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The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1968)

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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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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

31 July 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Das Herz ist ein einsamer Jäger See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

Carnival is supposedly taking place on a warm summer night judging from characters' lightweight costumes but actors' frosty breath can be seen in a number of shots. See more »

Quotes

Doctor Copeland: I raised you to be something better.
Portia: Well, I wasn't better. I was different. All those years after mama died, all that time I was growing up, what was I? I don't know. I only knew I wasn't white. And you wouldn't let me be black.
See more »

Crazy Credits

And Introducing

Sondra Locke

as Mick See more »


Soundtracks

Symphony #47 in C Major, 'Jupiter,' K 551
(uncredited)
By Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart(1788)
[Heard at concert in movie theater and on record Singer gives to Mick]
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Poignant sixties film with diversity issues abound -- sensitive Alan Arkin performance
2 January 2000 | by ruby_fffSee all my reviews

I cannot forget the theme music of "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter" by Dave Grusin. There's a certain pervading peacefulness listening to its strains. Watching the film again on cable reminded me how impressed I was when I first saw it. Ever since, I kept an eye on movies with Alan Arkin in it -- his performance as John Singer, a deaf-mute, was sensitively delivered and commanded respect. It was Sondra Locke's debut appearance. She was young and slim, perfect for the role of "Mick", who learned to accept his disability and was able to share her love of music with him.

Along this life's journey of Singer, his friends included Chuck McCann as the plump fellow deaf-mute, who's playful and loved chocolates; Stacy Keach as the recovering alcoholic and new found chess mate; Percy Rodriguez as the self-righteous black Doctor who has his strife and discords with his daughter Portia, portrayed by a young Cicely Tyson. Lessons in diversity and tolerance are subtly evident as the story progresses. The ending is certainly not of Hollywood standard. Cinematographer James Wong Howe certainly tied in hope through his lens on the final shot with Mick (Sondra Locke) in it.

This film about reaching out and touching someone, irrespective of one's ability to verbally communicate or via signs, of one's race, color, or background, still rings true.


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