Down 1,059 this week

What the Deaf Man Heard (1997)

TV Movie  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  23 November 1997 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 772 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 1 critic

Arriving in a new town, a child pretends to be deaf-mute to protect himself - a ruse which works so well that for twenty years he is custodian to all the town's secrets.



(novel), (teleplay)
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

TV Spotlight: The Top 10 Episodes of "The Walking Dead"

We've curated a list of the top 10 episodes of "The Walking Dead" according to the IMDb user ratings.

Read More

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 1412 titles
created 02 Apr 2012
a list of 25 titles
created 04 Sep 2012
a list of 25 titles
created 10 Mar 2013
a list of 46 titles
created 07 May 2014

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: What the Deaf Man Heard (TV Movie 1997)

What the Deaf Man Heard (TV Movie 1997) on IMDb 7.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of What the Deaf Man Heard.

User Polls

Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Love Letter (TV Movie 1998)
Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

20th century computer games designer Scott exchanges love letters with 19th century poet Elizabeth Whitcomb through an antique desk that can make letters travel through time.

Director: Dan Curtis
Stars: Campbell Scott, Jennifer Jason Leigh, David Dukes
Cupid & Cate (TV Movie 2000)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Cate has a small boutique where she sells vintage clothes. She is dating some snob whose mother thinks that Cate is a second class citizen because of her line of work. Harry meets Cate and ... See full summary »

Director: Brent Shields
Stars: Mary-Louise Parker, Peter Gallagher, Bebe Neuwirth
Love's Long Journey (TV Movie 2005)
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Missie's surprise pregnancy sets her on a new course that is both thrilling and terrifying. After all the planning and dreaming, she and her husband, Willie, have headed west in a covered ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Landon Jr.
Stars: Erin Cottrell, Logan Bartholomew, William Morgan Sheppard
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In 1919, a cocky sophomore in the forest service has to learn life the hard way.

Director: John Kent Harrison
Stars: Sam Elliott, Jerry O'Connell, Ricky Jay
Old Man (TV Movie 1997)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Four friends get in a car to go mountain biking and when they stop to get some gas they come across an interesting man with a story about a prisiner and a pregnant woman. In this 1980's ... See full summary »

Director: John Kent Harrison
Stars: Jeanne Tripplehorn, Arliss Howard, Leo Burmester
Alice (1976–1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A greasy-spoon diner in Phoenix, Arizona is the setting for this long-running series. The title character, Alice Hyatt, is an aspiring singer who arrives in Phoenix with her teenaged son, ... See full summary »

Stars: Linda Lavin, Beth Howland, Vic Tayback
Comedy | Music | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The original rapid fire sketch comedy show.

Stars: Dan Rowan, Dick Martin, Ruth Buzzi
Designing Women (1986–1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Outspoken feminist Julia Sugarbaker runs a design firm out of her Atlanta home, along with her shallow ex-beauty queen sister, Suzanne, divorced mother Mary Jo, and, naive country girl ... See full summary »

Stars: Delta Burke, Dixie Carter, Annie Potts
Neverwas (2005)
Drama | Fantasy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A well-educated psychiatrist leaves an academic career to work at an institution where his father, a novelist, lived before writing a renowned children's book. Acclimating to his position, ... See full summary »

Director: Joshua Michael Stern
Stars: Aaron Eckhart, Ian McKellen, Brittany Murphy
Perry Mason (1957–1966)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A master defense attorney handles difficult criminal cases for his accused clients.

Stars: Raymond Burr, Barbara Hale, William Hopper
Eve's Bayou (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The story is set in 1962 Louisiana. The Batiste family is headed by charming doctor Louis. Though he is married to beautiful Roz, he has a weakness for attractive female patients. One night... See full summary »

Director: Kasi Lemmons
Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Meagan Good
The Water Is Wide (TV Movie 2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Pat Conroy, an ambitious, slightly rebellious idealistic teacher accepts Bennington county, SC's school board superintendent's offer to teach the all-black kids of the pauper fishery ... See full summary »

Director: John Kent Harrison
Stars: Jeff Hephner, Frank Langella, Julianne Nicholson


Cast overview, first billed only:
Sammy Ayers
Mrs. Tynan
Archibald Thacker
Reverend Perry Ray Pruitt
Helen Ayers
Norm Jenkins
Anne Bobby ...
Tallasse Tynan
Tolliver Tynan
Young Sammy
Tyler Noyes ...
Young Tolliver
Teagle F. Bougere ...
Abraham Thacker


In 1945, a young boy arrives in a small Georgia town on a bus from which his mother was abducted and murdered. Alone he sits quietly and everyone becomes convinced that he is deaf and mute. Deciding that silence offers some power and protection, the boy decides to remain mute and just listens to all that is being said around him by people who think that he cannot hear. Written by John Sacksteder <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »


For twenty years, he lived in silence. Now his heart needs to speak the truth.


Comedy | Drama





Release Date:

23 November 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hallmark Hall of Fame: What the Deaf Man Heard (#47.1)  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The musical leitmotif heard throughout the film is "My Ship," composed by Ira Gershwin and Kurt Weill. At the end of the film it is sung by Bernadette Peters, who plays Helen Ayers at the beginning of the film. See more »


Norm Jenkins finds Sammy's suitcase and learns his identity but doesn't tell anyone about the suitcase. Yet the entire town knew and used his full name, presumably starting soon after his first day in Barrington, and the police never searched for his mother after that first day even though his name was known. See more »


Tallasse Tynan: [at the bonfire, trying to get the reporters to stop bothering Sammy] Hi!
TV Reporter: Well! Someone who can talk. What's your name?
Tallasse Tynan: Uh, Joan of Arc. I love bonfires!
TV Reporter: I see you have some Dickie Devil records, for the blaze no doubt.
Tallasse Tynan: Oh, no. These are some Frank Sinatra albums of my mother's that I've been longing to incinerate for a while.
See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

One of the best well written comedy/drama's ever!!
29 March 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Truly catches you even while it is starting, with the music. Everyone that was cast was perfect in their respective roles. It catches the flow of how things really were at the period of time it was representing. It introduces both heart wrenching feelings, and sense of humor at once, which is like a piece of art in itself. It has the same sort of feel as Fried Green Tomatoes, or Driving Miss Daisy. So if those are movies you really enjoy, sit back this one will please you completely. Bernadette peters sings like an angel at the end credits, it is really beautiful, so of course it is to short!! Really is a 5 star or 10 out of 10 movie!!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
What happened? aDORKable05
Who sings the song? mickiz
The saddest part of the movie... cschulte-3
Discuss What the Deaf Man Heard (1997) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: