8.4/10
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179 user 163 critic

Won't You Be My Neighbor? (2018)

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An exploration of the life, lessons, and legacy of iconic children's television host, Fred Rogers.

Director:

Morgan Neville
45 wins & 34 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Fred Rogers ... Himself (archive footage)
Joanne Rogers ... Herself
John Rogers ... Himself
Jim Rogers ... Himself
Bill Isler ... Himself
Hedda Sharapan ... Herself
Junlei Li ... Himself
Max King ... Himself
Margaret Whitmer ... Herself (as Margy Whitmer)
Tom Junod ... Himself
Betty Seamans ... Herself (as Elizabeth Seamans)
Joe Negri ... Himself
David Newell ... Himself
Elaine Crozier ... Herself
George Wirth ... Himself
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Storyline

Charmingly soft-spoken and yet powerfully incisive expressing his profound ideals, Fred Rogers was a unique presence on television for generations. Through interviews of his family and colleagues, the life of this would-be pastor is explored as a man who found a more important calling to provide an oasis for children in a video sea of violent bombardment. That proved to be his landmark series, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (1968), a show that could gently delve into important subjects no other children's show would have dared for that time. In doing so, Rogers experienced a career where his sweet-tempered idealism charmed and influenced the world whether it be scores of children on TV or recalcitrant authorities in government. However, that beloved personality also hid Rogers' deep self-doubts about himself and occasional misjudgments even as he proved a rock of understanding in times of tragedy for a world that did not always comprehend a man of such noble character. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A little kindness makes a world of difference See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 June 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Won't You Be My Neighbor? See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$475,419, 10 June 2018, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$22,609,437, 13 September 2018
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Tremolo Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Although the documentary includes a brief clip of Mr. Rogers's meeting with Koko the Gorilla and shows Koko removing Mr. Rogers's shoes, it does not explain the story behind the gorilla's actions. After Koko's death in June 2018, multiple obituaries for the gorilla explained that Koko faithfully watched Mr. Rogers's show every day, and during their encounter, she removed his shoes because she was used to seeing him do the same at the start of every episode. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Fred Rogers: [at his piano] Come on over a minute. I just had some ideas that I've been thinking about for quite while about modulation. It seems to me that there are different themes in life, and one of my main jobs, it seems to me, is to help, through the mass media for children, to help children through some of the difficult modulations of life.
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Connections

Features The Children's Corner (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

I Like You as You Are
Music and lyrics by Josie Carey and Fred Rogers
Performed by Fred Rogers
Published by WB Music Corp (ASCAP) and Vernon Music Group
by arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Remarkable Documentary on Great Mr. Rogers who spoke to Generations of Children with kindness, love and humanity
14 March 2018 | by JustCuriositySee all my reviews

Won't you Be My Neighbor? was enthusiastically received at Austin's SXSW Film Festival. The film is a beautiful heartwarming tribute to Fred Rogers and Mister Rogers' Neighborhood - a show which changed children's television forever. The film highlights Rogers' humanity and decency and shows how he could bring his message of decency to children. Rogers was a Christian pastor who brought his values to his work on TV without ever trying to preach his religion. Perhaps the most powerful clip was during the first week of his show in February, 1968 (at the peak of the Vietnam War) when his show starts out encouraging that walls be torn down. His message remains amazingly timely today. It also underscores the importance of PBS - which the films shows Rogers defending successfully at a Congressional hearing. The interviews with his widow and his co-workers capture the essence of the human being. The film is well-written and edited and will remind millions of the impact of a remarkable man. Highly recommended.


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