories in which the conflict seems contrived merely to create drama or comedy or both. In Children of a Lesser God the love is so simple, and the conflict so believable, that it feels less like watching a movie, and more like watching friends walk through their own personal story. The attraction between Matlin and Hurt is obvious, but genuine, and is filled with the kind of "touches" that make it feel real. It is also a visually beautiful film. Each shot is set like a still photographer capturing an image. The overwhelming beauty of the New Brunswick coast creates a background for the film that leaves one with the feeling of watching a moving painting. Matlin has unfortunately not since been offered anything near this piece in which to display her amazing talent. It is a shame that a woman who could stand alongside Katherine Hepburn and Jodie Foster as all time great actresses is not having the opportunity to display that talent because of her hearing disability.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (61 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Children of a Lesser God (1986)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Where is this movie set? brooksgilks
What do Deaf people think of this film? minitrickster
Georgia Ann Cline newyorker1026
did the actors need to learn to sign?? shortie__9a
ASL or Signed English? Cheer_Cat
Sarah's screaming nun_luz
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