Clara's Heart (1988)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  7 October 1988 (USA)
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David is a teenager whose parents are in a deteriorating marriage after their infant daughter dies. Clara is a chambermaid at a Jamaican resort who's hired to be a housekeeper. She and ... See full summary »



(novel), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Clara Mayfield
Bill Hart
Leona Hart
David Hart
Peter Epstein
Blanche Loudon
Jason Downs ...
Alan Lipsky
Caitlin Thompson ...
Wanda Christine ...
Maryce Carter ...
Angel Harper ...
Bundy (as Fred Strother)
Joseph Muth ...
Father Joe (as Father Joseph Muth)


David is a teenager whose parents are in a deteriorating marriage after their infant daughter dies. Clara is a chambermaid at a Jamaican resort who's hired to be a housekeeper. She and David develop a close bond, opening his eyes and heart to new experiences, and eventually leading to a disturbing secret in Clara's past. Written by David Thaler <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

7 October 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Claras Geheimnis  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$5,194,491 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Film debut of Neil Patrick Harris. See more »


Clara Mayfield: [introducing David to her friend Blanche]
[spoken with Jamaican patois]
Clara Mayfield: Ah... der be da tarment of me existence. Dey call him Devid.
David Hart: Chow Bobo. Me not da tarment of HER existence. In dis house, de tarment is everywhere and de Ja-MEEEEEEEE-can woman tarment me fa certain as much as me tarment her.
Blanche Loudon: Where him learn patois?
Clara Mayfield: Only one place I can think of.
Blanche Loudon: Dahn talk dat way. Anly looooow class people talk dat way.
Clara Mayfield: Child, dan't encourage him.
See more »


Referenced in Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay (2008) See more »


See What The Lord Has Done
Written by Luther Barnes
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User Reviews

Beautiful and sad...
24 July 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

besides the fact that Whoopi Goldberg and Spalding Gray are in this film, this is a very nice set-piece for families in America, who "have it all" yet something is missing.

Whoopi Goldberg and Spalding Gray (recently deceased) are the bookends of a tragic story of yet another family that does not work out. Katherine Quinlan, Neil Patrick Harris, and Michael Ontkean are the family, who cannot hold it together after a baby dies.

The shores of Baltimore are well-filmed and beautiful, as well as the scenes in Jamaica, where Quinlan befriends Goldberg, and learns about the complexities of life.

This is a film worth watching because there are no pat answers. The audience sees a story true to life, and empathizes with the actors. The cinematography is also noteworthy, and anyone who has experienced loss will not regret watching this film. 9/10.

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