Children of a Lesser God (1986)

Randa Haines directs William Hurt, Marlee Matlin and Philip Bosco in this adaptation of the Tony Award winning play where a speech therapist at a deaf school and a Deaf cleaner start a tempestuous romance.

Marlee Matlin’s Oscar winning performance is still outstanding but the movie it is submerged within is very much “of its time”. People think the worse excesses of the Eighties are crimped hair or synth music, but for me it is narratives like these where issues of “otherness” can be solved by the right over confident posh honky rocking up for a few weeks. For example – why is all of the signed dialogue interpreted aloud by Hurt’s right-on horn dog? It means all the views and declarations of the Deaf characters are filtered through the mouth of a hearing WASP. Ick! If you can move past the dated attitudes (this really should be a story told mainly from the Sarah character’s perspective) then there are good scenes and occasional spikes in heat and grit that interrupt the formula.


Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here

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