7.3/10
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115 user 33 critic

The Mighty (1998)

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Two young boys, both social outcasts in their small town, form an unlikely friendship.

Director:

Peter Chelsom

Writers:

Rodman Philbrick (novel), Charles Leavitt (screenplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Harry Dean Stanton ... Grim
Gena Rowlands ... Gram
Elden Henson ... Maxwell Kane
Douglas Bisset Douglas Bisset ... Homeless Man
Joe Perrino ... Blade
Dov Tiefenbach ... Doghouse Boy #1
Michael Colton Michael Colton ... Doghouse Boy #2
Daniel Lee ... Doghouse Boy #3
Eve Crawford Eve Crawford ... Mrs. Donelli
Kieran Culkin ... Kevin Dillon
Sharon Stone ... Gwen Dillon
John Bourgeois ... Mr. Sacker
Bruce Tubbe Bruce Tubbe ... Officer
Rudy Webb Rudy Webb ... Mr. Hampton
Ron Nigrini Ron Nigrini ... Man in Diner
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Storyline

This tells the story of a strong friendship between a young boy with Morquio's syndrome and an older boy who is always bullied because of his size. Adapted from the novel, Freak the Mighty, the film explores a building of trust and friendship. Kevin, an intelligent guy helps out Maxwell to improve his reading skills. In return, Kevin wants Maxwell to take him out places since he is not allowed out unauthorized. Being the social outcasts of the town, Kevin and Maxwell come to realize that they are similar to each other and accept that they are "freaks" and nothing will stop them. Written by Thorpe89

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

max has gained courage to look more closely n his own family story. he has gained the courage, to see the good and the bad, and the unfortunate ad found his character to be good and worthy. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for elements of violence and peril | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 October 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Freak the Mighty See more »

Filming Locations:

Cincinnati, Ohio, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$87,705, 11 October 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,643,689, 22 November 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Gena Rowlands (Gram) played Gloria Swenson in Gloria (1980) while Sharon Stone (Gwen Dillon) played her in the remake Gloria (1999). See more »

Goofs

After Max retrieves the purse from the sewer, we see a hand with a knife cut the rope holding the lid, which is supposed to be the hand of one of the boys of the gang. How could that boy arrive before all of the other boys, and at the same time as the boy on the motorcycle? See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Maxwell Kane: [narrating] It was Freak who told me about King Arthur. How he got this round table, and how he got the bravest knights, and the whole world to sit at that table. You will be brothers, said King Arthur. And you will fight for all those who ask for help. You will be gentle to the weak, but terrible to the wicked. It was Freak who told me about King Arthur. It was Freak who told me everything.
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Soundtracks

Let the Good Times Roll
(1956)
Written by Leonard Lee and Shirley Goodman
Performed by B.B. King and Zucchero
B.B. King appears courtesy of MCA records
Zucchero appears courtesy of Mercury records
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User Reviews

Sounds cheesy, but The Mighty is anything but.
5 January 1999 | by walshioSee all my reviews

"Sometimes seems like the whole world has just seen me on America's Most Wanted." (Max Kane)

So says the imposing gentle giant Max (the excellent Elden Ratliff). He is a 13-year-old with a murdered mother and murdering jailbird father (James Gandolfini), who has twice failed 8th grade and lives with disgruntled grandparents Gram and Grim (the particularly morose Harry Dean Stanton and Gena Rowlands). It's a wonder he isn't Mad Max. However, he has a saviour. A minor miracle named Kevin Dillon (Kieran Culkin). Sounds cheesy, but The Mighty is anything but.

Peter Chelson, director of the inventive and original Funny Bones, has lovingly superimposed Rodman Philbrick's successful children's book Freak The Mighty to the screen. The result is as moving as any kiddies film you've seen in the last ten years.

Kevin is suffering from Morquio's syndrome, a progressively degenerative disease that makes him unable to walk without leg braces. However, the boy is a considerable intellectual giant trapped inside a small, fragile body. As luck would have it he is consigned to tutor Max in remedial reading. In the words of Bogart it's the start of a "beautiful friendship".

Kevin introduces the big guy to Arthurian legend. "Every word is part of a picture. Every sentence is a picture. All you do, is let your imagination connect them together. If you have an imagination that is," he says.

Inspired by the knights in the book, the boys invent a fantasy world in which honour is everything. Together, Max and Kevin set out to battle their foes, both real and imagined.

Do not be put off by the presence of a Culkin or the mention of King Arthur. The Mighty is sincere, without being turgidly earnest, and genuinely uplifting. Sharon Stone equips herself well as the distraught mother of Kevin, but can't quite convince us that she doesn't ooze glamour. The "bad" kids also do not quite fit, resembling the troublesome urchins in Bugsy Malone rather than vicious Cincinnati hoodlums. However, these are minor quibbles, for ultimately The Mighty is several notches above the average children's film.

Ben Walsh


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