6.4/10
103
3 user 4 critic

Henry & Verlin (1996)

Verlin is 9 years old and does not talk, nor does he even seem to hear. Henry, a child-like adult, befriends Verlin and pulls him from his shell. Verlin's mother mistrusts Henry, who she ... See full summary »

Director:

Gary Ledbetter

Writers:

Ken Ledbetter (short stories), Gary Ledbetter | 4 more credits »
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4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gary Farmer ... Henry
Keegan MacIntosh Keegan MacIntosh ... Verlin
Nancy Beatty Nancy Beatty ... Minnie
Robert Joy ... Ferris
Joan Orenstein Joan Orenstein ... Agnes
Eric Peterson ... Lovejoy
Margot Kidder ... Mabel
David Cronenberg ... Doc Fisher
Wilfrid Bray Wilfrid Bray ... Elvin
Neil Dainard Neil Dainard ... Noel Winetree
J. Winston Carroll J. Winston Carroll ... Rev. Rutherford
Diana Belshaw Diana Belshaw ... Judith
Norma Edwards Norma Edwards ... Lydia
Deborah Lobban ... Matilda
Nadine Rabinovitch Nadine Rabinovitch ... Hilda
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Storyline

Verlin is 9 years old and does not talk, nor does he even seem to hear. Henry, a child-like adult, befriends Verlin and pulls him from his shell. Verlin's mother mistrusts Henry, who she feels is dangerous. Eventually, Henry's family is convinced that he should be placed in an institution. Henry's sudden disappearance from Verlin's world drives him deeper into himself. Written by Fryingham

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 January 1997 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Eyes That Went Away See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Henry's Harmonica
Composed and played by Gary Farmer
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User Reviews

 
I thought it was disturbing...and not in a good way.
23 November 2004 | by xfile1971See all my reviews

Henry is a grown man who is mentally retarded. Verlin is a little boy who never speaks. Together, they are supposed to warm your hearts as you watch them frolic about as loving soulmates.

Henry has a nasty habit of kidnapping Verlin and carrying him around on his shoulders. He's not very responsible and also has the habit of inadvertently injuring Verlin. He knocks the kid to the ground and slams his head against things. It's all quite adorable. Henry is kind enough to show Verlin the joys of smoking (and strangely smoking is heavily promoted in this film). The boy doesn't enjoy his first cigarette very much and throws it into a pile of hay. This starts a fire and Henry tries to put it out by urinating on it. The fire continues to rage so he has an ingenious idea...he unzips Verlin's pants so he can urinate on the fire too. Ah yes, that's doubly adorable.

Henry introduces Verlin to his friend, the prostitute with the heart of gold. She would be a total movie cliché except that she is given a wooden leg. Of course, it breaks off to provide the viewer with a supposedly side-splitting moment of laughter. Soon enough, Henry and Verlin are sharing a bed together in their undies. A couple of women burst in on them and have the nerve to get upset! Ultimately, the adorable tyke and his dim-witted "special friend" fight the system in the hopes of running off together happily ever after.

I'm not sure who is supposed to be the target audience of this film. The pace of the movie is very slow and the subject matter has limited appeal. I truly thought when I purchased the DVD that it would be a touching story about people who are considered different from others and how they are often ignored or ridiculed by supposedly "normal" people. Instead, I got an uneasy story about a man and a boy's obsession with each other. 1/10


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