A Jamaican woman becomes the housekeeper for a rich Baltimore family and bonds with a disillusioned teenage boy.

Director:

Robert Mulligan

Writers:

Joseph Olshan (novel), Mark Medoff (screenplay)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Whoopi Goldberg ... Clara Mayfield
Michael Ontkean ... Bill Hart
Kathleen Quinlan ... Leona Hart
Neil Patrick Harris ... David Hart
Spalding Gray ... Peter Epstein
Beverly Todd ... Dora
Hattie Winston ... Blanche Loudon
Jason Downs ... Alan Lipsky
Caitlin Thompson Caitlin Thompson ... Celeste
Maria Broom ... Felicia
Wanda Christine Wanda Christine ... Lydia
Maryce Carter Maryce Carter ... Babs
Angel Harper ... Rita
Frederick Strother ... Bundy (as Fred Strother)
Joseph Muth Joseph Muth ... Father Joe (as Father Joseph Muth)
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Storyline

David is a teenager whose parents are in a deteriorating marriage after their infant daughter dies. Clara is a chambermaid at a Jamaican resort who's hired to be a housekeeper. She and David develop a close bond, opening his eyes and heart to new experiences, and eventually leading to a disturbing secret in Clara's past. Written by David Thaler <dathaler@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Clara's wisdom. Clara's warmth. Clara's secret.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filmed in 1986, not released until two years later. See more »

Quotes

Blanche Loudon: [in Jamaican patois] I should be slappin' yer backside fer all da trouble ya givin' my Clara.
David Hart: [also in Jamaican patois] Oh no sweet dahlin'; dat's anudda moo-moo ya talkin' 'bout. See, dis child is meek and give da woman nuttin' but joy.
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Connections

Referenced in Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

The Determination Theme
Written by Elon Wizzart, Michael Daly, Stephen Samuels and Michelle Cole
Performed by The Determiantion Band
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User Reviews

Funny, sad and realistic
13 June 2000 | by bextraSee all my reviews

I recently saw this movie for the second time. The first time I was 13 years old, and while I really enjoyed it then, it was certainly worth a second viewing as an adult. This movie has so many layers... Whoopi Goldberg is brilliant in her role as a Jamaican housekeeper, and both she and Neil Patrick Harris are quite witty... at times I found myself laughing out loud at their sarcastic banter. Besides making me laugh and cry, this movie also makes me angry... David's parents seem so self-absorbed and unconcerned about their son's welfare. I really felt sorry for him, and glad he had Clara. The ending is refreshing in that it is not a sappy "happily ever after", but also not horrible... it's nice to see something realistic for a change.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 October 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Clara's Heart See more »

Filming Locations:

Baltimore, Maryland, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$588,869, 9 October 1988

Gross USA:

$5,194,491

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,194,491
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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