6.8/10
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23 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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Photos

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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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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

Graham Holt: I cried.
Debbie: So I heard.
Graham Holt: Isn't it usual to phone before you visit?
Debbie: Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. I like to catch people unawares.
Graham Holt: Anyway, there's no point now.
Debbie: Why?
Graham Holt: I told you. I cried in front of the child I was hoping to adopt and his - what's it called - his key worker.
Debbie: Best thing you could have done. Now they're both crazy about you.
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Connections

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

Soundtracks

The Wren
(La Capinera)
Performed by Josephine Tumminia with Jimmy Dorsey and his Orchestra
Courtesy of MCA Records
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User Reviews

Well done!
29 July 2003 | by kirkegarfieldSee all my reviews

This is a moving, touching film. For me a little bit frightening too. In the real world there are some people, who behave like Holt. (Unimportant, but funny that the word "Holt" means Dead in Hungarian which is my first language.) This movie is like a therapy, an advice for unhappy, lonely people. A believable film is a great pleasure nowadays, but if you meet your own life face-to-face in a script, well... it's pretty scary. If you pay attention good enough, it changes your life! Thank God for this film!


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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
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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