6.6/10
5,484
37 user 14 critic

The Boy Who Could Fly (1986)

Trailer
1:40 | Trailer
An autistic boy who dreams of flying touches everyone he meets, including a new family who has moved in after their father dies.

Director:

Nick Castle

Writer:

Nick Castle
3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lucy Deakins ... Milly
Jay Underwood ... Eric
Bonnie Bedelia ... Charlene
Fred Savage ... Louis
Colleen Dewhurst ... Mrs. Sherman
Fred Gwynne ... Uncle Hugo
Mindy Cohn ... Geneva
Janet MacLachlan ... Mrs. D'Gregario
Jennifer Michas Jennifer Michas ... Mona
Michelle Bardeaux ... Erin
Aura Pithart Aura Pithart ... Colette
Cameron Bancroft ... Joe (as Cam Bancroft)
Jason Priestley ... Gary (as Jason Priestly)
Chris Arnold Chris Arnold ... Sonny
Sean Kelso Sean Kelso ... Bad Boy
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Storyline

Charlene Michaelson, her two children - teen-aged Amelia 'Milly' Michaelson and precocious adolescent Louis Michaelson - and their dog Max move into a new house in a new neighborhood after the passing of Charlene's husband/the kids' father, Donald Michaelson. Beyond life without Donald, they are all nervous about starting a new life, which, for Charlene, means getting back into the workforce after thirteen years. Milly quickly settles into the neighborhood if only because she becomes fascinated with their next door neighbor, teen-aged Eric Gibb, who authorities believe is autistic. Orphaned Eric has never spoken a word, and without having been told about the incident, began to think he could fly at the exact moment his parents died in a plane crash. Many believe Eric's belief is because he felt he could thus save his parents. Eric's guardian is his dipsomaniac Uncle Hugo Gibb. Milly's high school teacher, Mrs. Carolyn Sherman, who used to be a special needs teacher, looks after Eric ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A very special love. And a very special magic. But is it real magic or just an illusion? See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Theatrical film debut of Jason Priestley. See more »

Goofs

Cables holding Eric can visibly be seen as he and Millie are falling off the roof of the school before they crash into Millie's mom. See more »

Quotes

[after Eric and Milly flew in front of the entire town, Eric flies away, never to be seen again]
Milly: [narrating] That night, I found out why Eric flew away. Our house was crawling with people who wanted to see Eric Gibb, the boy who could fly. There were scientists and doctors and TV reporters. When they couldn't find Eric, they did tests on me, because I flew with him. They did tests on Uncle Hugo, too, because he was a relative and had the same genes. Then they took everything out of his room and ...
[...]
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Alternate Versions

The Disney Channel version of this film that aired in the late 1980's had been edited. Some scenes had been edited down or taken out, and the bad language had been dubbed. Also at the end of the program the star Jay Underwood gave a special message to young viewers telling them not to try anything they saw him perform in the film. He explained that they had special wires attached to him to make it look as though he could fly. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: The Fantastic Four (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Walkin' On Air
Written and Performed by Stephen Bishop
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User Reviews

 
A warm and poignant tale.
16 May 2000 | by gkearnsSee all my reviews

In an atmosphere of fantasy, the movie explores several real human issues. The story centers on a mother (Bonnie Bedelia), her young teenage daughter (Lucy Deakins), and her pre-teen son (Fred Savage) as they struggle to cope after the beloved father's sudden passing. Their grief is intensified by the manner of his death and their almost immediately having to adjust to a new life, a new home, a new neighborhood, and for the kids, a new school and new friends. Into this mix enters Eric (Jay Underwood), the apparently autistic teenage boy next door, who is coping with demons of his own as a result of his parents' sudden death in an airplane crash. So grief is involved, and adjustment, and trying to fit in, and acceptance of human differences, and courage, and love - love within a family group and among people, as well as real boy/girl love. Writer-director Nick Castle deals with these issues with respectful sensitivity, as does the excellent ensemble cast of Lucy Deakins, Jay Underwood, Bonnie Bedelia, Fred Savage, Colleen Dewhurst, Fred Gwynne, and Mindy Cohn. That fantasy might be important to plot movement shouldn't be surprising, considering the movie's title. However, whether that fantasy is allegorical or real, or both, is in the eyes of the beholder. In any case, it's a warm and poignant tale, and it deserves a high place in the literature of motion pictures.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 August 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Boy Who Could Fly See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$204,461, 17 August 1986

Gross USA:

$7,177,431

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$7,177,431
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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