FACTOID # 6: Michigan is ranked 22nd in land area, but since 41.27% of the state is composed of water, it jumps to 11th place in total area.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
 
WHAT'S NEW
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > Simon Birch
Simon Birch

Simon Birch theatrical poster
Directed by Mark Steven Johnson
Produced by Roger Birnbaum, Laurence Mark
Written by Mark Steven Johnson (screenplay), John Irving (novel)
Starring Ian Michael Smith, Joseph Mazzello, Ashley Judd, Oliver Platt
Music by Marc Shaiman
Cinematography Aaron E. Schneider
Editing by David Finfer
Distributed by Hollywood Pictures
Release date(s) 11 September 1998 (USA)
25 June 1999 (UK)
Running time 113 min.
Language English
Budget $20,000,000 (estimated)
IMDb profile

Simon Birch is a 1998 Comedy-drama film loosely based on the novel A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. It was directed and written for the screen by Mark Steven Johnson. The film stars Ian Michael Smith as Simon, Joseph Mazzello as Joe, Ashley Judd, Oliver Platt and Jim Carrey. It omitted much of the latter half of the novel and altered the ending. The movie does not share the book's title at Irving's request; he did not believe that this novel could successfully be made into a film. The name "Simon Birch" was suggested by him to replace that of Owen Meany. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (604x844, 94 KB) Film poster for Simon Birch. ... Mark Steven Johnson, (born October 30, 1964 in Hastings, Minnesota) is a film director and writer. ... Laurence Mark (born in New York City) is an American film producer. ... Mark Steven Johnson, (born October 30, 1964 in Hastings, Minnesota) is a film director and writer. ... John Winslow Irving (born March 2, 1942 as John Wallace Blunt, Jr. ... This page meets Wikipedias criteria for speedy deletion. ... Joseph Mazzello is an American actor born on September 21, 1983. ... Ashley Judd (born April 19, 1968) is an American actress. ... Oliver Platt as The West Wings Oliver Babish Oliver Platt (born January 12, 1960 in Windsor, Ontario, Canada) is a Canadian film and television actor. ... Marc Shaiman (born October 22, 1959) is a composer, lyricist, arranger and performer for films, television and theatre. ... The Hollywood Pictures sphinx logo Hollywood Pictures is one of The Walt Disney Companys several alternate movie labels. ... is the 254th day of the year (255th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar). ... is the 176th day of the year (177th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the year. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... The year 1998 in film involved some significant events. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... A Prayer for Owen Meany is a novel by American writer John Irving, first published in 1989. ... John Winslow Irving (born March 2, 1942 as John Wallace Blunt, Jr. ... Mark Steven Johnson, (born October 30, 1964 in Hastings, Minnesota) is a film director and writer. ... This page meets Wikipedias criteria for speedy deletion. ... Joseph Mazzello is an American actor born on September 21, 1983. ... Ashley Judd (born April 19, 1968) is an American actress. ... Oliver Platt as The West Wings Oliver Babish Oliver Platt (born January 12, 1960 in Windsor, Ontario, Canada) is a Canadian film and television actor. ... James Eugene Carrey (born January 17, 1962) is a two-time Golden Globe Award-winning Canadian-American A-list film actor and comedian. ...


The film opened on September 11, 1998.[1] is the 254th day of the year (255th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar). ...

Contents

Synopsis

In the title role is 11-year-old Ian Michael Smith, who is afflicted with Morquio's Syndrome, a genetic disorder which causes dwarfism. The story begins when Joe Wentworth, played by Jim Carrey, visits the grave of his childhood friend Simon Birch, whose gravestone is marked 1952-1964. Joe explains that Simon is "the reason I believe in God." This is followed by a flashback to their friendship during the early '60s. Morquio syndrome (referred to as mucopolysaccharidosis IV or Morquio) is a mucopolysaccharide storage disease (see also lysosomal storage disorder), usually inherited. ...


In Gravestown, Maine, young Joe Wentworth, played by Joseph Mazzello, doesn't know who his father is, and his loving mother Rebecca (Ashley Judd) won't tell him. Joe's best buddy is young Simon Birch, born so tiny that his classmates pass him about like a "doll." Simon’s mother is shown in a flashback giving birth to him by merely sneezing, implying the labor was made so easy because of his diminutive stature. Upon seeing his infant son for the first time in the nursery and told he would not survive, Simon’s father writes him off thus beginning his lifetime of neglect. Ignored at home, Simon turns to Rebecca as a surrogate mother, and he often has dinner with the Wentworths.


The main plot hovers about the life of 12 year-old Joe who does not know who his father is. For some time he has been the butt of jokes and scorn in their small town, but his mother has not revealed her lover met years ago on the train. Life-long pal Simon, also 12 but with the eccentricities of someone much older, decides he will help Joe find his father. We are also informed of Simon's deep-seated belief that God put him here for a purpose, that because of his faith, Simon would cope with his dwarfism and overcome people's blindness. Simon would become a hero.


These two early adolescents quickly endear themselves to the viewer. Although their routine is typical - playing baseball, racing to the creek for a swim, discussing girls - the script (by Mark Steven Johnson) has them perform these growing up tasks with quirky originality. Simon's self-deprecating humor is especially charming. He one-ups Joe in physical comparisons, though he goes for the smaller instead of the superior. He accepts playing the Baby Jesus because he is the only student who will fit in the crib. And he rides in a wooden Coca-Cola crate rigged up as a sidecar to Joe's bike.


Part of Rebecca Wentworth’s importance is serving as Simon's surrogate mom, one who cares about the boy - unlike his real parents, who permit Simon to live with them but are otherwise uninvolved. Ben Goodrich, the drama teacher played by Oliver Platt, begins to date Rebecca. Joe initially resents him, and Ben tries to win the boy over with goofy gifts and behaviors. During a baseball game Simon is given his first chance at swinging the bat instead of standing at the plate waiting for the guaranteed walk and he gets his first hit of his life, a foul ball that strikes and kills Rebecca Wentworth. Joe does not hate Simon for this turn of events because he understands that Simon has also lost his mother figure in Rebecca, but Simon himself is wrought with severe guilt and begs God for forgiveness. Later that winter, Simon proves himself when he risks his life to save a bus full of children which has crashed into a freezing river.


Cast

  • Ian Michael Smith as Simon Birch: This was Ian Michael Smith's first and only role in film. He was chosen due to his small height caused by Morquio syndrome. His role in this film was suggested by a hospital worker in Chicago. After his parents read through the novel (A Prayer for Owen Meany) they agreed to let him work on the film.
  • Joseph Mazzello as Joe Wenteworth: Having previously worked on The Cure and Radio Flyer (these were both dramatic roles) this was another role he could undertake. His character is seen as a friendly boy who enjoys baseball and hanging out with his friend, Simon Birch.
  • Ashley Judd as Rebecca Wenteworth: Ashley was cast as Joe's mother, Rebecca Wenteworth. Originally, Sandra Bullock was considered to take the role. Her character is caring, loving and supportive.
  • Oliver Platt as Ben Goodrich: Oliver was cast as Ben who falls in love with Rebecca on a train. As Rebecca has had other men in the past, Joe is certain that he is not worth it for her. Eventually, he finds out Ben to be a true caring person for his mother and himself.

Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... This page meets Wikipedias criteria for speedy deletion. ... Morquio syndrome (referred to as mucopolysaccharidosis IV or Morquios) is a mucopolysaccharide storage disease. ... Nickname: Motto: Urbs in Horto (Latin: City in a Garden), I Will Location in the Chicago metro area and Illinois Coordinates: , Country State Counties Cook, DuPage Settled 1770s Incorporated March 4, 1837 Government  - Mayor Richard M. Daley (D) Area  - City  234. ... Joseph Mazzello is an American actor born on September 21, 1983. ... The Cure is a 1995 film starring Brad Renfro and Joseph Mazzello about two boys searching for the cure of AIDS, from which one of them is suffering. ... Radio Flyer is a 1992 American movie about child abuse. ... This article is about the sport. ... Ashley Judd (born April 19, 1968) is an American actress. ... Sandra Annette Bullock (born July 26, 1964) is a German-American film actress. ... Oliver Platt as The West Wings Oliver Babish Oliver Platt (born January 12, 1960 in Windsor, Ontario, Canada) is a Canadian film and television actor. ...

Production

Behind the scenes where the bus crash takes place
Behind the scenes where the bus crash takes place

The bus crash scene was filmed near French River (Ontario). The film's quarry scenes were shot at Elora, Ontario. The church featured in many parts of the film is in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Its black borders were painted white for the film. At the end of the film when it switches to the future, the borders are black.[2] Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... The French River (or Rivière des Français) is a river in central Ontario, Canada. ... Elora on the Grand River Elora is a town in Ontario, Canada, with a population of 4,546 (2001 census). ... Lunenburg waterfront Lunenburg waterfront (as viewed from a hotel) Lunenburg ( ) is a small town on the South Shore of Nova Scotia, Canada approximately 90 kilometres southwest of Halifax, on the Atlantic coast. ...


VHS/DVD release

The film was released on VHS on November 2, 1999 and on DVD in 2002 (Region 1). The region 1 DVD contains a theatrical trailer. Bottom view of VHS cassette with magnetic tape exposed Top view of VHS cassette with front casing removed The Video Home System, better known by its abbreviation VHS, is a recording and playing standard. ... is the 306th day of the year (307th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the year. ... DVD (also known as Digital Versatile Disc or Digital Video Disc) is a popular optical disc storage media format. ... Also see: 2002 (number). ... Regional lockout is the programming practice, code, chip, or physical barrier used to prevent the playing of media designed for a device from the country where it is marketed on the version of the same device marketed in another country. ...


Trivia

  • Jim Carrey provides the voiceover narrative during the film as a grown-up Joe Wenteworth. He appears on camera at the very beginning briefly and towards the end.

James Eugene Carrey (born January 17, 1962) is a two-time Golden Globe Award-winning Canadian-American A-list film actor and comedian. ...

Soundtrack

Simon Birch features many songs from the 50s and 60s era. Babyface had written "You Were There" for the film. It was used in the ending credits and a music video was produced.[3] There were also four scores by Marc Shaiman. Not all scores are available on the soundtrack, however. Babyface redirects here. ... A music video is a short film or video that accompanies a complete piece of music, most commonly a song. ... Marc Shaiman (born October 22, 1959) is a composer, lyricist, arranger and performer for films, television and theatre. ...


The film's OST was released with the following songs (available on CD and cassette): In film formats, the soundtrack is the physical area of the film which records the synchronized sound. ...

  1. "You Were There" - Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds
  2. "Bread and Butter" - The Newbeats
  3. "A Walkin' Miracle" - The Essex*
  4. "Mickey's Monkey" - Smokey Robinson / The Miracles
  5. "Can I Get a Witness" - Marvin Gaye
  6. "Fever" - Peggy Lee
  7. "Up on the Roof" - The Drifters
  8. "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag (Part 1)" - James Brown
  9. "The Nitty Gritty" - Shirley Ellis*
  10. "Nowhere to Run" - Martha and the Vandellas
  11. "It's All Right" - The Impressions
  12. "(Your Love Keeps Me) Higher And Higher" - Jackie Wilson*
  13. "Simon's Theme" - Marc Shaiman
  14. "Friends Forever" - Marc Shaiman
  15. "Simon's Birth" - Marc Shaiman
  16. "Life Goes On" - Marc Shaiman

*This song was not featured in the film. Babyface redirects here. ... The Newbeats were a popular music vocal trio best known for their 1964 hit Bread and Butter. ... The Essex was an R&B vocal group. ... The Miracles Doin Mickeys Monkey is a 1963 album by The Miracles for the Tamla (Motown) label. ... William Smokey Robinson, Jr. ... The Miracles (known from 1965 to 1972 as Smokey Robinson & the Miracles) are an American musical group from Detroit, Michigan, notable as the first successful group act for Berry Gordys Motown Records. ... Can I Get a Witness was a 1963 hit song by Marvin Gaye. ... Marvin Gaye (born Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr. ... Fever is a song credited to Eddie Cooley and John Davenport (a pseudonym for Otis Blackwell). ... Peggy Lee (May 26, 1920 – January 21, 2002) was an American jazz and traditional pop singer and songwriter and Oscar-nominated performer. ... Up on the Roof is a song written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King and recorded in 1962 by The Drifters. ... The Drifters are a long-lived American doo wop/R&B vocal group, originally formed by Clyde McPhatter (of Billy Ward & the Dominoes) in 1953. ... Papas Got a Brand New Bag is a 1965 recording by James Brown. ... For other persons named James Brown, see James Brown (disambiguation). ... Shirley Ellis, soul music singer and songwriter, was born circa 1941 in the Bronx of New York City and is best known for her hits The Name Game (1965) and The Nitty Gritty (1963). ... Nowhere to Run is a 1965 hit single by Martha & the Vandellas for the Motown label. ... Martha and the Vandellas (known from 1967 to 1972 as Martha Reeves and the Vandellas) were one of the most successful groups in the Motown roster during the 1960s and fully active from 1960 to 1972, performing at various times doo-wop, blues, pop, rock and roll and soul. ... For the Australian rock group, see The Impressions (Australian band). ... For the British author, see Jacqueline Wilson. ... Marc Shaiman (born October 22, 1959) is a composer, lyricist, arranger and performer for films, television and theatre. ...


Other songs featured in the film but not on the soundtrack are listed below:

For Your Love is the first U.S. album (second album overall) by British blues rock band The Yardbirds, released in August 1965. ... Ed Townsend (April 16, 1929–August 13, 2003) was an American singer/songwriter known for the 1958 hit For Your Love, and also for co-writing and co-producing with Marvin Gaye his 1973 hit Lets Get It On (along with three other songs on Gayes highly... Henry Mancini (April 16, 1924 – June 14, 1994), was an Academy Award winning American composer, conductor and arranger. ... Santa Claus Is Coming to Town (sometimes with Coming changed to Comin) is a Christmas song. ... Patti LaBelle (born Patricia Louise Holt on May 24, 1944 in West-Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an multi-grammy winning American R&B and soul singer and songwriter who fronted two groups, Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles and Labelle, which changed and birthed a new era of womens music and...

References

  1. ^ Release dates for Simon Birch (1998). The Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on 2007-01-25.
  2. ^ Filming Locations for Simon Birch (1998). The Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on 2007-01-25.
  3. ^ mvdbase.com - Babyface - "You were there". mvdbase.com. Retrieved on 2007-01-23.

Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 25th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 25th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 23rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Simon Birch

Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Wikiquote is one of a family of wiki-based projects run by the Wikimedia Foundation, running on MediaWiki software. ... The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) is an online database of information about movies, actors, television shows, production crew personnel, and video games. ...

Resources


  Results from FactBites:
 
John Irving - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1042 words)
In recent years, his three most highly regarded novels, The World According to Garp, The Cider House Rules, and A Prayer for Owen Meany, have been published in Modern Library editions.
Owen Meany was adapted into a children's film, Simon Birch (Irving disowned this adaptation, going so far as to request that all of the characters' names be changed for the film version).
In 2004, A Widow for One Year was adapted into The Door in the Floor, starring Jeff Bridges and Kim Basinger.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m