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The Boys Next Door (1996)

TV Movie  -   -  Comedy | Drama  -  4 February 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 350 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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Title: The Boys Next Door (TV Movie 1996)

The Boys Next Door (TV Movie 1996) on IMDb 7.3/10

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


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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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


Norman Bulansky: Hello, my name is Norman Bulansky, welcome to my home.
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

Realistic, non-sentimental view of the mentally challenged
7 July 1999 | by (California) – See all my reviews

I enjoyed this film from many aspects. The acting is first rate, and it is clearly well-researched and presented in a realistic, non-sentimental fashion. Having grown up around the mentally ill and the mentally challenged, I can decipher caricature from character rather quickly. I was absolutely blown away by Courtney B. Vance's depiction of Lucien. Mr. Vance is completely absorbed in this role. His carriage, walk, talk, mannerisms, everything is perfect. I have known people like Lucien. When Tony Goldwyn's character, Jack, imagines a "normal" Lucien, we can see the absolutely perfect acting job of Courtney B. Vance.

The other actors are very good, but Courtney B. Vance is the stand out. Nathan Lane as Norman reminds me very much of mentally challenged people I have known who are forever introducing themselves. Robert Sean Leonard plays a schizophrenic convincingly. And Tony Goldwyn is emotional and not too sentimental as Jack, the hard-working, good-hearted, but all too human caretaker. It is a very good film.

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