220 user 58 critic

Simon Birch (1998)

A young boy with stunted growth is convinced that God has a great purpose for him.


Mark Steven Johnson (screenplay), John Irving (novel)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Joseph Mazzello ... Joe Wenteworth
Ashley Judd ... Rebecca Wenteworth
Oliver Platt ... Ben Goodrich
David Strathairn ... Rev. Russell
Dana Ivey ... Grandmother Wenteworth
Ian Michael Smith ... Simon Birch
Beatrice Winde Beatrice Winde ... Hilde Grove
Jan Hooks ... Miss Leavey
Cecilley Carroll Cecilley Carroll ... Marjorie
Sumela Kay ... Ann (as Sumela-Rose Keramidopulos)
Sam Morton Sam Morton ... Stuart
Jim Carrey ... Adult Joe Wenteworth
John Mazzello John Mazzello ... Simon Wenteworth
Holly Dennison Holly Dennison ... Mrs. Birch
Peter MacNeill ... Mr. Birch


Simon Birch tells the story of Joe and Simon's heart-warming journey of friendship. Simon Birch was born with a condition that makes him much smaller than all the other kids in town. Now, due to his condition, Simon thinks God made him this way for a reason and highly believes in God. Together, Joe and Simon go on a journey of trust and friendship to find the answers to many things. Their friendship is put to the test when some unfortunate events happen. Written by Thorpe89

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Destiny has big plans for little Simon Birch.


Comedy | Drama | Family

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for language, emotional thematic elements, and an accident scene | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

11 September 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Prayer for Owen Meany See more »

Filming Locations:

Elora, Ontario, Canada See more »


Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,321,370, 13 September 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$18,252,684, 27 December 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Sandra Bullock was, at one point, considered for the part of Rebecca Wenteworth. See more »


Joe and Simon are at the Police Station, the music playing is "Nowhere to Run" by Martha and the Vandellas, which was first released Feb 10, 1965. The film was based in 1964. See more »


Simon Birch: Thank you Miss Wenteworth.
Rebecca Wenteworth: You know what Simon? Thank you.
See more »


Referenced in HBO First Look: The Making of 'The Mexican' (2001) See more »


Peter Gunn Theme
Composed by Henry Mancini
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

And the sap runneth over ...
13 September 1998 | by BalfourSee all my reviews

From almost the beginning, I knew I was in the hands of amateurs. They don 't give me a chance to like the characters before they're already force -feeding me with contrived emotion and fake poignancy. I can't really put my finger on it. Maybe it's the music, constantly wailing at me to feel feel. I'm already human; you can take it down a notch. Maybe it's the characters, all of whom I found rather obnoxious. But it's one thing to bear witness to a masterful storytelling which contains characters meant to be obnoxious. And it's quite another to experience said obnoxiousness in spades simply through the filmmaker(s) ineptitude. (Of course that Mazzello kid really just needs to be slapped. And Platt! Don't get me started ... he's currently on a crap-sappy marathon train ride straight to hell.) Maybe it's that I found much of the situations they put Ian Michael Smith into rather condescending and undignified. Someone's gonna say I'm nitpicking or obsessing because he's small. I'm not PC-knee-jerking that he should be either treated as if he were big or not seen at all. What I am saying is that with the filmmaker(s) heavy hand(s), he came off like an adorable little circus freak. And he was barely (just barely) given the chance to be anything but (the sinking-bus scene comes to mind). I often felt the director was trying to make the audience feel at ease with laughing at the little guy. ("It's a heartfelt tear-jerker; of *course* I 'm sincere!" "I'm not laughing at him, I'm just laughing with a profound joy in reaction to my heart-strings being tugged.") And Jim, Jim Jim Jim, what are you doing to me man? Not that I don't buy you in a serious role. I know you're good. But pick and choose, man, pick and choose!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 220 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed