7.2/10
1,117
21 user 6 critic

Second Best (1994)

PG-13 | | Drama | 30 September 1994 (USA)
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

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

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 | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

A modernized version of the story which inspired Verdi's opera, "La Forza del Destino".

Director: Gregory Nava
Stars: William Hurt, Timothy Hutton, Melissa Leo
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
Barnens ö (1980)
Drama | Romance
    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
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

After his twin brother is accidentally killed by vengeful bullies, a 12-year old boy and his friends face the harsh realities of death, teenage hormones, and family dysfunction.

Director: Michael Cuesta
Stars: Conor Donovan, Jesse Camacho, Zoe Weizenbaum
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

In Russia, in 1907, a rich lenient husband of a loose unfaithful woman is brutally murdered. She and her two lovers are suspects, but what about the stranger she met just before the murder? With no friends left, she and the stranger bond.

Director: Georges Bardawil
Stars: Sandrine Bonnaire, William Hurt, Jerzy Radziwilowicz
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

People and life can be cruel, and in their face, Fannette is cool: toward an old acquaintance, to her daughter, to colleagues. Beneath the surface, she roils with passion for a lost love, ... See full summary »

Director: Tonie Marshall
Stars: Catherine Deneuve, William Hurt, Bernard Le Coq
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
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
The Cure (1995)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Erik, a loner, finds a friend in Dexter, an eleven-year-old boy with AIDS. They vow to find a cure for AIDS together and save Dexter's life in an eventful summer.

Director: Peter Horton
Stars: Joseph Mazzello, Brad Renfro, Aeryk Egan
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The story about the relationship between a rebellious 50s teenager and his abusive father, based on the memoirs of writer and literature professor Tobias Wolff.

Director: Michael Caton-Jones
Stars: Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Barkin
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:

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

James: What sort of things did you do when you were my age?
Graham Holt: I kept my head down, I suppose. Nothing very exciting.
James: [points to his life-story book] Is what's in there exciting?
Graham Holt: [pauses, turns pages] It's more disturbing than exciting.
James: That's what they say I am. Disturbed.
Graham Holt: What do you say?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Only You/Second Best/Pulp Fiction (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

The Wren
(La Capinera)
Performed by Josephine Tumminia with Jimmy Dorsey and his Orchestra
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A very moving and well acted film. Slow moving but real.
16 September 2001 | by (Bangor, Wales) – See all my reviews

William Hurt is very believable as a west country postmaster and the adoption process is taken apart in a sympathetic and believable manner. The film has charm and pace while dealing with a difficult subject. If it were to be made now would there be a different emphasis in the light of current obsessions with protecting children from paedophiles?


6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Interesting film, but.... schmidt_haus
DVD release sonickid
Soundtrack fass99
Discuss Second Best (1994) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?