6.9/10
1,419
20 user 9 critic

Second Best (1994)

PG-13 | | Drama | 30 September 1994 (USA)
Trailer
1:58 | Trailer
Graham, a lonely Welsh postal worker, adopts James, a troubled ten-year-old boy. Graham always wanted a son, but James loves his biological father too much to give Graham a chance. Will the two be able to accept each other as family?

Director:

Chris Menges

Writers:

David Cook (novel), David Cook (screenplay)
Reviews
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
William Hurt ... Graham Holt
Nathan Yapp Nathan Yapp ... Jimmy
Keith Allen ... John
Chris Cleary Miles Chris Cleary Miles ... James
Doris Irving Doris Irving ... Adoption Shop Volunteer
James Warrior James Warrior ... Senior Social Worker
Jane Horrocks ... Debbie
Alfred Lynch ... Edward
Rachel Freeman Rachel Freeman ... Elsie
Gus Troakes Gus Troakes ... Jeffo
Mossie Smith Mossie Smith ... Lynn
Martin Troakes Martin Troakes ... Colin
Shaun Dingwall ... Graham, age 20
Paul Wilson Paul Wilson ... Colin, age 20
Alan Cumming ... Bernard
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Storyline

Graham Holt is a lonely middle-aged man who runs a postal substation in a small village in England. He decides to adopt a son. James is the troubled youth he gets with the assistance of social worker Debbie. James has been in an orphanage for years since his mother committed suicide. He adores his outlaw father John, sent to prison not long after the mother's death. Can James learn to love Graham? Can Graham settle for being second best? Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 September 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Difícil elección See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$19,190, 2 October 1994

Gross USA:

$86,115

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$86,115
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Theatrical movie debuts of Chris Cleary Miles, Nathan Yapp, and Jake Owen. They all played Jimmy/James at different ages, and this role remains their only acting movie work. See more »

Quotes

Debbie: If he gets ya practicing knots, just remember, untying them again's the hard part.
See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Only You/Second Best/Pulp Fiction (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Imagination
Written and Performed by Simon Boswell
Published by Sunfun Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

A very moving and well acted film. Slow moving but real.
16 September 2001 | by cuthbertsonsSee all my reviews

William Hurt is very believable as a west country postmaster and the adoption process is taken apart in a sympathetic and believable manner. The film has charm and pace while dealing with a difficult subject. If it were to be made now would there be a different emphasis in the light of current obsessions with protecting children from paedophiles?


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