7.2/10
15,054
72 user 34 critic

Children of a Lesser God (1986)

Trailer
1:26 | Trailer
A new speech teacher at a school for the deaf falls in love with the janitor, a deaf woman speechless by choice.

Director:

Randa Haines

Writers:

Mark Medoff (stage play), Hesper Anderson (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
William Hurt ... James
Marlee Matlin ... Sarah
Piper Laurie ... Mrs. Norman
Philip Bosco ... Dr. Curtis Franklin
Allison Gompf Allison Gompf ... Lydia
John F. Cleary John F. Cleary ... Johnny
Philip Holmes Philip Holmes ... Glen
Georgia Ann Cline Georgia Ann Cline ... Cheryl
William D. Byrd William D. Byrd ... Danny
Frank Carter Jr. Frank Carter Jr. ... Tony
John Limnidis John Limnidis ... William
Bob Hiltermann ... Orin
E. Katherine Kerr ... Mary Lee Ochs
John Basinger John Basinger ... Alan Jones
Barry Magnani Barry Magnani ... Tom Schuyler
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Storyline

Having taught at the best institutions in the country aside from other more eclectic jobs, James Leeds, with progressive methods, has just started teaching at a school for the deaf on an island off the New England coast, where he is assigned primarily to a speech class for the upper grades. At the school, he quickly notices the young cleaning woman, who he learns is twenty-five year old Sarah Norman and who, deaf herself, was once a student there and has been there since the age of five. He can see that she is bright, headstrong and angry, on top of which she doesn't speak, the latter issues a result of a troubled home life, her mother, her only touchstone to family, who she has purposefully not seen in eight years. As he is able to get through to most of his students to feel more and more comfortable in speaking for a more holistic life, Jim, with the reluctant blessing of the school's superintendent Dr. Curtis Franklin, who has always and still considers Sarah a proverbial pain in ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Love has a language all of its own. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In an interview with the New York Daily News, actress Marlee Matlin said: "I guess I have a Zorba spirit because I like being free and doing what I want. I used to be a very angry deaf person, like Sarah in Children Of A Lesser God...I even wrote a letter to President Ford asking why he didn't have closed captions for his TV speeches. He didn't answer". See more »

Goofs

The DVD back lists a main character as "John" Leeds, when the name should be "JAMES" Leeds. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dr. Curtis Franklin: This is the most amazing résumé I've ever seen.
James Leeds: I've been with some really good schools. The best.
Dr. Curtis Franklin: All of them. All of the best. One right after another. You've also been with the Lucky Erin Bar and Grill.
James Leeds: Pittsburgh. Bartender.
Dr. Curtis Franklin: And a disc jockey.
James Leeds: Yeah, that was in Oklahoma. I used to broadcast in sign language.
Dr. Curtis Franklin: You've covered all the map, Mr. Leeds.
James Leeds: I've got a lot of energy.
Dr. Curtis Franklin: I'm sure you do have a lot of energy and a lot of new ideas. I did too when...
[...]
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Soundtracks

You Brought a New Kind of Love to Me
by Sammy Fain, Irving Kahal & Pierre Norman
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User Reviews

 
Phenomenal Acting
7 July 2000 | by maharani_mdSee all my reviews

Hurt is excellent, Laurie and Bosco are outstanding, but Matlin gives one of the most amazing cinematic performances of all time. She is scintillating. The play is even more forceful with her gritty performance that it was with Phyllis Frielich on broadway. The direction makes up what it lacks in imagination with conviction and sincerity. I recommend it highly.


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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

31 October 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Children of a Lesser God See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,909,084, 5 October 1986

Gross USA:

$31,853,080

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$31,853,080
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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