• Post category:Movies
  • Post last modified:December 22, 2021

Children of a Lesser God


childrenofalessergodJames Leeds (William Hurt) is hired as a teacher at a New England school for the deaf and becomes intrigued with a young woman who works there as a cleaner and refuses to let anyone teach her how to use her voice. The first major release since the silent era to feature a deaf person in a lead role, a romantic drama that portrays two people who try to make a relationship work in spite of a fundamental conflict – the art of communication is fraught with controversy. Clichéd at times but buoyed by Hurt and Marlee Matlin’s performances and the director’s romantic yet realistic treatment of the subject matter in her feature film debut.

1986-U.S. 110 min. Color. Produced by Patrick Palmer, Burt Sugarman. Directed by Randa Haines. Screenplay: Mark Medoff, Hesper Anderson. Play: Mark Medoff. Cast: William Hurt (James Leeds), Marlee Matlin (Sarah Norman), Piper Laurie (Mrs. Norman), Philip Bosco, Alison Gompf, John F. Cleary.

Oscar: Best Actress (Matlin). Golden Globe: Best Actress (Matlin).

Last word: “Sarah and I couldn’t have been more different in terms of our upbringing or our approach to life. Whereas Sarah was rebellious, refused to speak, had a difficult relationship with her mother, and was distrustful of people who didn’t sign, I was not. I enjoyed speaking and signing growing up, had a normal childhood that wasn’t marred by too much rebelliousness (though like any teenager, I was a bit of a drama queen, but who isn’t in their teen years? Ha!), and I had a close and loving relationship with my family. What I did draw from my own upbringing and what I did use in the movie was the spirit of independence that my parents gave me. Sarah was as independent as they come and was never afraid to speak her mind. That was pretty much who I was growing up, so in that way, we were alike.” (Matlin, How’s Your Hearing?)



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