7.2/10
1,082
21 user 6 critic

Second Best (1994)

PG-13 | | Drama | 30 September 1994 (USA)
Trailer
2:00 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

Graham, a lonely Welsh postal worker, adopts James, a troubled ten-year-old boy. Graham always wanted a son, but James loves his biological father too much to give Graham a chance. Will the two be able to accept each other as family?

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
Reviews
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Aclà (1992)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Brutal film about the exploitation of a young Italian boy, who is virtually sold to the operators of a sulphur mine where he is beaten and sexually molested.

Director: Aurelio Grimaldi
Stars: Francesco Cusimano, Tony Sperandeo, Luigi Maria Burruano
10 1/2 (2010)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Tommy, 10 years old, is well known by Social Services. He is considered a danger to society. Gilles, his guardian at this halfway house, sees potential for redemption in this kid driven by violence.

Director: Daniel Grou
Stars: Claude Legault, Robert Naylor, Eugénie Beaudry
Jet Boy (2001)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A drug dealer finds an unlikely traveling companion in an runaway kid trying to dodge social services.

Director: Dave Schultz
Stars: Branden Nadon, Joe Norman Shaw, Dylan Walsh
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Reine is supposed to go to a summer camp called 'Childrens island' but decides to remain in Stockholm over the summer while his mother is working at a hospital. She thinks he is at the camp... See full summary »

Director: Kay Pollak
Stars: Tomas Fryk, Anita Ekström, Ingvar Hirdwall
The Fire That Burns (TV Movie 1997)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Two boys in their early teens in a strictly-run pre-WWII Catholic School form a firm friendship which is troubled by an abbot who is obsessed with the younger of the students.

Director: Christophe Malavoy
Stars: Christophe Malavoy, Michel Aumont, Naël Marandin
Abandoned (2001)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Áron is a happy child in his family. But at some point things take a different turn, and his mother starts to lose her health rapidly. As this happens, the man in charge decides what's best... See full summary »

Director: Árpád Sopsits
Stars: Tamás Mészáros, Szabolcs Csizmadia, Attila Zsilák
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Two precocious boys explore their sexuality at boarding school.

Directors: Ernst Johansen, Lasse Nielsen
Stars: Anders Agensø, Peter Bjerg, Ove Sprogøe
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

THIS SPECIAL FRIENDSHIP tells of the tender relationship between a twelve-year-old boy and the upperclassman who is the object of his desire. All set in the rigid atmosphere of a Jesuit run... See full summary »

Director: Jean Delannoy
Stars: Francis Lacombrade, Didier Haudepin, François Leccia
Close to Leo (TV Movie 2002)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When 21 year-old Leo, the oldest of four brothers, announces to his rural French family that he's HIV+ family bonds are tested. The family decides that 11 year Marcel, the youngest, is too ... See full summary »

Director: Christophe Honoré
Stars: Yaniss Lespert, Pierre Mignard, Marie Bunel
The Boys of St. Vincent (TV Movie 1992)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The true story of boys being sexually abused at their orphanage ran by a religious community in Newfoundland.

Director: John N. Smith
Stars: Henry Czerny, Johnny Morina, Brian Dooley
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Set in The Netherlands at the end of WW II, this touching story, told in flashbacks, explores the complex and romantic relationship between an adult soldier and a displaced, lonely adolescent boy.

Director: Roeland Kerbosch
Stars: Maarten Smit, Andrew Kelley, Jeroen Krabbé
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young boy falls in love with a handsome policeman who is investigating his family's criminal activities.

Director: Auraeus Solito
Stars: Nathan Lopez, Soliman Cruz, J.R. Valentin
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Nathan Yapp ...
Jimmy
...
John
Chris Cleary Miles ...
James
Doris Irving ...
Adoption Shop Volunteer
James Warrior ...
Senior Social Worker
...
Debbie
Alfred Lynch ...
Edward
Rachel Freeman ...
Elsie
Gus Troakes ...
Jeffo
Mossie Smith ...
Lynn
Martin Troakes ...
Colin
...
Graham, age 20
Paul Wilson ...
Colin, age 20
...
Bernard
Edit

Storyline

Graham Holt is a lonely middle-aged man who runs a postal substation in a small village in England. He decides to adopt a son. James is the troubled youth he gets with the assistance of social worker Debbie. James has been in an orphanage for years since his mother committed suicide. He adores his outlaw father John, sent to prison not long after the mother's death. Can James learn to love Graham? Can Graham settle for being second best? Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

30 September 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Difícil elección  »

Box Office

Gross:

$86,115 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debuts of Chris Cleary Miles, Nathan Yapp and Jake Owen. They all played Jimmy/James at different ages and this role remains as their only acting film work. See more »

Quotes

Graham: Were you testing me?
James: I do test people sometimes.
See more »

Soundtracks

Saturday Night Forever
Written and Performed by Simon Boswell
Published by Sunfun Ltd.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Second best- a heartbreaking movie
15 December 2006 | by (Middle of Nowhere) – See all my reviews

Second best is a touching and moving masterpiece directed by Chris Menges . The plot reminded me of another great British movie – "Dear Frankie ".I guess it is that father – son relationship that makes movies like these two so special. The loyalty of the son both in the characters of Jimmy played by Nathan Yapp and Graham Holt (William Hurt) is touching and I am not ashamed to admit that there were moments of this movie which truly brought tears to my eyes.

One other reviewer wrote: "Chris Cleary Miles' apparently initial screen performance as the troubled youth is near amazing." And I just couldn't agree more with that – the acting of Chris Cleary Miles, William Hurt and for that matter all the other actors in this movie is first class – their gestures, the words they say , the way they say them – you just have to watch it to experience the movie – because that is what you are going to get an unforgettable experience.

The flashbacks moments (the memories of the little Jimmy) were very careful chosen and I felt really weird watching them , knowing that there is something more hidden out there– this feeling stayed with me until the final scenes in which these flashbacks became more revealing … There is also a lot of symbolism is Second Best –the scene in which the boy looks at the man who wants to adopt him trough a broken window is just one example and if you watch it more than once you will sure notice many other symbols – the letter, the scars ... etc You just couldn't watch the movie without noticing how much the music contributes to it – piano or guitars, it fits the scenes really good - making the emotional impact they have on the viewer's powerful and overwhelming.


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

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Interesting film, but.... schmidt_haus
DVD release sonickid
Soundtrack Thorpe89
Discuss Second Best (1994) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?