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The Mighty (1998)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  9 October 1998 (USA)
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This tells the story of a strong friendship between a young boy with Morquio's syndrome and an older boy who is always bullied because of his size. Adapted from the novel, Freak the Mighty,... See full summary »



(novel), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Douglas Bisset ...
Homeless Man
Doghouse Boy #1
Michael Colton ...
Doghouse Boy #2
Daniel Lee ...
Doghouse Boy #3
Eve Crawford ...
Mrs. Donelli
Mr. Sacker
Bruce Tubbe ...
Rudy Webb ...
Mr. Hampton
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Man in Diner


This tells the story of a strong friendship between a young boy with Morquio's syndrome and an older boy who is always bullied because of his size. Adapted from the novel, Freak the Mighty, the film explores a building of trust and friendship. Kevin, an intelligent guy helps out Maxwell to improve his reading skills. In return, Kevin wants Maxwell to take him out places since he is not allowed out unauthorized. Being the social outcasts of the town, Kevin and Maxwell come to realize that they are similar to each other and accept that they are "freaks" and nothing will stop them. Written by Thorpe89

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The quest for friendship is the noblest cause of all. See more »


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for elements of violence and peril | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

9 October 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Freak the Mighty  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$87,705 (USA) (9 October 1998)


£14,104 (UK) (25 December 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The trailer features two scenes not used in the final film: Max playing with one of Kevin's toys and Kevin getting a computer on Christmas. See more »


Geoff Alexander is credited as conductor twice. See more »


[first lines]
Maxwell Kane: [narrating] It was Freak who told me about King Arthur. How he got this round table, and how he got the bravest knights, and the whole world to sit at that table. You will be brothers, said King Arthur. And you will fight for all those who ask for help. You will be gentle to the weak, but terrible to the wicked. It was Freak who told me about King Arthur. It was Freak who told me everything.
See more »


References Godzilla (1954) See more »


Don't Count Me Out
Written by K. Perry
Courtesy of Zomba Music Services
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User Reviews

Sounds cheesy, but The Mighty is anything but.
5 January 1999 | by (Mancheser, England) – See all my reviews

"Sometimes seems like the whole world has just seen me on America's Most Wanted." (Max Kane)

So says the imposing gentle giant Max (the excellent Elden Ratliff). He is a 13-year-old with a murdered mother and murdering jailbird father (James Gandolfini), who has twice failed 8th grade and lives with disgruntled grandparents Gram and Grim (the particularly morose Harry Dean Stanton and Gena Rowlands). It's a wonder he isn't Mad Max. However, he has a saviour. A minor miracle named Kevin Dillon (Kieran Culkin). Sounds cheesy, but The Mighty is anything but.

Peter Chelson, director of the inventive and original Funny Bones, has lovingly superimposed Rodman Philbrick's successful children's book Freak The Mighty to the screen. The result is as moving as any kiddies film you've seen in the last ten years.

Kevin is suffering from Morquio's syndrome, a progressively degenerative disease that makes him unable to walk without leg braces. However, the boy is a considerable intellectual giant trapped inside a small, fragile body. As luck would have it he is consigned to tutor Max in remedial reading. In the words of Bogart it's the start of a "beautiful friendship".

Kevin introduces the big guy to Arthurian legend. "Every word is part of a picture. Every sentence is a picture. All you do, is let your imagination connect them together. If you have an imagination that is," he says.

Inspired by the knights in the book, the boys invent a fantasy world in which honour is everything. Together, Max and Kevin set out to battle their foes, both real and imagined.

Do not be put off by the presence of a Culkin or the mention of King Arthur. The Mighty is sincere, without being turgidly earnest, and genuinely uplifting. Sharon Stone equips herself well as the distraught mother of Kevin, but can't quite convince us that she doesn't ooze glamour. The "bad" kids also do not quite fit, resembling the troublesome urchins in Bugsy Malone rather than vicious Cincinnati hoodlums. However, these are minor quibbles, for ultimately The Mighty is several notches above the average children's film.

Ben Walsh

31 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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