6.5/10
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35 user 13 critic

The Boy Who Could Fly (1986)

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
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On Disc

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3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 September 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Chlopiec, który umial latac See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$7,177,431
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Cameo: Nick Castle, along with fellow directors John Carpenter and Tommy Lee Wallace (credited as The Coupe de Villes), as the band in the video Milly and Geneva watch while drinking strawberry daiquiris. 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 ...
[...]
See more »

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

References St. Elmo's Fire (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Walkin' On Air
Written and Performed by Stephen Bishop
See more »

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User Reviews

 
They don't make 'em like this anymore.

I'm so tired of modern family movies full of fart jokes or movies where teenagers make love to pastries and it's supposed to be funny and then they staple on some superficial message at the end in an attempt to be poignant and balance out all the trash that came before. Every other week we are tortured with some nonsense of this calibre and whenever I wish for a movie that stands out from the crowd I have to go back in time and consider some overlooked gem. The Boy Who Could Fly is exactly that.

The characters seem so real and their emotions genuine, it builds at a slow pace but it never gets boring and story development is consistent. This is not a ferociously loud summer crowd-pleaser or something bloated with pointless SFX. Very few movies have the power to make a whole story out of characters and situation alone without feeling the need for some ridiculous set piece or blaring thrash metal guitars.

In fact Bruce Broughton's score is the wonderful opposite of that. The performances, especially the two leads, are flawless and the direction is far more refined than the typical. Everything in this movie comes together perfectly to make a film so unique and charming. If you have lost your faith in the current dreck that graces our screens and if you want a family movie with some meaning and subtext then check this out. And keep an eye out for director John Carpenter as on of the Coupe De Villes.

The DVD is in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen and in Dolby 2.0. It has an introduction by Jay Underwood and director Nick (Michael Myers) Castle, they also feature in a commentary with Lucy Deakins and Fred Savage.


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