Watch What the Deaf Man Heard
- 1 hr 38 min
What the Deaf Man Heard is a heartwarming, yet engaging, made-for-TV movie from 1997. Based on the E.H. Lupton novel, this film tells the story of Sammy Ayers, a deaf man in his early 20s, played by Matthew Modine. Despite his disability, Samuel is intelligent, caring, and has an uncanny ability to read lips exceptionally well. As a young boy, Samuel and his mother are abandoned by his father, and they move to a small Southern town to start anew. Sammy's mother, Lucille, played by Claire Bloom, has a rough exterior but a soft heart. To support them, Lucille opens up a gas station and grocery store and does her best to make ends meet. Everything seems to be going well until she meets the handsome (but very married) man, Norman, played by James Earl Jones, and falls in love.
Samuel, being deaf, overhears things he shouldn't, and what he hears changes everything. Witnessing an incident between his mother and Norman, Samuel decides to take matters into his own hands and pretend to be deaf and mute. This way, Samuel can gather information without anyone being suspicious of him.
As time goes by, Sammy ingratiates himself into the town by silently helping out with chores, all the while gathering important information about the town's residents. In the process, he learns the secrets of the town's people, some that are sad, others that shock him.
Everyone thinks him to be nothing more than a deaf and mute local boy who can't speak until he befriends and saves the life of the town's new librarian, Norma, played by Judith Ivey. She's kind and soon is taken under Sammy's wing when she unravels his secret. They soon become friends and confidantes.
As Sammy and Norma grow closer and closer, the town becomes more and more dependent on Sammy's wisdom. However, his secrets become harder and harder to keep, especially when he becomes mixed up in the town's drama, and Norman's wife arrives to stir things up even more.
What the Deaf Man Heard is an excellent movie that teaches both kindness and the value of honesty. The themes are timeless, and the plot is engaging and keeps the viewer interested throughout. It is a movie that everyone can enjoy from young children to senior citizens.
One of the strong points of the movie is the acting. Matthew Modine does a fantastic job portraying Sammy, who is deaf and mute but emotionally expressive and care. Claire Bloom is also extraordinary in her role, playing Lucille as gruff, but a loving single mother. Judith Ivey gives a sympathetic performance as the kind librarian, who becomes Sammy's confidante.
Another strong point is the cinematography. The filmmakers managed to craft excellent representation of the small town, with beautifully shot and constructed scenes. This movie manages to keep all of the visual elements polished and fresh, in addition to the powerful story it tells.
What the Deaf Man Heard is a must-see movie for anyone who loves heartwarming movies that teach valuable lessons about kindness and the importance of community. It's also a great pick for people who love stories that keep them engaged from beginning to end.
What the Deaf Man Heard is a 1997 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 38 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.0.