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Little Man Tate (1991)

PG  |   |  Drama  |  1 November 1991 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 10,863 users  
Reviews: 36 user | 24 critic

Dede is a sole parent trying to bring up her son Fred. When it is discovered that Fred is a genius, she is determined to ensure that Fred has all the opportunities that he needs, and that ... See full summary »



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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Garth Emmerick (as David Pierce)
Alex Lee ...
Matt Montini
Nathan Lee ...
Matt's Teammate
Miss Nimvel
Danitra Vance ...
Clinic Doctor
Richard Fredette ...
Winston F. Buckner
Grierson Institute Teacher


Dede is a sole parent trying to bring up her son Fred. When it is discovered that Fred is a genius, she is determined to ensure that Fred has all the opportunities that he needs, and that he is not taken advantage of by people who forget that his extremely powerful intellect is harboured in the body and emotions of a child. Written by Murray Chapman <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It's not what he knows. It's what he understands.




PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

1 November 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le petit homme  »

Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)


$25,010,896 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Jodie Foster's directorial film debut. See more »


When asked the question of what factors the number 3,067 has, Damon replies that the number has no factors because it is prime. That is incorrect. Every prime number has two factors: 1 and the number itself. Yet the moderator accepts his answer of "no factors" without even asking for clarification. See more »


[first lines]
Fred Tate: It's funny, cause I *think* I can even remember being born. For the first two weeks of my life I didn't even have a name. Dede couldn't make up her mind. She finally decided on Fred. She said that she had never heard of a little kid named Fred before.
See more »


Referenced in 2 Broke Girls: And the Cronuts (2013) See more »


Brahms' Liebesliederwalzer
Musc by Johannes Brahms (as Brahms)
Performed by Ensemble Vocal Michel Piquemal with Ensemble Orchestral de Paris
Conducted by Armin Jordan
Courtesy of Erato Disques
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

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User Reviews

Treads the fine line of sap, but doesn't cross it.
6 February 1999 | by (Bay Area) – See all my reviews

Little Man Tate is a very good movie. Jodie Foster's debut as a filmmaker shows a little boy genius, who we've all seen before. The difference is the little boy is human, and not just a brain. He worries about people dying, envies the popular athletic boy, all the while plays music in competition form and forms math problems on his head. The conflict between Jodie Foster, the mother, and Dianne Wiest, the child genius grown up, is somewhat annoying, but it makes sense, as they are both extremes of parenting. The child in this movie plays it superbly, as does Foster and Wiest. Some points of this movie I was about to worry that the emotional music was coming and we'd see some sappy speech. Thankfully that never happened. What this movie is, is an emotional movie that doesn't have a bad guy or good guy to root or cheer for. Everyone here's prerogatives make sense, and it's up to you who you support, and what you think about Fred Tate, the little genius.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Terrible Yoda101382
Adam Hann-Byrd was ugly in this film kedem524
What is the point? thirsch-2
Fred's nickname for his mother TheLastUnicorn
The music he plays in the piano on the interview whith Jane Grierson??? vovosafalda
Song eddy is playing Gunfighter2009
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