7.6/10
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446 user 121 critic

I Am Sam (2001)

PG-13 | | Drama | 25 January 2002 (USA)
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2:23 | Trailer

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ON DISC
A mentally handicapped man fights for custody of his 7-year-old daughter and in the process teaches his cold-hearted lawyer the value of love and family.

Director:

Jessie Nelson
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Popularity
3,599 ( 146)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sean Penn ... Sam Dawson
Michelle Pfeiffer ... Rita
Dakota Fanning ... Lucy
Dianne Wiest ... Annie
Loretta Devine ... Margaret Calgrove
Richard Schiff ... Turner
Laura Dern ... Randy Carpenter
Brad Silverman Brad Silverman ... Brad (as Brad Allan Silverman)
Joseph Rosenberg Joseph Rosenberg ... Joe
Stanley DeSantis ... Robert
Doug Hutchison ... Ifty
Rosalind Chao ... Lily
Ken Jenkins ... Judge McNeily
Wendy Phillips ... Miss Wright
Mason Lucero Mason Lucero ... Conner Rhodes
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Storyline

Sam Dawson has the mental capacity of a 7-year-old. He works at a Starbucks and is obsessed with the Beatles. He has a daughter with a homeless woman; she abandons them as soon as they leave the hospital. He names his daughter Lucy Diamond (after the Beatles song) and raises her. But as she reaches age 7 herself, Sam's limitations start to become a problem at school; she's intentionally holding back to avoid looking smarter than him. The authorities take her away and Sam shames high-priced lawyer Rita Harrison into taking his case pro bono. In the process, he teaches her a great deal about love and whether it's really all you need. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

love is all you need

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Warner Bros.

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 January 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Yo soy Sam See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$22,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$67,418, 30 December 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$40,311,852

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$97,818,139
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dakota Fanning's character is named Lucy Diamond from The Beatles song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds." Michelle Pfeiffer's character's name is Rita Harrison, from the song "Lovely Rita," and the last name of Beatles member George Harrison. Sam, Lucy, and Sam's friends walking across the street with the balloons is a tribute to the case cover of "Abbey Road." Sean Penn wanted the soundtrack to be all Beatles music but was unable to get the rights, so he asked various artists to cover the Beatles songs he wanted to use. And in order for the re-recorded music to fit into the movie, each of the artists had to use the same tempo as the original Beatles songs. See more »

Goofs

In the very beginning shot, when Sam is sorting sugar packets in the holders, he puts the brown "raw sugar" packets in front. When he is shown setting the holders on the tables, the brown packets are in the middle. See more »

Quotes

Rita: You answer in one sentence.
Ifty: I answer in one sentence. Short and sweet. Tim Curry was a "Sweet Tranvestite" in the 'Rocky Horror Picture Show'
Rita: You better make that one word.
See more »

Connections

Features Lost in Space (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Looking through You
Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
Performed by The Wallflowers
The Wallflowers appear courtesy of Interscope Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Greatest Film I've Ever Seen
25 February 2007 | by SteakSalad_101See all my reviews

I Am Sam is one of, if not the best, motion picture of all time.

I Am Sam is about a retarded man named Sam (Sean Penn) who has a mental capacity of a 7-year old. He works as a server at Starbucks, is obsessed with The Beatles, and loves IHOP. After he accidentally has a daughter (Dakota Fanning) with a homeless woman who he names after the song Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds. The woman leaves him, and Sam is left to care for Lucy by himself. However, when Lucy intentionally begins to hold back in school to prevent becoming smarter from her father, child protective services takes her away and Sam must fight to obtain custody. He befriends a lawyer, Rita (Michelle Pfeiffer) with a bad marriage and a son who she thinks hates her. Together, Sam and Rita fight for Lucy's custody in a heartwrenching roller coaster of tears, laughs, and the overwhelming power of human spirit.

This is all beside some of the most stunning performances I've ever seen in a film. Sean Penn is top of his game and gives an amazingly realistic performance as a disabled man without a single flaw. To this day it makes me furious he didn't win the Oscar. Dakota Fanning's premiere role is by far her greatest ever, and at only six years old opened the eyes of actresses who've been in the business for years and basically screamed into their faces "This is how acting is done." And Michelle Pfeiffer delivers a phenomenal, incredibly realistic performance that will absolutely take your breath away.

As the film progresses, you will find yourself laughing one minute, crying the next (you WILL cry no matter how mature or old you are, so make sure you have tissues), the next moment tapping your foot along to the familiar Beatles tunes found throughout the movie (even though they're covers) and the next moment simply staring at the screen not believing your eyes and ears at how emotionally powerful a film can be.

And after watching, you won't want to ever give the DVD back to Blockbuster. If you don't at least give this movie a chance, you will truly be missing out on one of the shiniest gems of modern cinema ever.


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