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Simon Birch (1998)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  11 September 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 17,860 users   Metascore: 39/100
Reviews: 220 user | 60 critic | 23 from

A young boy with stunted growth is convinced that God has a great purpose for him.


(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Rev. Russell
Ian Michael Smith ...
Beatrice Winde ...
Hilde Grove
Miss Leavey
Cecilley Carroll ...
Ann (as Sumela-Rose Keramidopulos)
Sam Morton ...
John Mazzello ...
Holly Dennison ...


Simon Birch tells the story of Joe and Simon's heart-warming journey of friendship. Simon Birch was born with a condition that makes him much smaller than all the other kids in town. Now, due to his condition, Simon thinks God made him this way for a reason and highly believes in God. Together, Joe and Simon go on a journey of trust and friendship to find the answers to many things. Their friendship is put to the test when some unfortunate events happen. Written by Thorpe89

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Destiny has big plans for little Simon Birch.


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for language, emotional thematic elements, and an accident scene | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

11 September 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Prayer for Owen Meany  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$3,321,370 (USA) (11 September 1998)


$18,252,684 (USA) (25 December 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


John Irving:  the writer makes an uncredited appearance as Mr. Prescott, the butcher, seen sweeping the sidewalk in front of his shop during the scene when Simon and Joe are sitting on the local pharmacy steps eating ice cream and pondering who Joe's father might be. See more »


In the Christmas Pageant scenes, Miss Leavey is seen pulling down on the rope that raises or lowers the kid playing the angel. By pulling down on the rope, the kid should go higher. But when Miss Leavey pulls down on the rope, the kid is lowered as well. See more »


Joe: Jesus, Simon, you look like shit.
See more »


Referenced in HBO First Look: The Making of 'The Mexican' (2001) See more »


For Your Love
Written by Ed Townsend
Performed by The Righteous Brothers
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A little gem
26 January 2007 | by (Charlotte NC USA) – See all my reviews

This film is a coming of age piece about a young man with obvious disadvantages that would have beat down most people. Yet he manages to find God's plan for him while showing those who doubted him that he had the right stuff all along. There are other subplot misdirections but that is the main thrust.

Ian Smith, who plays the title lead, is very small in stature, but he has giant talents. I'm surprised he hasn't been cast in other films yet.

An engrossing, sometimes funny and sometimes sad film that I found to be remarkably well made. Everyone involved should be proud of it. One of the better little films I've seen lately and frankly it is better than some major films release lately. Very pleasantly surprised when I stumbled onto it on WGN and plan to view it again uninterrupted on DVD as soon as I can. Why haven't I heard of this film before? An excellent screenplay, skillful direction, plus tight period music, art direction and wardrobe add up to a great early 60's feel. Natural editing, good casting, clear sound even during the big exciting scenes show this to be a well made film all the way around. This is a film for adults about guys growing up physically and emotionally. This is not suitable for children under 18. Not because there is something they shouldn't see in this movie, but instead because they just won't get it.

I saw it last night and I'm still chuckling to myself now and then about the Christmas play scene. Thanks to all involved for making a really, really good movie! It has some laughs, but also made me stop to question what God's plan for my life might be. It restored some of my faith that He does have a plan for those of us who are willing to give Him a chance to lead us to our opportunity to become His instrument. If none of that makes sense to you, you haven't seen this movie!

16 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Well, since most of us cried......... brandie_2007
A Prayer for Owen Meany cbatower
this movie has everything that a bad movie has in it znmo
'God's Instrument' laideeh-a
is simon a robot? batmansgirlfrend
The Jim Carry 1 minute disaster exden
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