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The Boy Who Could Fly (1986)

Trailer
1:40 | Trailer
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
3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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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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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Geneva and Sonny leave after meeting Milly and Louis for the first time, their mother says to them, "And you guys thought you wouldn't make any new friends." Milly and Louis then look at each other at the same time; in order to get the timing right, Lucy Deakins told Fred Savage she would tap him on the back as their signal to do it. It did not occur to her that he was wearing a microphone, and it picked up the sound of her tapping him. If you listen closely, you can hear a thudding sound right before they look at each other. 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

Milly: What do you know about Eric? Have you ever seen him do anything weird?
Geneva: That;s all I've ever seen him do.
Milly: No, I mean really weird.
Geneva: Dinky Patterson told me something weird about him once.
Milly: Who's Dinky Patterson?
Geneva: Dinky lived here before you; had your room. Anyway, Dinky used to get really annoyed with Eric climbing around outside his window. So, one day, he took his BB gun, stuffed the barrel with wet Kleenex and started shooting at Eric.
Milly: That's real sweet.
Geneva: He said he kept it up for about an hour, but ...
[...]
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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

Referenced in Knots Landing: The Inside Man (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 August 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Boy Who Could Fly See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$204,461, 17 August 1986

Gross USA:

$7,177,431

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$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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