The Boys Next Door (1996)

TV Movie  |  PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  4 February 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 372 users  
Reviews: 9 user

Jack Palmer is a social worker whose job has taken precedence over his personal life. Mainly, his job is to help four mentally challenged men live regular lives in a home. They consist of: ... See full summary »



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Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview:


Jack Palmer is a social worker whose job has taken precedence over his personal life. Mainly, his job is to help four mentally challenged men live regular lives in a home. They consist of: Norman, who works at a donut shop and has a thing for keys; Barry, who thinks he is a golf pro and doesn't communicate well with his father; Arnold, who is into all things Russian and has a habit of spending money; and Lucien, who is into Spider Man and must testify before the state senate. Jack wants to help them, but he also thinks it is time to move on with his life. The hard part is trying to say goodbye to the guys he cares about. Written by Pat McCurry <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Sometimes being a little different means being a lot more wonderful.


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

4 February 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hallmark Hall of Fame: The Boys Next Door (#45.2)  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


In the original stage show, Lucien's last name was "Smith" and not "Singer". See more »


[last lines]
Announcer at Railway Station: Now leaving on track number 9, local service stopping at Milwaukee, Montreal, Vancouver, Anchorage, Vladivostok, Petropavlovsk, Klamovichy... and Moscow.
See more »

Crazy Credits

One of the end credits read, "Devon the hamster is alive and well... spending his hazardous duty pay". See more »


Edited into Hallmark Hall of Fame (1951) See more »

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User Reviews

The BEST movie!
26 November 2004 | by (Scottsville, Kentucky) – See all my reviews

When neighbors and friends asked my parents what I wanted for my birthday, my Mother simply informed them "If it's a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, she'll love it!" I only received one HHoF movie, and that was "The Boys Next Door." I had never heard of or seen this film anywhere before. After I got home I immediately popped in in my DVD player and I haven't gone a day without seeing it since!

Robert Sean Leonard, Michael Jeter, Courtney B. Vance, and Nathan Lane are the "The Boys Next Door." 4 mentally challenged men who, together, make you laugh, cry, scratch your head, feel every emotion with these guys around. Lucian P. Singer, aka Courtney B. Vance, and Norman Bulanski, aka Nathan Lane, are developmentally challenged. Norman has an obsession with Donuts and keys. Look out! He also has a big crush on developmentally challenged Sheila, portrayed beautifully by Mare Winningham. Arnold Wiggins, aka Michael Jeter, is manic depressive and has recently purchased 9 boxes of Wheaties, 7 heads of lettuce and a bag of Charcol Biqquets, which come in and out of the story the whole length of the film. And then there's Barry. Barry Klempur is schizophrenic (however you spell it!) and has himself convinced he's a golf pro. He has had a rough relationship with him family and when he learns his father is coming to visit him for the first time in ages, it sends him into a tailspin. Tony Goldywn is Jack, their social worker and best friend. He is their solid rock, their lighthouse in the storm, get the point. Without Jack, their world would fall to pieces.

And he knows it too. Jack is feeling guilty about leaving his wife out of his life, which is made up of these 4 guys, and is strongly considering taking a different job, car leasing. It all begins to go down hill when Jack springs the news on his boys. They don't think of themselves as his "job." Who wants to be thought of as a "JOB?" "You tell the good news, you announce the bad stuff," as Barry tells Lucian, moments before Jack's "big announcement." Shortly after Jack's telling them, Barry's father arrives, which, in turn, puts Barry on the 6th floor.

The remaining "Boys Next Door," throw Jack a big surprise party. Jack swings by the hospital and picks up a still shaken Barry and takes him to the house. Arnold has decorated the house with ANYTHING he could find, and bought animal puppets so you are "now 3 guests at a party instead of one!" Everything goes well until Jack tries to explain he's not going to be around anymore. Barry blurts it out "He's leaving you forever! He's leaving me and not coming back!" The guys start crying and Barry walks out. Arnold rounds the boys up and tells them that they're taking the train to Russia! Jack can't stand for this....I've said too much. You'll just have to watch to find out the rest.

I adore "The Boys Next Door." I recommend this movie to anyone and everyone! WATCH IT! 5 stars all the way!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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