Little Man Tate (1991)

PG  |   |  Drama  |  1 November 1991 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 10,953 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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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:

Mentes que brillan  »

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
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Did You Know?


Film debut of Adam Hann-Byrd. See more »


There are several errors in simple mathematics in the movie: Firstly, Damon "The Mathemagician" Wells correctly states that there are 25 228 800 minutes in 48 years (but 25,246,080 minutes if one counts the 12 leap-days that would occur in any span of 48 years that doesn't include a century year - only century years evenly divisible by 400, like 2000 but not 1900, are leap years), then says that this is 151 368 000 seconds. This is clearly wrong as 25 228 800 x 60 is 1 513 728 000 (more than 10 times as much). Furthermore, Fred says that the cube root of 3 796 466 is 156 although 156*156*156 is 3 796 416. 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.
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Featured in 70th Golden Globe Awards (2013) See more »


Mozart's Piana Quartet In E Flat Major, KV493
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (as Mozart)
Performed by Jacques Rouvier/Mozart String Trio
Courtesy of Denon/Nippon Columbia Co., Ltd.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
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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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