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Being Human (1994)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama | 6 May 1994 (USA)
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One man must learn the meaning of courage across four lifetimes centuries apart.

Director:

Bill Forsyth

Writer:

Bill Forsyth

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robin Williams ... Hector
Kelly Hunter ... Deirdre
Maudie Johnson Maudie Johnson ... Girl Child
Max Johnson Max Johnson ... Boy Child
Robert Carlyle ... Priest
Eoin McCarthy Eoin McCarthy ... Leader
Irvine Allen Irvine Allen ... Raider
Iain Andrew Iain Andrew ... Raider
Robert Cavanah ... Raider
Tony Curran ... Raider
Andrew Flanagan Andrew Flanagan ... Raider (as Andy Flanagan)
Seamus Gubbins Seamus Gubbins ... Raider
Iain McAleese Iain McAleese ... Raider
David McGowan ... Raider
Gavin Mitchell Gavin Mitchell ... Raider
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Storyline

Five bittersweet vignettes that span the entire human history about five different men, all called Hector and played by the same actor (Robin Williams), who find themselves at a critical juncture in their lives. In prehistoric times, Hector lives in peace with his wife and their little son and daughter in a cave on a quite uninhabited island somewhere in the north. His world is shattered when a group of foreign pagan raiders led by a young chieftain and a somewhat pacifistic priest arrive there. In Ancient Rome, Hector is a loyal well-treated slave of Lucinnius, a somewhat naive big trader with political connections. When his latest shipment fails to arrive and the local corrupt governor Cyprion refuses to lend him money for his further endeavors due to bad omen that a professional soothsayer saw while reading the future from a chicken liver, he is ruined. To make things worse, just as Hector plans to ask his master for freedom and elope with his master's female African slave Thalia, ...

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

For Hector, history has a way of repeating itself. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language and elements of sensuality and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | Japan

Language:

English | Scottish Gaelic

Release Date:

6 May 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Buti žmogumi See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$764,011, 6 May 1994, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,519,366
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The language spoken by the Barbarian raiders in the first story is Irish Gaelic. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
The Storyteller: This is the story of a story. Once upon a time there was this story, and the story said to itself, how should I begin?
Hector: Try the usual way.
The Storyteller: What, in the dark with a man and a woman, in a story that is still to tell itself?
Hector: Well, you've got to start somewhere. Say, long long ago... Or, far far away... Or, another time in a different distant country... Or just, once...
The Storyteller: That's good. "Far away", so you know the place is close to your own heart. "Once" is nice, so we know that it always ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: Patch Adams (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not My Cup of Tea!
23 February 2015 | by g-bodylSee all my reviews

I really wanted to like Being Human, but I couldn't get into the film. I liked the philosophical meaning of the film, but the film was practically a snoozefest. Not much happened other than talk about the meaning of life and courage. I liked how they tried to work this movie over several time periods, but in the end it didn't matter that much. I see the talent in this movie and there were bursts of good moments, but it was a dry film on the whole.

This film is about one man's journey to capture the spirit of courage over many centuries during different civilizations.

As for the acting, well all the actors gave the film their best. Robin Williams turned in a serious dramatic performance, and that may have saved the movie from oblivion. I also liked John Turturro's few minutes of his entertaining presence.

Overall, Being Human is not a great film in any stretch of the imagination. It's not god awful either, but perhaps there is a reason why this film remained obscure, twenty-one years after its release date. I liked the attempt to create some philosophical meanings. But good intentions can only carry a film too far. Despite its good intentions, this film is a bust. It has its moment of fine filmmaking, but it could have had way more! My Grade: D+


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