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Untamed Heart (1993)

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A waitress hardly notices a shy busboy who secretly loves her; until one night she's attacked and he comes to her rescue. From there a relationship sparks but one secret could mean disaster for these fated lovers.


Tony Bill


Tom Sierchio
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Christian Slater ... Adam
Marisa Tomei ... Caroline
Rosie Perez ... Cindy
Kyle Secor ... Howard
Willie Garson ... Patsy
James Cada James Cada ... Bill #1
Gary Groomes ... Bill #2
Claudia Wilkens ... Mother Camilla
Pat Clemons Pat Clemons ... Sister Helen
Lotis Key Lotis Key ... Nun
Vanessa Hart Vanessa Hart ... Nun
Charley Bartlett Charley Bartlett ... Young Adam
Vincent Kartheiser ... Orphan Boy
Wendy Feder Wendy Feder ... Orphange Nurse
Nancy Marvy Nancy Marvy ... Caroline's Mom


Caroline has not had much luck in love. Boyfriends seem to either leave her or cheat on her. Then she meets a shy, introverted man at work named Adam. When leaving work one day, two men attack her. Adam comes to her rescue. Unfortunately, retaliation by the attackers sends Adam to the hospital where he finds out he has a diseased heart. Adam is an orphan and was told he had a baboon's heart. He refuses a transplant, as he believes his love for Caroline is contained in his damaged heart. Before tragedy can strike, they have a passionate but brief romance. Adam opens up to Caroline and he, in turn, heals her broken heart. Written by msdebello@aol.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He doesn't make sense. She doesn't make sense. Together they make sense.


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some strong language and violence, and for sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:






Release Date:

12 February 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Baboon Heart See more »


Box Office


$7,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The year this movie was released, the Minnesota North Stars moved to Texas and became the Dallas Stars. See more »


When Caroline and Cindy are standing at the front counter refilling the salt and pepper shakers, when Caroline is talking about her Christmas plans, Cindy has a pen stuck in the right side of her ponytail. A few minutes later, as the two women walk to the back counter to start on the sugar jars, the pen has disappeared. See more »


Caroline: Don't let people stand in your way. They're just people. like you and me! Well, maybe not like you. I don't know if I have ever met anyone like you before.
See more »

Alternate Versions

A scene where Marisa Tomei took off her brassiere was re-shot at a different angle. The scene from the front showing her topless was only for broadcast on European television. However, the front topless has been viewed in the United States. So Comcast Cable must be running European versions even though USA version was supposed to be PG-13-rated. See more »


References Candid Camera (1960) See more »


Written & Performed by Julia Fordham
Courtesy of Virgin Records America, Inc./CIRCA Records Ltd.
Published by Blue Mountain Music Ltd. (PRS)
See more »

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User Reviews

A thoughtfully, well-acted romantic weepy.
11 August 2003 | by higbySee all my reviews

As an audience we all grow more cynical and demanding, the more films that we see. Our expectations are constantly being upgraded and shifted to new levels of anticipation. I really did not expect 'Untamed Heart' to have quite the same impact today, as it did when I first saw it. I was wrong. I still cried. It's still the most heart warming, feel good, romantic comedy I've ever seen.

For those who are not familiar with the story, Christian Slater plays the part of the mysterious Adam who works as a busboy in a diner. All his life he's never physically come into contact with people, and he never speaks. You could say he lives in his own magic kingdom, hermetically sealed from the outside world-so much so that at the age of 26, he still believes in a fairy tale the nuns told him when he was growing up in an orphanage, involving magic rubies trickling down from a magic mountain, and being given a 'baboon heart.' Later, he even admits to possessing 'magic' records that he plays 'whenever the world doesn't agree with him.'

In real life it would be hard not to raise a smile at such an account, or at the very least be convinced the person was in need of some serious medication, but it's a testament to the power of the story that like Caroline(portrayed by the Marisa Tomei) rather then dismiss him, we start accepting his childlike understanding of the world. We overlook it when at the start of the film, Caroline asks him questions and he doesn't even respond. Anybody else would consider that plain rude. We forgive him when he creeps into Caroline's bedroom to watch her sleeping. We understand when he follows her home repeatedly, keeping at a safe distance to remain undetected. The reason we're able to make such adjustments, is that normal rules here do not apply, because in the world that he lives in, it's not inhabited by mere humans. He still occupies that fantastic world that we so readily discarded as children, because we had to embrace the darker reality of adulthood in order to cope with our new responsibilities. So Adam's character, while undoubtedly naive, offers no real threat. As an audience, we know where he's coming from. He's simply trying to make sense of the world around him, and does not understand how to behave any different.

Gradually, over the course of the film Caroline brings out more and more from Adam, and because of his unique perspective and vantage point, some of the things he says and does to convince Caroline of his love for her remain long after the credits roll.

If we've ever had our heart broken and as a result we try to 'tame' our heart so we don't get hurt again, this is the film we should watch, because it reminds us what love is, and what love can be. Any hurt that we may have felt is nothing compared to the joy we feel when we do get it right.

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