7.1/10
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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?

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Writers:

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

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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
...
Edward
Rachel Freeman ...
Elsie
Gus Troakes ...
Jeffo
Mossie Smith ...
Lynn
Martin Troakes ...
Colin
...
Graham, age 20
Paul Wilson ...
Colin, age 20
...
Bernard
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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 »
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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
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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

[Remembering his mother's death]
Graham: Dad wasn't making much sense. His hands were like injured birds looking for a safe place to roost.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Imagination
Written and Performed by Simon Boswell
Published by Sunfun Ltd.
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User Reviews

An excellent movie
15 April 2003 | by (Boulder, CO) – See all my reviews

I rarely write reviews for movies. And having seen the other excellent reviews, mine is hardly needed. But I stumbled across this movie and felt I had to comment on it.

This is an excellent movie with wonderful acting, directing, writing, screen play, and filming. I saw the last 2/3 of the movie by accident and could not tear myself away from it.

William Hurt and the boy actor (sorry - forgot the name) are thrown together by life's accidents and develop bonds for one another. The rough edges on each character are worn smooth as each accommodates the other and learns of the other's trials and humanity. The acting is superb and rarely gets in the way of the content - more to the point, the acting complements the story well.

But what makes the movie special is the character development. The writing, directing, and screen play successfully convey the existential experiences of the actors as they develop and react to one another.

A good song, a good poem, a good book - are made special if they are accessible - if they evoke within you the ring of truth and personal history. This movie communicated with me extremely well on a personal basis, on many plans at the same time. Every element of this film was well crafted. The movie is cerebral and touching - with very few rough edges. I couldn't recommend it more highly for an adult audience.


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