7.6/10
3,538
56 user 14 critic

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1968)

G | | Drama | 31 July 1968 (USA)
Trailer
2:59 | Trailer
When deaf mute Singer moves to a small city to be near his only friend confined in a hospital, he grows attached to his landlady's sensitive 16-year-old daughter.

Writers:

Carson McCullers (from the novel by), Thomas C. Ryan (screenplay by)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alan Arkin ... Singer
Chuck McCann ... Antonapoulos
Peter Mamakos ... Spirmonedes
John O'Leary John O'Leary ... Beaudine
Sondra Locke ... Mick
Biff McGuire ... Mr. Kelly
Jackie Marlowe Jackie Marlowe ... Bubber
Laurinda Barrett Laurinda Barrett ... Mrs. Kelly
Robbie Barnes Robbie Barnes ... Ralph
Wayne Smith Wayne Smith ... Harry
Richard Fingar Richard Fingar ... Sucker
Sherri Vise Sherri Vise ... Delores
Gavin Paulin Gavin Paulin ... Spareribs
Percy Rodrigues ... Dr. Copeland (as Percy Rodriguez)
Cicely Tyson ... Portia
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Storyline

Sentimental story centers around a deaf-mute, Singer, and Mick, a teenager who lives in the house where he rents a room. Mick and Singer become friends, though they are separated by Singer's lack of communication ability and Mick's struggle with teenage problems. The lives of the people Singer touches are varied, linked only by their friendship with Singer. His friends include a deaf-mute, a drunk, and a doctor. Singer does his best to help those around him solve their problems, but who is there to help him solve his own? Written by Melissa Portell <mportell@s-cwis.unomaha.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

...and from this man who could not speak or hear, the girl heard many things.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Unable to find white suits large enough to fit Chuck McCann, costumers had him wear old suits previously worn by studio character actor Sydney Greenstreet. See more »

Goofs

When Dr. Copeland goes in to see Judge Bronson he enters via a swinging door with a glass panel in it. A member of the camera crew is reflected in the glass as it swings shut. See more »

Quotes

Mick: [describing music to Singer] The beginning. This part that's on now. Now it's - slooowww. And - kinda solemn. Like old ladies, when you see 'em walkin' to church?
[smiles]
Mick: Oh, oh now a horn comes in here. A horn, a h-. A horn...
[singer flutters his fingers in front of his face]
Mick: Yeah. But it sounds like - like the sun feels on a hot day when you don't have a hat on? Oh, and everything's all much faster now. Each part has a different speed, you see. Yet it all fits together somehow. It's like, like -...
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Connections

Referenced in S01E03 (2020) See more »

Soundtracks

The Color of the Wind Is Cold
(uncredited)
Written by Dave Grusin and Hermine Hilton
Performed by Mac Davis
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User Reviews

 
a heartbreaking experience
2 January 2006 | by mnreitSee all my reviews

I saw this movie as a 15 year old when it came out. I remember it was a Saturday night and none of my friends were around. My parents didn't have any plans either and asked if I would like to go to a movie with them. Although spending a Saturday night with ones' parents couldn't be more uncool for a teenage boy, I agreed. The story and performances sucked me in from the beginning and held me there while the unbearable sadness of the final scene tore my heart out. Of course teenage boys aren't supposed to be that sentimental so it took all my strength to hold back this tidal wave of grief that cut through me. As we walked out of the theatre and through the parking lot and got into the car I said nothing. After a few minutes my mother said, "Mark, you're awfully quiet". I shot back at her "leave me alone", which she did. I didn't want reality to intrude upon the profoundly deep feelings I was experiencing. That feeling stayed with me for months. Only decades later did I realize that the movie touched on a very personal sadness in my life that as a teenage boy I couldn't begin to grapple with. Micks' mothers inability to express love for her mirrored a similar void in my relationship with my father. During a particularly depressed part of my adulthood, while I was grappling with the reality of having an unloving father, one day I found myself thinking about this movie. Oh! That's why the movie had such a devastating effect on me! It brought to the surface all of the sadness, isolation and loneliness I suppressed as a child who wasn't loved for who he was! That's the definition of a true work of art. This movie had the ability to allow me to feel what I was unable to as a child and only years later would I be able to understand the reason for the overwhelming sadness I felt then.


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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

31 July 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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