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Second Best (1994)

PG-13 | | Drama | 30 September 1994 (USA)
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1:58 | Trailer

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Graham, a lonely Welsh postal worker, adopts James, a troubled ten-year-old boy. Graham always wanted a son, but James loves his biological father too much to give Graham a chance. Will the two be able to accept each other as family?

Director:

Chris Menges

Writers:

David Cook (novel), David Cook (screenplay)
Reviews
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
William Hurt ... Graham Holt
Nathan Yapp Nathan Yapp ... Jimmy
Keith Allen ... John
Chris Cleary Miles Chris Cleary Miles ... James
Doris Irving Doris Irving ... Adoption Shop Volunteer
James Warrior James Warrior ... Senior Social Worker
Jane Horrocks ... Debbie
Alfred Lynch ... Edward
Rachel Freeman Rachel Freeman ... Elsie
Gus Troakes Gus Troakes ... Jeffo
Mossie Smith Mossie Smith ... Lynn
Martin Troakes Martin Troakes ... Colin
Shaun Dingwall ... Graham, age 20
Paul Wilson Paul Wilson ... Colin, age 20
Alan Cumming ... Bernard
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Storyline

Graham Holt is a lonely middle-aged man who runs a postal substation in a small village in England. He decides to adopt a son. James is the troubled youth he gets with the assistance of social worker Debbie. James has been in an orphanage for years since his mother committed suicide. He adores his outlaw father John, sent to prison not long after the mother's death. Can James learn to love Graham? Can Graham settle for being second best? Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 September 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Difícil elección See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$19,190, 2 October 1994

Gross USA:

$86,115

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$86,115
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Final theatrical movie of Alfred Lynch (Edward). See more »

Quotes

Graham Holt: They were a devoted couple, they showed it.
Uncle Turpin: You mean she convinced him that she'd go to pieces if he strayed even as far as the end of the garden to do a widdle on his own.
See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Only You/Second Best/Pulp Fiction (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Imagination
Written and Performed by Simon Boswell
Published by Sunfun Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

An excellent movie
15 April 2003 | by c_bergrenSee all my reviews

I rarely write reviews for movies. And having seen the other excellent reviews, mine is hardly needed. But I stumbled across this movie and felt I had to comment on it.

This is an excellent movie with wonderful acting, directing, writing, screen play, and filming. I saw the last 2/3 of the movie by accident and could not tear myself away from it.

William Hurt and the boy actor (sorry - forgot the name) are thrown together by life's accidents and develop bonds for one another. The rough edges on each character are worn smooth as each accommodates the other and learns of the other's trials and humanity. The acting is superb and rarely gets in the way of the content - more to the point, the acting complements the story well.

But what makes the movie special is the character development. The writing, directing, and screen play successfully convey the existential experiences of the actors as they develop and react to one another.

A good song, a good poem, a good book - are made special if they are accessible - if they evoke within you the ring of truth and personal history. This movie communicated with me extremely well on a personal basis, on many plans at the same time. Every element of this film was well crafted. The movie is cerebral and touching - with very few rough edges. I couldn't recommend it more highly for an adult audience.


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