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

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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 ... 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

Percy: This isn't gonna be a highway interchange. This is the nothin'est nothin' I ever saw.
Tolliver Tynan: Maybe there's oil under here. Maybe we're floating on a gusher and don't even know it.
Percy: There's no oil under here! What we are floating on is the parking lot repaving fund, the parish renovation fund, the organ fund...
See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

Watch what you say, you never know who may be listening!
21 January 2001 | by LuckyDragonSee all my reviews

For me, Hallmark Hall of Fames are like the Super Bowl, the main event is nice to watch, but the commercials are the real reason to tune in. What can I say, I like cheez. However, "What the Deaf Man Heard" is a rare exception. This is a movie that captured my attention. I laughed, I cried, it was better than CATS. I don't believe it's on video, but CBS plays it again every so often. Check it out.


2 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 15 user reviews »

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