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. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the movie, Mick is said to be two years younger than Harry. In reality, Sondra Locke was five years older than Wayne Smith. She was 24 and he was 19. See more »

Goofs

When Mick and Harry lay down on the sand by the river, Mick is above and apart from Harry. In the next close-up shot, their heads and shoulders are even and almost touching. See more »

Quotes

Portia: [Spoken to Willie in the barber shop in an attempt to embarrass her father] Father would do anything for you now... now when it's too late!
Willie: Portia, that ain't no way to talk to the Doc. We got to live together now.
Portia: [Sarcastically] Oh, yes, just a big happy family!
Doctor Copeland: [to Portia, humiliated and wanting to leave] You drive Willie home.
Portia: [Bitterly] Well, what's the matter, Father? Am I embarrassing you in front of your friend? Oh, you don't have to feel he's so much better than you - after all, you're pretty ...
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Connections

Referenced in Alan Arkin: Live from the TCM Classic Film Festival (2015) 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

 
Brilliantly filmed story of infinite compassion
7 March 2002 | by Dave GodinSee all my reviews

There is no doubt about it, but when Hollywood decides to make a cinematic masterpiece, and at the same time draws upon indigenous American social and cultural mores, as exemplified by a writer of the talent of Carson McCullers, the result can be both breath-taking and almost overwhelming. It is partly their very `Americaness' that makes films like THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER so unique and special to someone like myself who is not American. And this film in particular shows a side of the American psyche which is all too often neglected and unacknowledged in movies. The novel on which it is based is, sadly perhaps, too complex and long to adapt to the screen without sacrificing some aspect of the many subplots it contains, and although I regret the loss of the radical political dimension, the subtle and heart-wrenching way loneliness, racism, impoverishment, snobbery, and disadvantage are conveyed are so powerfully treated that the end result is a film of almost unbearable sadness and melancholy... and yet... And yet there is an element of tremendous hope also at work; of the human spirit overcoming huge odds and learning life's lessons as the various characters go along and work out their individual destinies. Superb ensemble acting from all concerned, and technical credits of the highest order make this one of the most deeply satisfying films I have ever seen in my life. A masterpiece, and one that could only have been made in the USA.


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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:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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