7.2/10
857
15 user 1 critic

What the Deaf Man Heard (1997)

Arriving in a new town, a child pretends to be deaf-mute to protect himself - a ruse which works so well that for twenty years he is custodian to all the town's secrets.

Director:

John Kent Harrison

Writers:

G.D. Gearino (novel), Robert W. Lenski (teleplay)
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at Amazon

Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Matthew Modine ... Sammy Ayers
Claire Bloom ... Mrs. Tynan
Judith Ivey ... Lucille
James Earl Jones ... Archibald Thacker
Jerry O'Connell ... Reverend Perry Ray Pruitt
Bernadette Peters ... Helen Ayers
Tom Skerritt ... Norm Jenkins
Anne Bobby ... Tallasse Tynan
Stephen Spinella ... Percy
Jake Weber ... Tolliver Tynan
Frankie Muniz ... Young Sammy
Andy Stahl ... Finis
Tyler Noyes Tyler Noyes ... Young Tolliver
Hallee Hirsh ... Young Tallasse
Teagle F. Bougere Teagle F. Bougere ... Abraham Thacker
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Storyline

In 1945, a young boy arrives in a small Georgia town on a bus from which his mother was abducted and murdered. Alone he sits quietly and everyone becomes convinced that he is deaf and mute. Deciding that silence offers some power and protection, the boy decides to remain mute and just listens to all that is being said around him by people who think that he cannot hear. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

For twenty years, he lived in silence. Now his heart needs to speak the truth.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 November 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hallmark Hall of Fame: What the Deaf Man Heard (#47.1) See more »

Filming Locations:

Wilmington, North Carolina, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Matthew Modine remained in character all through filming. He rode his bike around the locations and never spoke, instead writing in a notepad just as Sammy did. See more »

Goofs

Norm Jenkins finds Sammy's suitcase and learns his identity but doesn't tell anyone about the suitcase. Yet the entire town knew and used his full name, presumably starting soon after his first day in Barrington, and the police never searched for his mother after that first day even though his name was known. See more »

Quotes

Sammy Ayers: It was then that I was struck by a revelation: if people thought you were deaf and not able to talk, they blurt out their true feelings without holding back.
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Connections

Edited into Hallmark Hall of Fame (1951) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Relax!
1 March 2003 | by junction1066See all my reviews

All you have to do is sit back and observe what is going on in the town and you can identify with Sammy and get in on the plots going on around him. His faking it is a great deal more believable than much of what is on the tube these days. Quit trying to make more of it than was meant.


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