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The Boy Who Could Fly (1986)

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An autistic boy who dreams of flying touches everyone he meets, including a new family who has moved in after their father dies.

Director:

Nick Castle

Writer:

Nick Castle
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3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lucy Deakins ... Milly
Jay Underwood ... Eric
Bonnie Bedelia ... Charlene
Fred Savage ... Louis
Colleen Dewhurst ... Mrs. Sherman
Fred Gwynne ... Uncle Hugo
Mindy Cohn ... Geneva
Janet MacLachlan ... Mrs. D'Gregario
Jennifer Michas Jennifer Michas ... Mona
Michelle Bardeaux ... Erin
Aura Pithart Aura Pithart ... Colette
Cameron Bancroft ... Joe (as Cam Bancroft)
Jason Priestley ... Gary (as Jason Priestly)
Chris Arnold Chris Arnold ... Sonny
Sean Kelso Sean Kelso ... Bad Boy
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Storyline

Charlene Michaelson, her two children - teen-aged Amelia 'Milly' Michaelson and precocious adolescent Louis Michaelson - and their dog Max move into a new house in a new neighborhood after the passing of Charlene's husband/the kids' father, Donald Michaelson. Beyond life without Donald, they are all nervous about starting a new life, which, for Charlene, means getting back into the workforce after thirteen years. Milly quickly settles into the neighborhood if only because she becomes fascinated with their next door neighbor, teen-aged Eric Gibb, who authorities believe is autistic. Orphaned Eric has never spoken a word, and without having been told about the incident, began to think he could fly at the exact moment his parents died in a plane crash. Many believe Eric's belief is because he felt he could thus save his parents. Eric's guardian is his dipsomaniac Uncle Hugo Gibb. Milly's high school teacher, Mrs. Carolyn Sherman, who used to be a special needs teacher, looks after Eric ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A very special love. And a very special magic. But is it real magic or just an illusion? See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 September 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Chlopiec, który umial latac See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$204,461, 17 August 1986

Gross USA:

$7,177,431

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$7,177,431
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The video game Fred Savage is playing is the same video game played in "The Last Starfighter". See more »

Goofs

Cables holding Eric can visibly be seen as he and Millie are falling off the roof of the school before they crash into Millie's mom. See more »

Quotes

[after Eric and Milly flew in front of the entire town, Eric flies away, never to be seen again]
Milly: [narrating] That night, I found out why Eric flew away. Our house was crawling with people who wanted to see Eric Gibb, the boy who could fly. There were scientists and doctors and TV reporters. When they couldn't find Eric, they did tests on me, because I flew with him. They did tests on Uncle Hugo, too, because he was a relative and had the same genes. Then they took everything out of his room and ...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

The Disney Channel version of this film that aired in the late 1980's had been edited. Some scenes had been edited down or taken out, and the bad language had been dubbed. Also at the end of the program the star Jay Underwood gave a special message to young viewers telling them not to try anything they saw him perform in the film. He explained that they had special wires attached to him to make it look as though he could fly. See more »


Soundtracks

Walkin' On Air
Written and Performed by Stephen Bishop
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Perfect warm-hearted family faire mixes down-to-Earth drama with flightful fantasy
27 May 2000 | by ets2000See all my reviews

The Boy Who Could Fly is one of those rare family films that mixes just a touch of fantasy with a truly down-to-Earth dramatic story.

Following the death of Bedelia's husband, she moves her family into a new neighborhood next door to an autistic young man (Underwood). Deakins gains interest in Underwood's silent world of thought while attempting to keep things stable at home. Unusual things begin to happen around Underwood. While life seemingly falls apart for her family, Deakins and the audience are irresistably drawn into Underwood's world and we begin to question if his apparent dream to fly isn't more than just a fantasy. The acting in this film is superb, especially silent Underwood who conveys more thought and emotion with his eyes, face and body than the actors who speak. Bruce Broughton's melodious score is heartwarming and delivers full enchantment for the "flying?" scenes. (The main theme is so enchanting, the Walt Disney company has used it to open every film at their El Capitan theater in Hollywood, CA). This is a wonderful film for the entire family. Slight warning: for families that have recently lost a parent, it would be a good idea for the other parent to watch with the kiddies. And although they may find themselves dealing with the emotion of their trauma, they should feel much better when the film ends.


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