7.1/10
1,367
20 user 9 critic

Second Best (1994)

PG-13 | | Drama | 30 September 1994 (USA)
Trailer
2:00 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Prime Video

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 »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

CrissCross (1992)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Set in 1969, a twelve-year-old grows up in Key West with his mother, who is paying the bills by stripping at the local topless bar. The boy finds out about her activities and tries to ... See full summary »

Director: Chris Menges
Stars: Goldie Hawn, Arliss Howard, James Gammon
Jet Boy (2001)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A drug dealer finds an unlikely traveling companion in a runaway kid trying to dodge social services.

Director: Dave Schultz
Stars: Branden Nadon, Joe Norman Shaw, Dylan Walsh
The Sunchaser (1996)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Michael Reynolds is a rich oncologist who has a one hundred seventy-five thousand dollar sports car, a multi-million dollar house, and a new boost in his career. Brandon "Blue" Monroe is a ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Cimino
Stars: Woody Harrelson, Jon Seda, Anne Bancroft
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

A modernized version of the story which inspired Verdi's opera, "La Forza del Destino".

Director: Gregory Nava
Stars: William Hurt, Timothy Hutton, Melissa Leo
Trial by Jury (1994)
Thriller | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Valerie is a juror in the trail of a mob boss. When her young son's life is threatened, she has no option other than to see that justice isn't done.

Director: Heywood Gould
Stars: Joanne Whalley, Armand Assante, Gabriel Byrne
The Lost Son (1999)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Xavier Lombard is a world-weary private eye in London, in exile from his native Paris; his best friend is Nathalie, a high-class call girl. He gets a call from an old friend from the Paris ... See full summary »

Director: Chris Menges
Stars: Daniel Auteuil, Nastassja Kinski, Katrin Cartlidge
A World Apart (1988)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A White enclave in Johannesburg, South Africa, in the 1960s. Molly Roth, 13 years old, is the daughter of leftist parents, and she must piece together what's happening around her when her ... See full summary »

Director: Chris Menges
Stars: Barbara Hershey, David Suchet, Jodhi May
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A divorced father and his eight-year-old son are about to spend a somewhat predictable weekend together, nevertheless, when a valuable toolbox gets stolen, the search for the thieves will soon turn into a true family bonding.

Director: Bob Nelson
Stars: Clive Owen, Maria Bello, Jaeden Martell
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A woman's life falls apart after she's blamed for an accident on her property.

Director: Scott Elliott
Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Julianne Moore, Dara Perlmutter
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

People and life can be cruel, and in their face, Fannette is cool: toward an old acquaintance, to her daughter, to colleagues. Beneath the surface, she roils with passion for a lost love, ... See full summary »

Director: Tonie Marshall
Stars: Catherine Deneuve, William Hurt, Bernard Le Coq
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

In Russia, in 1907, a rich lenient husband of a loose unfaithful woman is brutally murdered. She and her two lovers are suspects, but what about the stranger she met just before the murder? With no friends left, she and the stranger bond.

Director: Georges Bardawil
Stars: Sandrine Bonnaire, William Hurt, Jerzy Radziwilowicz
Silent Fall (1994)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

An autistic boy witnesses his parents' double murder. Richard Dreyfuss as a controversial therapist, seeks to probe the child's mind in order to solve the case.

Director: Bruce Beresford
Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Linda Hamilton, John Lithgow
Edit

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
Edit

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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 September 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Difícil elección See more »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Final theatrical movie of Alfred Lynch (Edward). See more »

Quotes

James: [emerging from the school bus Friday afternoon] You've got a broody expression, like a hen with constipation. Well, don't, 'cuz I've got the hermity. We're going camping this weekend. It'll be great!
Graham Holt: Not this weekend.
James: Why not?
Graham Holt: We have a visitor.
James: [pauses, puzzled] We never have visitors.
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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

An excellent movie
15 April 2003 | by c_bergrenSee all my reviews

I rarely write reviews for movies. And having seen the other excellent reviews, mine is hardly needed. But I stumbled across this movie and felt I had to comment on it.

This is an excellent movie with wonderful acting, directing, writing, screen play, and filming. I saw the last 2/3 of the movie by accident and could not tear myself away from it.

William Hurt and the boy actor (sorry - forgot the name) are thrown together by life's accidents and develop bonds for one another. The rough edges on each character are worn smooth as each accommodates the other and learns of the other's trials and humanity. The acting is superb and rarely gets in the way of the content - more to the point, the acting complements the story well.

But what makes the movie special is the character development. The writing, directing, and screen play successfully convey the existential experiences of the actors as they develop and react to one another.

A good song, a good poem, a good book - are made special if they are accessible - if they evoke within you the ring of truth and personal history. This movie communicated with me extremely well on a personal basis, on many plans at the same time. Every element of this film was well crafted. The movie is cerebral and touching - with very few rough edges. I couldn't recommend it more highly for an adult audience.


20 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 20 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed