6.7/10
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40 user 28 critic

Little Man Tate (1991)

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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 ... See full summary »

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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

1 November 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mentes que brillan See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$230,106, 11 October 1991, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$25,010,896
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Orion Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jodie Foster asked David Hyde Pierce to appear in the film after remembering him from college. They both attended Yale University. See more »

Goofs

(at around 50 mins) During a short part of Fred's piano piece, the notes he is hitting are obviously different to the ones that would be needed to make the sound. There is a part where the music is going down, but Fred's hands are moving up the keyboard. 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.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Fargo: The Law of Inevitability (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

What The World Needs Now Is Love
Lyrics by Hal David
Music by Burt Bacharach
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Treads the fine line of sap, but doesn't cross it.
6 February 1999 | by Sho NuffSee all my reviews

Little Man Tate is a very good movie. Jodie Foster's debut as a filmmaker shows a little boy genius, who we've all seen before. The difference is the little boy is human, and not just a brain. He worries about people dying, envies the popular athletic boy, all the while plays music in competition form and forms math problems on his head. The conflict between Jodie Foster, the mother, and Dianne Wiest, the child genius grown up, is somewhat annoying, but it makes sense, as they are both extremes of parenting. The child in this movie plays it superbly, as does Foster and Wiest. Some points of this movie I was about to worry that the emotional music was coming and we'd see some sappy speech. Thankfully that never happened. What this movie is, is an emotional movie that doesn't have a bad guy or good guy to root or cheer for. Everyone here's prerogatives make sense, and it's up to you who you support, and what you think about Fred Tate, the little genius.


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