162 user 41 critic

Little Voice (1998)

A shy reclusive lady is convinced by an invisible entity to sing. Subsequently, she finds herself noticed by a sleazy talent agent and her talent being showcased on-stage. She also meets a kind but nervous man who becomes her best friend.



(play), (screenplay)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 29 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
James Welsh ...
Karen Gregory ...
Graham Turner ...
LV's Dad
George Oliver ...
Virgil Tracy ...
Loan Advisor
Dick Van Winkle ...
Money Lender


The pathetically shy LV lives the life of a recluse listening to her late father's old records in her room and in the process driving her abusive, loud-mouthed mother, Mari Hoff, to distraction. At night, however, when her father's ghost visits, LV sings the songs of the great divas such as Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe and Shirley Bassey. One evening LV is overheard by one of her mother's loathsome boyfriends, the disastrous dead-end talent scout Ray Say, who recognizes her innate talent and realizes this is his last big chance for the glittering prizes. Gambling everything Ray Say forces LV to appear at a local run-down, seedy night club run by Mr. Boo. As preparations for the big event proceed apace LV meets the equally shy Billy, a pigeon-racing telephone engineer and they form a tentative, gentle friendship. The big night finally arrives and everything is in readiness, the band, the club and even a big agent from London, but what about LV? Written by Mark Smith <msmith@osi.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

talent | mother | shy | recluse | singer | See All (102) »


Finding your own voice can be magic. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

4 December 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cordes sensibles  »


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£761,094 (United Kingdom), 10 January 1999, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$93,722, 6 December 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,595,000, 28 March 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The male strippers in the film, perform to the song "Tubthumping" by Chumbawamba. The full version of this song opens with some sampled dialogue "Truth is, I thought it mattered. I thought that music mattered. But does it bollocks! Not compared to how people matter..." which comes from the closing scene of Mark Herman's earlier hit Brassed Off (1996). See more »


The character played by Michael Caine during a conversation with Jane Horrocks' character, when naming the famous people he had met in the past, called Matt Monro the singing bus "conductor", when in fact it is well known that Matt Monro was a bus "driver" before he became famous. See more »


LV: He never spoke up to you because you'd never listen. I never spoke up to you because I could never get a word in!
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Crazy Credits

Special Thanks to ... Jason Wheeler and Team, ... Staff at St. Nicholas Hotel, Wreahead Hotel and East Ayton Lodge, ... The People of Scarborough ... North Yorkshire Police (Scarborough Department), Scarborough Borough Council, South Bay Traders Association, Haven Holidays (Cayton Bay), Stephen Joseph Theatre. See more »


References Goldfinger (1964) See more »


There's No Business Like Show Business
Written by Irving Berlin
by kind permission of Warner/Chappell Music Limited
Performed by Ethel Merman
Courtesy of Decca Record Company Limited
Licensed by kind permission of Polygram Commercial Marketing Division
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

I Never Thought I`d Enjoy This
20 March 2003 | by See all my reviews

To be blunt the only reason I watched LITTLE VOICE was because there was absolutely nothing else on and I was expecting some sort of substandard Mike Leigh film . And I wasn`t expecting my opinion to be swayed either as the opening credits rolled , based on a stage play and full of actors with " Eee by gum " northern accents and with a foul mouthed mother bullying her painfully introverted daughter this had all the hallmarks of a tedious 90 minutes , but the more the film went on the more I became engrossed . I`ve never seen Jim Cartwright`s play so I can`t comment if Mark Herman`s script is an improvement but what a great script it is , something that touches your heart and makes you smile . The scene with LV singing a medley is uplifting while the scenes with " Take Fat " and Trigger Smith - Knife thrower will make you laugh outloud . This is a great feel good movie with a great cast , Michael Caine and Jim Broadbent are very good ( Well they do have three Oscars between them ) , Ewan McGregor gives one of his better performances and Brenda Blethyn deserved her Oscar nod , but standing head and shoulders above the entire cast is Jane Horrocks as LV . The fact that she wasn`t Oscar nominated in the title role is one of the biggest travesties in recent academy award history

Just to sum up this is a great film . British cinema experienced an upturn in the 1990s with the likes of THE CRYING GAME , FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL , and THE FULL MONTY , but these films are as overrated as much as LITTLE VOICE is underrated . LITTLE VOICE is one of the best Brit flicks from the most recent golden age of British cinema

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