IMDb > What the Deaf Man Heard (1997) (TV)
What the Deaf Man Heard
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What the Deaf Man Heard (1997) (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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7.3/10   809 votes »
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Up 16% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
G.D. Gearino (novel)
Robert W. Lenski (teleplay)
View company contact information for What the Deaf Man Heard on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
23 November 1997 (USA) See more »
For twenty years, he lived in silence. Now his heart needs to speak the truth.
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Nominated for Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 7 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Messy mixture of styles spoils fine acting. See more (15 total) »


  (in credits order)

Matthew Modine ... Sammy Ayers

Claire Bloom ... Mrs. Tynan

Judith Ivey ... Lucille

James Earl Jones ... Archibald Thacker

Jerry O'Connell ... Reverend Perry Ray Pruitt

Bernadette Peters ... Helen Ayers

Tom Skerritt ... Norm Jenkins
Anne Bobby ... Tallasse Tynan

Stephen Spinella ... Percy

Jake Weber ... Tolliver Tynan

Frankie Muniz ... Young Sammy

Andy Stahl ... Finis
Tyler Noyes ... Young Tolliver

Hallee Hirsh ... Young Tallasse
Teagle F. Bougere ... Abraham Thacker

Lance Reddick ... George Thacker

Danny Kamin ... Judge (as Daniel Kamin)
Patrick Garner ... Drunk
Mary Lucy Bivins ... Mrs. Raymond

Patt Noday ... TV Reporter
Terry Nienhuis ... Officer Harvey
Lorri Lindberg ... Miss Shaw
J.R. Horne ... Attorney Rubicoff
Karen Williams ... Rachel
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ira David Wood III ... Attorney
Jemila Ericson ... Clerk of Court

Jim Grollman ... Myron
Trevor Holland ... Dickie Devil

Mark Joy ... Attorney
Bill Roberson ... Prosecutor

David Doyle ... (uncredited)
Joleen Neighbours ... Townsperson #1 (uncredited)

Directed by
John Kent Harrison 
Writing credits
G.D. Gearino (novel "What the Deaf Mute Heard")

Robert W. Lenski (teleplay)

Produced by
Tom Luse .... supervising producer
Brent Shields .... co-executive producer
Richard Welsh .... executive producer
Original Music by
J.A.C. Redford 
Cinematography by
Eric Van Haren Noman (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Jim Oliver 
Casting by
Lynn Kressel 
Production Design by
Veronica Hadfield 
Art Direction by
Linwood Taylor 
Set Decoration by
Marthe Pineau 
Costume Design by
Dorothy Amos 
Makeup Department
John R. Bayless .... key makeup artist (as John Bayless)
Darlene Brumfield .... key hair stylist
Joan Shay .... additional hair stylist
Coni Andress .... key hair stylist (uncredited)
Susan Buffington .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Sara Seidman Vance .... assistant makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Tom Luse .... unit production manager
Karen Mayeda Vranek .... post-production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Timothy M. Bourne .... first assistant director
Rick Clark .... second assistant director
Art Department
Andy Krish .... leadman
Rebecca Leonard .... paint foreman
Rebecca Leonard .... signwriter
Edward 'Tantar' LeViseur .... property master (as Edward LeViseur)
Otto Lindsey .... on set dresser
Thomas Michael Ryan .... general foreman
Jeffrey Schlatter .... construction coordinator (as Jeff Schlatter)
William G. Davis .... assistant art director (uncredited)
Steve A. Stephenson .... carpenter (uncredited)
Christine Wick .... assistant set decorator (uncredited)
Sound Department
David E. Fluhr .... re-recording mixer
Stephen Grubbs .... sound supervisor
Steven R. Smith .... sound mixer
Douglas L. Hill .... boom operator (uncredited)
Kenneth L. Johnson .... sound effects editor (uncredited)
Grey Moore .... utility sound (uncredited)
Eric A. Norris .... sound effects editor (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Walter Kiesling .... special effects technician
Michael Schorr .... special effects coordinator (as Mike Schorr)
Stephen Lanier .... special effects foreman (uncredited)
Dean Mumford .... stunt coordinator
Charles Page .... stunt actor (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Logan R. Berkshire .... key grip
Patrick Borowiak .... second assistant camera
Guy D'Alema .... still photographer
Frank Godwin .... first assistant camera
Terry D. Long .... electrician
Cristiano Palermi .... lighting technician
Tommy Ray Sullivan .... gaffer
Simon Carey .... electrician (uncredited)
Joe D'Alessandro .... camera operator: "b" camera (uncredited)
Adam Hinson .... electrician (uncredited)
Casting Department
Tracy Kilpatrick .... local casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Alice Powell .... costumer (uncredited)
Editorial Department
George Carlston .... colorist: dailies
Craig Galka .... assistant editor
Location Management
John B. Griffin .... location manager (as Johnny Griffin)
Music Department
Allan K. Rosen .... music editor
Transportation Department
Robin Drinkwater .... driver
Robert Gillis .... transportation captain
Russell Hicks .... driver
Neil Hyman .... transportation coordinator
Jan Overson .... driver
Charlie Wright .... driver
Darwin Brandis .... driver (uncredited)
Other crew
Sue Bugden .... production associate
Thom Rainey .... script supervisor
Randy Schiener .... production assistant: pre-production
Randy Schiener 
Kathleen M. Straub .... production executive (as Kathleen Straub)
Dale Williams .... production coordinator
Brett Cranford .... production coordinator (uncredited)
Randy Schiener .... production assistant (uncredited)
Lisa G. Shillingburg .... first assistant accountant (uncredited)
Shea Vargé .... production assistant (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Hallmark Hall of Fame: What the Deaf Man Heard (#47.1)" - USA (anthology series)
See more »
USA:120 min (including commercials)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Matthew Modine remained in character all through filming. He rode his bike around the locations and never spoke, instead writing in a notepad just as Sammy did.See more »
Plot holes: 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 »
Sammy Ayers:It was then that I was struck by a revelation: if people thought you were deaf and not able to talk, they blurt out their true feelings without holding back.See more »
Movie Connections:
Edited into "Hallmark Hall of Fame" (1951)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
1 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
Messy mixture of styles spoils fine acting., 8 July 1999
Author: David Atfield ( from Canberra, Australia

There are some terrific performances in this film - Matthew Modine, Tom Skerritt, Judith Ivey, James Earl Jones - but the director and writer seem uncertain whether this is a sentimental drama or a satirical comedy. As it stands it is a peculiar mixture of both with the drama spoiling the comedy and the comedy spoiling the drama. And what a terrible waste of the magnificent talent of Claire Bloom!

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (15 total) »

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