6.6/10
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Little Man Tate (1991)

PG | | Drama | 1 November 1991 (USA)
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Fred Tate is a prodigy. He's also a lonely, little boy with the emotional needs that his single mom covers. Worries about world problems gives him ulcer. He takes a quantum physics summer college class at 7.

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

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

David Hyde Pierce and George Plimpton later appeared as Richard Nixon's lawyers in Nixon (1995). See more »

Goofs

(At 19:31-19:36) When Fred is playing the piano, a close-up of his hands show hands that look completely different (and much larger) than his own. They are obviously hands of a piano-playing double. 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 Jeopardy!: Episode #33.95 (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Mozart's Piana Quartet In E Flat Major, KV493
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (as Mozart)
Performed by Jacques Rouvier/Mozart String Trio
Courtesy of Denon/Nippon Columbia Co., Ltd.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

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User Reviews

 
If you don't love Fred, there's something wrong with you!
14 January 2004 | by xavrush89See all my reviews

A great directorial debut by Jodie Foster, not overly ambitious, but wholly effective. She plays a mother who wants her genius son to have an ordinary life, once his intelligence is discovered, yet in his "normal life," he's a total misfit. The way Foster brings these fragile little egos together is intriguing. The film is also a showcase for Wiest's quirky charms, she adds much humanity to a character who on the surface is unlikable, although it is Foster who gives the more subtle performance. (I disagree with one reviewer at the time who suggested they should have switched roles, it's more interesting seeing them each cast against type.) There are brief but nice supporting turns from Celia Weston and the late Danitra Vance. But it is Adam Hann-Byrd who makes the movie a total pleasure. If The Sixth Sense were made during this time (1991), he would have been the only choice for Haley Joel Osment's role. Never precocious, never going out of his way to pull at heartstrings, he could give several grown-up actors lessons in how to give a nuanced performance. A thoroughly enjoyable film.


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