IMDb > Hearts in Atlantis (2001)
Hearts in Atlantis
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Hearts in Atlantis (2001) More at IMDbPro »

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Hearts in Atlantis -- During the Vietnam war, a brilliant but fatherless boy and his mother, whose lives are forever changed by a mysterious man who enlists the aid of the young boy to save his life.
Hearts in Atlantis -- hv post


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Popularity: ?
Down 10% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Stephen King (book)
William Goldman (screenplay)
View company contact information for Hearts in Atlantis on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
28 September 2001 (USA) See more »
What if one of life's great mysteries moved in upstairs?
A widowed mother and her son change when a mysterious stranger enters their lives. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
2 wins & 8 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
King, Hopkins Make For Resonant Film See more (263 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Anthony Hopkins ... Ted Brautigan

Anton Yelchin ... Bobby Garfield

Hope Davis ... Liz Garfield

Mika Boorem ... Carol Gerber

David Morse ... Adult Bobby Garfield

Alan Tudyk ... Monte Man

Tom Bower ... Len Files

Celia Weston ... Alana Files

Adam LeFevre ... Don Biderman

Will Rothhaar ... John Sullivan

Timothy Reifsnyder ... Harry Doolin (as Timmy Reifsnyder)

Deirdre O'Connell ... Mrs. Gerber
Terry Beaver ... Mr. Oliver
Joe T. Blankenship ... Richie O'Rourke

Brett Fleisher ... Willie Shearman
Joel F. Haberli ... Sully's Dad
Evan Moses ... Sully's Little Brother
Joshua Billings ... Cabbie
Valerie Karasek ... Sully's Widow
Graham Bardsley ... Minister
Keith Beyer ... Soldier at Funeral (as Keith H. Beyer)
Robert V. Maine ... Soldier at Funeral
Mickey Leon McBride ... Soldier at Funeral

Wes Johnson ... Sports Announcer (voice)

Bourke Floyd ... Low Man

Lawrence Gaughan ... Low Man
Jim Hild ... Low Man

Steve Little ... Low Man
Bud Pezet ... Low Man
Jamie Watson ... Low Man
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Rob Cavedo ... Extra (uncredited)
Cris Cunningham ... Young Man (uncredited)
Sara Hamilton ... Hot Dog Vendor at Carnival (uncredited)
David Harscheid ... Old Man (uncredited)

Terry Jernigan ... Bobby's Father (in photograph) (uncredited)
John Johnson ... Townsperson (uncredited)
Raymond H. Johnson ... Mourner at Funeral (uncredited)

Rick Kain ... Pool Shark (uncredited)
Pamela K. Kinney ... Bar Waitress (uncredited)
Joleen Neighbours ... Carnival Vendor (uncredited)
Amberly Pecsek ... Girl at Carnival (uncredited)
David Rivitz ... Shady Vendor (uncredited)
Joseph M. West Jr. ... Checkers Player (uncredited)

Directed by
Scott Hicks 
Writing credits
Stephen King (book)

William Goldman (screenplay)

Produced by
Bruce Berman .... executive producer
Michael Flynn .... executive producer
Kerry Heysen .... producer
Jodi Zuckerman .... associate producer
Original Music by
Mychael Danna 
Cinematography by
Piotr Sobocinski (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Pip Karmel 
Casting by
Ronna Kress 
Production Design by
Barbara Ling  (as Barbara C. Ling)
Art Direction by
Mark Worthington 
Set Decoration by
Heather S. Jenkins  (as Heather Jenkins)
Costume Design by
Julie Weiss 
Makeup Department
Wyatt Belton .... hair stylist: Anthony Hopkins (as Belton)
Bonnie Clevering .... key hair stylist
Richard Dean .... key makeup artist
Randy Houston Mercer .... makeup artist
Michelle Vanderpool-Kohrs .... hair stylist (as Michealle Vanderpool)
Joseph P. Hurt .... assistant makeup artist (uncredited)
Suzy Mazzarese-Allison .... assistant hair stylist (uncredited)
Jennifer Santiago .... assistant hair stylist (uncredited)
Production Management
Donna E. Bloom .... unit production manager
Lori Flekser .... post-production supervisor
Tricia Miles .... post-production supervisor: Los Angeles
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Courtenay Miles .... second assistant director
Jack Steinberg .... second second assistant director
Jeffrey Wetzel .... first assistant director
Ty Williams .... additional second assistant director
Art Department
Kasia Adamik .... storyboard artist
C. Scott Baker .... set designer
Jamie Bishop .... on-set dresser
Richard Blankenship .... construction coordinator
Cherie Bowers .... painter
Matthew Butler .... on-set greens (as Matt Butler)
Andrew Carnwath .... greens laborer
Terry Clark .... set dresser
Richard Colwell .... painter
W. Sean Corbett .... carpenter
Chris Crane .... carpenter
Dinkus Deane .... construction gang boss
Tim Dingle .... muralist
Clifford D. Eubank .... key set dresser (as Cliff Eubank)
David Eubank .... painter
Dandro Fralinger .... construction gang boss
Melissa Frye .... painter (as Melissa A. Frye)
Larry Garmon .... carpenter
Halina Gebarowicz .... model maker
Steve George .... assistant property master (as Steven George)
Bill Gill .... carpenter
Thomas B. Grimes .... on-set greens (as Thomas Grimes)
Eric Gruber .... construction gang boss
Juliet Guimont .... painter (as Juliet Meinbresse)
Courtney Hale .... assistant art department coordinator
Todd Hatfield .... painter
Michael Ivey .... art department production assistant (as Mike Ivey)
Lynn A. Johanson .... painter
Howard Jones .... construction general foreman (as Howard Leigh Jones)
Jeff Juberget .... paint laborer
Russell Kempf .... greens foreman
Jay Klein .... lead man
Alisa Lumbreras .... scenic foreman
Michael Marcus .... graphic designer
Susan Maye .... construction buyer
Gordon McVay .... set dresser
Wayne Scott Miller .... painter (as Wayne Miller)
Swift Moseley .... key greens
Erik L. Nelson .... property master
Douglas P. Newell .... carpenter
Chrissy Offutt .... art department coordinator (as Christine Offutt)
Telly Lee Ordoyne .... painter
Amanda Overman .... paint laborer
Eric Paulson .... carpenter
Buster Pile .... construction general foreman (as Eugene Pile)
Mike Raybould .... greens laborer
Taylor Savas Reese .... carpenter
Natalie Richards .... assistant art director
Jennie Hill Robinson .... greens gang boss
Leslie E. Rollins .... supervising set decorator
Richard Salinas .... scenic foreman
George Silla .... carpenter
Cassandra Smith .... painter
A. Patrick Storey .... set dresser
Gay Studebaker .... on-set painter
Brian Stultz .... charge scenic
John Tartaglino .... set dresser
Craig M. Taylor .... second set dresser
Eddie Taylor .... carpenter
Ron Taylor .... carpenter
Justin Tingley .... carpenter
Kevan R. Vickers .... carpenter
Richard F. Ward III .... carpenter
Dave Washburn .... painter
Becky Weidner .... buyer (as Rebecca-Lucia Weidner)
Sean Whalen .... scenic foreman
Gary Wimmer .... scenic foreman
M.L. Woodrum Jr. .... carpenter
Michael D. Harrell .... props (uncredited)
R. Mark Hughes .... prop assistant (uncredited)
Kenneth J. Kellers .... carpenter (uncredited)
Christopher Morente .... greens person (uncredited)
Rick Reeder .... set dresser (uncredited)
Karen Wiswell .... art department researcher (uncredited)
Sound Department
Jon Bailey .... assistant sound engineer
Chris Barrett .... assistant sound engineer
Jeffree Bloomer .... second boom operator
David Boulton .... adr mixer
Steve Burgess .... foley editor
Steve Burgess .... foley recordist
Robert Deschaine .... adr mixer (as Bob Deschaine)
Helen Field .... liaison: Soundfirm
Ricky Graham .... assistant sound engineer
Scott Heysen .... sound effects recordist
Christopher S.P. Jones .... second boom operator
Gerard Long .... foley artist
Tod A. Maitland .... production sound mixer
Jay Meagher .... production sound mixer
Andrew Neil .... mix assistant editor
Glenn Newnham .... supervising effects editor
Randy Pease .... boom operator
Paul Pirola .... sound re-recording mixer
Alex Raspa .... adr recordist
Skye Ritchie .... sound effects editor
Livia Ruzic .... dialogue editor
Roger Savage .... sound re-recording mixer
Roger Savage .... sound supervisor
Michael Scott .... boom operator (as Mike Scott)
Tami Treadwell .... adr recordist (as Tammi Treadwell)
Andrew Neil .... adr recordist (uncredited)
Ron Searles .... sound recordist: glass armonica (uncredited)
Greg Steele .... adr mixer (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Howard Berger .... special effects makeup: KNB
Scott Blackwell .... special effects coordinator (as Scotty Blackwell)
Roland Hathaway .... snow technician
Jeremy Hays .... special effects coordinator
Michael Mac Tavish Tunstall .... snow technician
Jeff Rand .... special effects assistant
Arthur G. Schlosser .... snow technician
Shaun Smith .... on-set special effects makeup
Visual Effects by
Andrew Butler .... CGI artist: Guava Visual Effects
Simon Clarke .... animation artist: Guava Visual Effects
Marty Pepper .... Flame artist: Oasis Post Australia
Marty Pepper .... title designer: Oasis Post Australia
Ted Andre .... visual effects compositor (uncredited)
Jason Ballantine .... visual effects editor (uncredited)
Scott Dougherty .... digital effects producer: Cinesite (uncredited)
Vincent Lavares .... digital asset manager: Cinesite (uncredited)
Richard Lund .... translite photographer (uncredited)
Bill Anagnos .... stunts
Mickey Giacomazzi .... stunt coordinator
Steve Mack .... stunts
Johnny Martin .... stunts
Larry Nicholas .... stunts
Bobby Porter .... stunts
Craig Campbell .... stunt driver (uncredited)
Steve Mack .... stunt double: Anthony Hopkins (uncredited)
Larry Nicholas .... stunt double (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Michael Adams .... grip
Ignacio Aizcorbe .... rigging grip
Peter Albert .... video assist operator (as Pete Albert)
Don Aros .... rigging electrician (as Donald Arros)
John C. Barber .... grip
Cherilyn Barnard .... second assistant camera: "b" camera
Jennifer Bell .... second assistant camera: "b" camera (as Jennifer K. Bell)
Garrett Benson .... first assistant camera: "b" camera
Frank Boone .... rigging grip
Phil Bray .... still photographer
Juan Bremer .... camera production assistant
Kevin 'Vinnie' Campbell .... electrician (as Kevin Campbell)
Tony Campenni .... dolly grip
Chris Centrella .... key grip (as Chris A. Centrella)
Henry Cline .... camera operator: "a" camera
Henry Cline .... director of photography: second unit
Timothy H. Coté .... rigging electrician
Skelly Cummings .... best boy rigging grip
Doug Dalisera .... best boy electric
Susan Delgado .... photography advisor
Michael Devries .... 24 frame video operator (as Michael DeVries)
Russell Engels .... gaffer (as Russ Engels)
Rodney French .... best boy grip
Michael Gearhart .... grip (as Michael S. Gearhart)
Ron Glenn .... grip
John Hamilton .... camera loader
John R. Hamilton .... film loader
Matthew Haskins .... camera loader
Jennie Hazlegrove .... rigging grip
Scott Howell .... crane technician (as Scott A. Howell)
Mark Hutchings .... rigging electrician
Chip Ingram .... rigging grip
Lukasz Jogalla .... camera operator: "b" camera
Aaron Johnson .... rigging electrician
Brian Johnson .... rigging electrician
Glenn Kaplan .... second assistant camera: "a" camera (as Glenn D. Kaplan)
Jay Kemp .... rigging gaffer (as Jay Douglas Kemp)
John Kimmer .... grip (as John D. Kimmer)
Dean M. King .... best boy grip
Brian Leach .... generator operator
Scott W. Leftridge .... dolly grip
Jay Levy .... first assistant camera: "a" camera
Greg Martin .... rigging grip (as Greg M. Martin)
Dustin McQuate .... rigging electrician
Todd Ranson .... best boy electric
Robert Spencer .... best boy rigging electric
Bill Summers .... key rigging grip
Christopher A. Thompson .... rigging electrician
Nicholas Timmons .... photography advisor
Yori Tondrowski .... assistant to photographer
Arthur Tress .... photographic images
Paul Varrieur .... camera operator: "b" camera
Russell A. Wicks .... electrician
Tim Wicks .... electrician
J. Dan Wright .... electrician
Tim Bourque .... crane operator (uncredited)
Rob Coughlin .... electrician (uncredited)
Jennifer Evans .... grip (uncredited)
Matthew Haskins .... second assistant camera (uncredited)
Angel M. Sepulveda .... video assist operator (uncredited)
Casting Department
Connie Czernek .... casting assistant: Los Angeles
Stacie Goodman .... casting associate: Los Angeles
Barbara Harris .... adr voice casting
Kate Hereford .... casting assistant: Virginia
Carol Ness .... casting: Virginia
Georgina Perrins .... casting assistant: Virginia
Kimberly Skyrme .... casting: Virginia
Lori Wyman .... casting: Florida (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Johnetta Boone .... costumer
Jessica Fasman .... assistant costume designer
Alexandria Forster .... key costumer
James Irvin Gates .... tailor
Keva Keyes .... set costumer
Ani Lytle .... costumer
Sue Moore .... costume supervisor
Daniel Wolfson .... wardrobe production assistant
Editorial Department
Jason Ballantine .... first assistant editor
Mo Henry .... negative cutter
Scott Heysen .... editorial assistant
David Orr .... color timer
Dale Roberts .... second assistant editor
Julie Rogers .... additional first assistant editor
Rex M. Teese .... editorial apprentice
Music Department
David Archer .... musician: piano
John Bissell .... music supervisor
Mychael Danna .... music score producer
Mychael Danna .... orchestrator
Nicholas Dodd .... conductor
Nicholas Dodd .... orchestrator
Isobel Griffiths .... orchestra contractor
Brad Haehnel .... score mixer
Simon Leadley .... music editor
Yvonne McDonald .... music coordinator
Andrew Lockington .... musician: electric guitar (uncredited)
Bruce White .... viola (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Arno Andrischok .... production driver (as Arno H. Andrischok)
Roy K. Arrington .... production driver
William Benner .... production driver (as William J. Benner)
Clyde W. Bonner .... production driver
Richard R. Busardo .... production driver
Philip S. Crews .... production driver
Newton Crump Jr. .... production driver
Silas V. Darden .... production driver
Linwood R. Dowdy Jr. .... production driver
Gary Duncan .... picture car coordinator
Nancy Tate Ernest .... production driver
Bob Foster .... transportation coordinator
James L. Garrett .... production driver
Walter Garrett .... production driver
David Gipson .... production driver
Kris Golashesky .... transportation assistant (as Kristine Golashesky)
BJ Hallett .... driver: Anthony Hopkins
Jimmy Humphreys .... transportation captain (as Jim Humphreys)
Ronald Jenkins .... transportation co-captain (as Ronald M. Jenkins Jr.)
Bobby Jones .... production driver
Donald Jones .... production driver
Steven Conway Loving .... production driver (as Steven C. Loving)
Jimmy Lowery .... production driver
W. Carroll Marshall .... production driver
Stephanie Miller .... production driver
Albert Mitchell .... production driver
Robert Lee Mitchell .... production driver (as Lee Mitchell)
Steve Mitchell .... production driver
Shelton T. Newton .... production driver (as Shelton Newton)
Gerald Nuckols .... production driver (as Jerry Nuckols)
Ladonna Payne .... production driver
Patricia Pickens .... production driver
Robert Proffitt .... production driver
Ronald E. Puckett .... production driver (as Ronnie Puckett)
Robert C. Raikes .... production driver
Cindi Randall .... production driver
John M. Rilee .... production driver
George W. Samuels .... production driver
Walter J. Sexton Jr. .... production driver
Aaron Skalka .... transportation captain: second unit
Roger L. Taylor Jr. .... production driver
Norman Taylor .... production driver (as Norman B. Taylor)
Darwin Witte .... driver: honeywagon
Other crew
Matt Adler .... adr loop group
David M. Atkinson .... first assistant accountant
Terrance S. Averett .... office production assistant
Helen Aylett .... accounts officer: The Kino Film Co., Adelaide
Nicole Balick .... adr loop group
Charles Thomas Baxter .... location manager (as Charley Baxter)
Terrence Beasor .... adr loop group (as Terence Beasor)
John Francis Black II .... assistant accountant (as John Black)
Tammy Blackburn .... animal trainer
Dawn Blacksten .... assistant location manager
Timothy Blockburger .... set production assistant
Camille Brown .... assistant: Michael Flynn
Polly Businger .... studio teacher
Anne N. Chapman .... housing coordinator
Lynsey Cole .... stand-in
Stephanie Conway .... set production assistant
Ashly Covington .... stand-in
John Crowder .... assistant location manager
Jennifer S. Deayton .... assistant production coordinator (as Jennifer Stephens)
Filomena Dimaria .... travel: Show Film
Gary Ferraro .... caterer: For Stars Catering (as Gary C. Ferraro)
Efrain Figueroa .... adr loop group (as Effrain Figueroa)
Greg Finley .... adr loop group
Christopher T. Flynn .... craft service assistant
Peter T. Frank .... craft service assistant
Vic Fraser .... copyist
Niko Godfrey .... office production assistant
Roseanne Gulbenkian .... travel: Hoffman Travel
Daniel Hansen .... adr loop group
Barbara Harris .... adr loop group (as Barbara Iley)
Georgette Hayden .... assistant production coordinator
Jennifer Henderson .... animal trainer
Larry Henshaw .... stand-in
Doris Hess .... adr loop group
David Honaker .... set production assistant
Ira Hurvitz .... script supervisor: reshoots
Grady Hutt .... adr loop group
Dan Istrate .... camp manager: Richmond
Tyler Jay .... set production assistant
Susan Jones .... assistant location manager (as Susan Jones Halloran)
Carlyle King .... adr loop group (as Caryle King)
Nicole La Follette .... assistant: Anthony Hopkins (as Nicole La Follette Heysen)
Nicole La Follette .... film assistant (as Nicole La Follette Heysen)
Brie Larson .... adr loop group
Mark Christopher Lawrence .... adr loop group
Sloane Lewis .... caterer: For Stars Catering
Tina Lifford .... adr loop group
Andrew Lockington .... assistant: Mychael Danna
Lori A. Lopes .... first assistant accountant
Chandler Martin .... assistant location manager
Peter Marziale .... set medic coordinator (as Peter J. Marziale)
David McCharen .... adr loop group
Montez A. Monroe .... production coordinator
Belita Moreno .... camp manager: Los Angeles
Kelsey Mulrooney .... adr loop group
Bettina Tendler O'Mara .... product placement (as Bettina O'Mara)
Rachel Papandrea .... travel: Show Film
Phuong-Thuy Pham .... set production assistant
Charlie Portillo .... caterer: For Stars Catering
Monica Ramirez-Martin .... publicity coordinator
Chris Ramming .... craft service
Angela Randazzo .... payroll accountant
Sonia Randazzo .... assistant accountant
David Randolph .... adr loop group
Ruben Flores Rios II .... set production assistant
Enrique Rivera .... caterer: For Stars Catering
Ginny Robertson .... studio teacher
Lisa Robertson .... first assistant accountant
Christopher Rock .... location assistant
Christopher Roe .... accounting clerk
David Edward Roop .... stand-in
Terry Rowley .... stand-in: Anthony Hopkins
Simon J. Rowntree .... assistant: Scott Hicks and Kerry Heysen
Gary W. Samuels .... assistant set medic coordinator
Cas Schwabe .... production secretary
Anne Scott .... post-production accountant
John Siedenburg .... caterer: For Stars Catering
Matthew Staub .... stand-in
Jazzmine Tisdale .... adr loop group
Arthur Tress .... consultant
Tom Trigo .... location scout (as Tomás Trigo)
Deborah van Gyen .... film conformist (as Deb Van Gÿen)
Steve Warner .... production accountant
Richard Wicklund .... studio teacher
Christine Wilson .... script supervisor (as Christine M. Wilson)
Carl Youman .... railroad consultant
Ruth Zalduondo .... adr loop group
Keith Zobel .... production secretary
Caryn Cheever .... second assistant accountant (uncredited)
Tim Estep .... production assistant (uncredited)
Michael E. Fajohn .... medic: Virginia (uncredited)
Chrissy Offutt .... assistant to director: Los Angeles (uncredited)
Ken Roy .... location scout (uncredited)
Ken Roy .... representative: Central Virginia Film Office (uncredited)
Sally Jo Sousa .... animal trainer: dogs (uncredited)
Eric Von Arx .... location scout (uncredited)
Allen Daviau .... thanks
Kevin S. Donohue .... thanks: Fort Story (as Ltc. Kevin S. Donohue)
Andrew Edmunds .... thanks: The Virginia Film Office
Emmanuel Lubezki .... thanks
Dwayne M. Macek .... thanks: Kissel Bros. Shows & Funtime Carnival
Rita D. McClenny .... thanks: The Virginia Film Office
Andres Ortegon .... thanks: The US Army Office of Public Affairs (as Major Andres Ortegon)
Piotr Sobocinski .... dedicatee
Philip M. Strub .... thanks: The US Army Office of Public Affairs
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated PG-13 for violence and thematic elements
101 min
Color (technicolor) | Color
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

The Garfield home was shot in Staunton, Virginia, although the story, Bobby's library card (at around 07 mins), and the license plate on Don Biderman's car (at around 57 mins) are from Connecticut, but Scott Hicks explains (commentary at 57:12) "we had to shoot a little further south because the Fall was coming on us and the further south you go the slightly later the Fall happens."See more »
Continuity: The adult Robert opens the Fedex package containing Sully's baseball glove, and tries it on his right hand. Later in the film, the mitt is shown as a conventional left-hander.See more »
[first lines]
Bobby Garfield (Adult):Whenever it wants, the past can come kicking the door down. And you never know where it's going to take you. All you can do is hope it's a place you want to go.
Bobby Garfield (Adult):[answering machine message] Hi, you have reached the Garfield family. Jill and the boys are away skiing, you can reach them on their various cellphones. Me, I'm going to be on the road for a few days. I'll be back Tuesday.
See more »
Movie Connections:
References Village of the Damned (1960)See more »
Come Fly With MeSee more »


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19 out of 22 people found the following review useful.
King, Hopkins Make For Resonant Film, 16 June 2005
Author: bigtommytahoe from United States

One of the many acting skills Anthony Hopkins possesses is the ability to attract and disturb at the same time; he can charm you to no end with sly smiles and unspoken allure. But all the while he's hiding something unsettling that you can't ever quite figure out. In Hearts in Atlantis, the latest of what by now must be a truly massive box set of Stephen King film adaptations, Sir Anthony finds a writer perfectly suited to these unique talents. What we see is a movie eerie and enchanting, both in mood and in style -- a story that holds onto its cards throughout, letting you see each of them slowly, one by one, and only when absolutely necessary. In the end we find we have been held captive by a stunningly memorable and powerful film.

The story begins as a retrospective: Robert Morse plays the older version of Bobby Garfield, the central character of this reminiscent story. It takes a recent tragedy to send the older Bobby unwittingly in the mind to his days as an 11-year-old in 1960. There we go to a place common to almost all of King's stories: rural New England, where Bobby lives with his mother (Hope Davis), and spends his innocent, aimless days with his two friends Sully (Will Rothhaar) and Carol (Mika Boorem). His father died when Bobby was only five, and his mother is so busy hopefully tending to a real estate career that she has little time to tend to her only child. To this point nothing is out of the ordinary; this childhood is deliberately portrayed with hazy, warm undertones, akin to the sense of youth so familiar to many who look back upon it.

Fairly early on we meet Ted Brautigan (Hopkins), a boarder who shows up quite suddenly on their porch, his belongings in grocery bags. He is clean, well-spoken, unobtrusive and generally a placid sort. But he is also an instant enigma: he is of unknown origin, means, and intent, and Bobby's mother quickly decides this is a man to be viewed with caution. Bobby, on the other hand, innocently curious --and most likely desperate for anything that could spell the boredom of his uneventful summer-- decides this a man worth knowing. They become close, Brautigan dispersing kennels of wisdom and even offering young Bobby a dollar a week and cold root beers to read him the newspaper daily. But Brautigan clearly has a special quality about him: he can sense things and see things that are not readily apparent to most others. Bobby seems to have this gift as well, though in a lees pronounced way, and through this they form a bond, one Bobby's mother slowly and begrudgingly affords him. She's suspicious of this man still, while we the viewers begin gradually to glean some of the mysteries of his past. I don't dare say what they are, but they do involve "the Low Men", people, Brautigan warns Bobby, who may some day come looking for him. He tells Bobby what signs to look for about town, gently using the boy as a scout of imminent danger. Bobby does not know who they are or what they represent. Neither do we, for a long time, but the key instrument of this story is to make it intentionally vague. We are not to be concerned about these details, but rather to know that Brautigan has experienced them, and will do whatever he can to shield Bobby and his youth from the corrupting darkness looming behind them.

Stephen King has been widely read as an author of horror and suspense, but his best works --like this one-- work on a much more insidious level, evoking a sense of foreboding and unknown that manages to inform everything that happens within. The makers of this film find great success emphasizing the shady murkiness of the story, and they still manage to keep things centered. The mysteries of Ted Brautigan find parallels in the wonders of youth: Bobby experiences his first kiss, naturally, encounters a menacing bully, and learns to view his mother in evolving ways...grown-up ways. This is really a story of innocence and maturity, of youth's purity and the dangers that lurk at its end. Bobby finds that end to a certain degree, but along the way finds friendship, knowledge, and a sense of the mysteries of adulthood that await him. Ted Brautigan is really more than a friend to Bobby; he is a guide, a protector, and a teacher. These two actors provide real, natural on screen chemistry in this film, and there is one delightful scene early on where Brautigan intensely relives for Bobby a glory day of Chicago Bears football lore. This is an actor who can take any available strengths of writing and magnify them for us viewers who watch him say them aloud. As a result Anthony Hopkins anchors this infectious little film to the ground while still allowing it to soar skyward when needed.

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