Children of a Lesser God (1986)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Children of a Lesser God Videos & Photos

Movie Info

Children of a Lesser God is a love story about a speech teacher who falls for a beautiful yet distant deaf girl in a small New England school for the deaf, and the obstacles that they face due to their differences. William Hurt plays James Leeds, a renegade teacher with an unconventional approach to education and a resume that includes stints as a bartender and a disk jockey. Upon his arrival, he is warned by school administrator Dr. Franklin (Philip Bosco) not to get creative with his … More

Rating: R
Genre: Drama, Romance, Musical & Performing Arts
Directed By:
Written By: Mark Medoff, Hesper Anderson, Lloyd Fonvielle
In Theaters:
On DVD: Nov 15, 2005
Paramount Pictures


as Sarah Norman

as James Leeds

as Mrs. Norman

as Dr. Curtis Franklin

as Mary Lee Ochs

as Alan Jones

as Mr. Harrison

as Announcer

as Announcer

as Announcer

as Announcer

as Announcer

as Marian Loesser
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Children of a Lesser God

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (8)

Children of a Lesser God, though given a handsome openness in Director Haines' production, cannot transcend the banalities of the play. But Matlin does. She is, one might say, a miracle worker.

Full Review… | March 16, 2011
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Hurt seems to be bucking for at least two Oscar nominations here: one for his performance, the other for best echo effects by an interpreter of signed speech.

Full Review… | March 16, 2011
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

A touching and universal love story.

Full Review… | July 22, 2008
Top Critic

A genuinely touching love story and a clever gloss on the barriers and extensions of language.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

There's scarcely a single moment in it that seems to be spontaneous.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

This is romance the way Hollywood used to make it, with both conflict and tenderness, at times capturing the texture of the day-to-day, at times finding the lyrical moments when two lovers find that time stops.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Children of a Lesser God


A sincere and touching drama with laudable performances by William Hurt and Marlee Matlin, whose wonderful chemistry together always convinces us of their characters' feelings for each other and of the real, authentic difficulties they meet in their relationship.

Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

A commentary on the state of the deaf community after so many years of innovation in teaching techniques, medicine, and biology, was missing from this romantic drama. Marlee Matlin was a great choice in casting, and her emotional portrayal of a deaf custodian was surely realistic and award show worthy, but many theater goers were probably filled with unanswered questions concerning what it is to be taken advantage of. The relationship between herself and Hurt's character is not only rooted in traditional truth but has a deeper chemistry that resonates. It was very enjoyable to watch Hurt teach children through relatibility, which is a tried and true formula, but he never gets Matlin out of her shell to a point where one can be satisifed. Slightly underwhelming.

Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

Slow and boring. The "love" seemed rushed and shallow for the depths of such drama! Performances for this movie have been overrated!

Thomas Johnston

Super Reviewer

Children of a Lesser God Quotes

– Submitted by Jesse K (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Richard B (2 years ago)

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