A single mother raises a child prodigy on her own, struggling to give him every opportunity he needs to express his gift.

Director:

Jodie Foster

Writer:

Scott Frank
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jodie Foster ... Dede Tate
Alex Lee Alex Lee ... Fred Tate at 2
Adam Hann-Byrd ... Fred Tate
Michael Shulman ... Matt Montini
Nathan Lee Nathan Lee ... Matt's Teammate
Celia Weston ... Miss Nimvel
Danitra Vance ... Clinic Doctor
Dianne Wiest ... Jane Grierson
David Hyde Pierce ... Garth (as David Pierce)
Debi Mazar ... Gina
Richard Fredette Richard Fredette ... Bartender
George Plimpton ... Winston F. Buckner
Jennifer Trier Jennifer Trier ... Grierson Institute Teacher
P.J. Ochlan ... Damon Wells
John Bell John Bell ... Joey X
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Storyline

Dede is a sole parent trying to bring up her son Fred. When it is discovered that Fred is a genius, she is determined to ensure that Fred has all the opportunities that he needs, and that he is not taken advantage of by people who forget that his extremely powerful intellect is harboured in the body and emotions of a child. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's not what he knows. It's what he understands.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jodie Foster's directorial film debut. See more »

Goofs

When asked the question of what factors the number 3,067 has, Damon replies that the number has no factors because it is prime. That is incorrect. Every prime number has two factors: 1 and the number itself. Yet the moderator accepts his answer of "no factors" without even asking for clarification. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Fred Tate: It's funny, cause I *think* I can even remember being born. For the first two weeks of my life I didn't even have a name. Dede couldn't make up her mind. She finally decided on Fred. She said that she had never heard of a little kid named Fred before.
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Connections

Referenced in Hoops: The Sponsor (2020) See more »

Soundtracks

I Get A Kick Out Of You
Words and music by Cole Porter
Performed by Ella Fitzgerald
Courtesy of Polygram Special Products
A Division of Polygram Group Distribution, Inc.
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User Reviews

 
Through the Eyes of a Child...
31 December 2004 | by bobjaxonSee all my reviews

I've long been a fan of Jodie Foster's acting, and upon my first viewing of "Little Man Tate", I can now say I'm a fan of her directorial talents as well.

The story is of Fred Tate, son of single mother Dede. It's found that, at the age of 2, Fred can already read the print on the bottom of a dinner plate. Dede, and the rest of the world, realize that Fred is a genius, but Dede is determined that Fred, while given ever opportunity to expand his gift, is not exploited by the well meaning, but pretentious head mistress of a school for gifted children, Jane Grierson, portrayed by the outstanding actress Dianne Wiest.

The story's told, mainly, through the eyes of Fred; however, we also see the viewpoints of Dede & Jane who each feel that she alone has Fred's best interests at heart. We are given tremendous insight into how Fred sees and relates to the world around him. He has the understanding that's beyond most adults but only the emotional experience of his 7 years of life.

Through Fred, we can see that the academic world of gifted children isn't just filled with the nice, polite, precocious, bespectacled children that we are often shown on news magazines or public television programs. We are allowed to see that some are as outright rude and pretentious as the adults who claim to be only nurturing their gifts.

In her feature-film directorial debut, Foster is able to capture the world as Fred sees it. She's able still allow us to see Fred as the youngster he is. Fred's intellect isn't the basis of the story, just one element in it. She lets the story do the work, and she let's the character's tell the tale. She allows the characters to be real people not just the stereotypes that so often are found in films dealing with this subject matter.

Jodie Foster's only directed two films since this one ("Home For The Holidays"-1995 & "Flora Plum"-2005), and I've seen "Home For The Holidays" which I also feel was very well done. It seems that Ms. Foster is being very careful in picking her projects, much like the late Stanley Kubrick did. I only hope her unique talents are recognized and she's given more green lights for future projects.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

1 November 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Little Man Tate See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$230,106, 14 October 1991

Gross USA:

$25,010,896

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$25,010,896
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Orion Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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