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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.




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3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
... Milly
... Eric
... Charlene
... Louis
... Mrs. Sherman
... Uncle Hugo
... Geneva
... Mrs. D'Gregario
Jennifer Michas ... Mona
... Erin
Aura Pithart ... Colette
... Joe (as Cam Bancroft)
... Gary (as Jason Priestly)
Chris Arnold ... Sonny
Sean Kelso ... Bad Boy


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


Between a silent boy and a beautiful girl lies an amazing secret. See more »


Drama | Fantasy | Romance


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

26 September 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Chlopiec, który umial latac  »


Box Office

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Fred Savages' film debut. See more »


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 »


Uncle Hugo: Don't shake the floor, please.
[Hugo repeatedly drops a cork on the floor until it lands on its end]
Uncle Hugo: There you go. You see, you can't start on a bottle until the cork lands on its feet. It's very frustrating when it takes a long time. On the other hand, it's quite delightful when it happens on the first toss.
[offers the bottle to Milly]
Uncle Hugo: Care for a drink?
Milly: No, no thank you.
Uncle Hugo: Are you calling me a drunk?
Milly: No.
Uncle Hugo: Why not?
See more »


Features The Last Starfighter (1984) See more »


Back of the Bus
Music by Bruce Broughton
Lyrics and vocals by Nick Castle
See more »

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User Reviews

A meaningful family oriented drama
4 November 2002 | by See all my reviews

Back in the late 1980's, Jay Underwood was a teenaged boy who had a short lived starring career in films. He made his starring debut in this 1986 Lorimar release which could've been a major star making vehicle if its theatrical response was more profitable. Time has served it well and it now stands as a family favorite from the 1980's. Underwood portrays a boy who isolates himself from society after his parents die in a plane crash. He stays in his house all day long and pretends to be in a land where he can fly. Lucy Deakins portrays a teenaged girl who feels sorry for Underwood and tries to help him fit in. Somewhat sappy at times but otherwise genuinely touching. Film is also notable for serving as the debut performance of Fred Savage, the star of the TV series "The Wonder Years."

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