28 user 26 critic

Sonny Boy (1989)

A small-town crime boss accepts delivery of a stolen car, only to find there's a baby in the back-seat. He and his transgender wife cut out the boy's tongue and raise him as a mute ... See full summary »


Graeme Whifler (original screenplay), Peter Desberg (additional dialogue) (as Peter Desberg Ph.D.)




Cast overview, first billed only:
David Carradine ... Pearl
Paul L. Smith ... Slue
Brad Dourif ... Weasel
Conrad Janis ... Doc Bender
Sydney Lassick ... Charlie P.
Savina Gersak Savina Gersak ... Sandy
Alexandra Powers ... Rose
Michael Boston ... Sonny Boy (as Michael Griffin)
Steve Carlisle ... Sheriff
Steve Ingrassia ... Deputy
Stephen Lee Davis Stephen Lee Davis ... Bart
Robert Broyles Robert Broyles ... Mayor
Jeff Bergquist ... Father Owen
Dalene Young Dalene Young ... Doc Wallace
Christopher Bradley ... Husband


A small-town crime boss accepts delivery of a stolen car, only to find there's a baby in the back-seat. He and his transgender wife cut out the boy's tongue and raise him as a mute accomplice in their crimes. When the grown "Sonny Boy" escapes and tries to make contact with the outside world, the attention he draws to his warped family results in darkly-humored mayhem. Written by <kinkajou@interserv.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Action | Drama | Thriller


R | See all certifications »



USA | Italy



Release Date:

26 October 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Il dono del silenzio See more »

Filming Locations:

Columbus, New Mexico, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (video)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Originally the shootout finale was suppose to take place in a farmhouse that was scheduled to be demolished, so that it could be burned in the end. However, the owner of the house changed his mind and the production ended up having to create the "pyramid" structure in which the climax takes place. See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK Entertainment in Video VHS runs 6 minutes longer than the U.S. VHS from Media/CBS FOX. See more »


Referenced in David on 'Death Race' (2010) See more »


Maybe It Ain't
Written and Performed by David Carradine
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Uniquely bizarre black comedy.
30 June 2001 | by InfofreakSee all my reviews

Sonny Boy is a one of a kind horror/comedy with an exceptional cast. Paul L. Smith (Midnight Express, Crimewave) plays his usual over-the-top man/monster role, David Carradine his transvestite wife, Brad Dourif (legend!) the aptly named Weasel, and Dourif's Cuckoo's Nest co-star Sydney Lassick, the slimy Charlie P. Michael Griffin is exceptional in the title role. Pity he didn't go on to do anything else. Maybe making Sonny Boy scarred him for life?! I also liked veteran Conrad Janis as one of the few non-repulsive characters in this, an alcoholic doctor with a liking for surgery involving monkey parts(!) Janis has had one eclectic career, working with everyone from Shirley Temple and Ronald Reagan to African bushman N!xau, from Mork And Mindy to The Cable Guy, but surely he must rate this as the weirdest project he's ever been involved in! And Brad Dourif has made more than his fair share of strange movies,not least of which Blue Velvet, but none as demented as this crazy mutha!

I recommend Sonny Boy to bizarre movie lovers everywhere, and fans of Garth Ennis comics will find much to enjoy here, as it shares a similar gonzo humour to Preacher et al.

19 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 28 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed