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Silent Fall (1994)

Richard Dreyfuss , Linda Hamilton , Bruce Beresford  |  R |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Dreyfuss, Linda Hamilton, John Lithgow, J.T. Walsh, Ben Faulkner
  • Directors: Bruce Beresford
  • Writers: Akiva Goldsman
  • Producers: Gary Barber, James G. Robinson, Jim Kouf, Lynn Kouf, Penelope L. Foster
  • Format: Color, Dolby, Letterboxed, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: August 1, 2000
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00000FYSU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,453 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Silent Fall" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

An autistic boy is the only witness to his parents' murder. A psychiatrist with a troubled past of his own attempts to help the boy deal with his loss and to recount his recollection of the crime.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars sleeper hit of the year April 22, 2004
This was a very intriguing movie. I liked it for its plot. Nice little whodunit. It was different. Very quiet movie. Not slow, just very quiet and steady. Parents murdered in their bedroom and the only witness is a little boy who's autistic and can't tell what he saw. Richard Dreyfus, Liv Tyler, and especially the little boy were all good. Linda Hamilton has a very minor role. I believe this was Liv Tyler's first movie -- she's not great, but not bad either.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Silent Fall was not so silent after all! October 19, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
The only movie I can really compare Silent Fall to is Mercury Rising, which I have seen several times and never tire of it and have yet to sell my copy. I now regret selling my copy of Silent Fall since Ben Faulkner plays the non-verbal autistic child, Tim quite accurately. It is kind of freaky how both children in these movies resemble my own non-verbal son. Luckily the viewer does not have to witness the murders that take place in the parent's bedroom.

Silent Fall begins in the aftermath at the residence with Tim holding the knife which is presumed to be the murder weapon. The eighteen year-old sister Sylvie is portrayed by Liv Tyler, and hiding in her closet, apparently attacked by the intruder. Supposedly she was shopping at the mall and came home while the murders were taking place.

Law enforcement has enlisted the assistance of a psychiatrist played by Richard Dreyfuss, who immediately informs them the child is autistic and sends one of the officers around the house in search of a deck of cards. At first Jake runs out not wanting to get involved with the case, but a moment later enters the house and is able to render the knife away from Tim.

Since the sister is eighteen the issue of who will take care of Tim is never really addressed, although they did stay with some relative for one day, but the incident at the dinner table resulted in Tim tearing up the kitchen.

I believe this was the first role for Liv Tyler, and her acting was quite rigid at times with no real facial expressions or hints of sadness at the loss of her parents. You could tell the compassion for her brother, but this was by the tone in her voice at times it became higher pitched.

John Lithgow plays Dr.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars DR. RAINER'S OPUS March 11, 2005
Richard Dreyfuss' quiet, restrained performance highlights this durable little thriller from Bruce Beresford, the director of such movies as BREAKER MORANT, DOUBLE JEOPARDY and of course, the Oscar winning DRIVING MISS DAISY. Dreyfuss portrays a psychologist who finds himself involved in the brutal murder of a couple, whose autistic son was found holding the murder weapon. Ben Faulkner as little Tim is quite good in his role, with evocative brown eyes and a cherubic little face. Liv Tyler plays his older sister, who was also at the scene of the crime. Tyler's first role is a difficult one, and her inexperience shows in her incomplete performance, but she does have a few good moments. J.T. Walsh shows up as the sheriff who was also having an affair with the boy's mother. John Lithgow plays a callous doctor who wants to medicate the little boy; Lithgow is pretty much wasted in the role. Ditto to Linda Hamilton, who shows up as either Dreyfuss' girlfriend or wife, one never knows which. She seems to have little interest in her role or her performance. In spite of this, however, SILENT FALL engages the viewer in the whodunit aspect, although the murderer is pretty obvious. Beautifully filmed in Baltimore County, the movie manages to intrigue and entertain.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do you like to play poker? July 31, 2000
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
This movie is one of the best sleeper hits ever. with a stunning performance by the little guy, and dont forget, the girl from Armaggedon is in this movie too. And Richard Dreyfuss gives an excellent performance as well. I must say the script is a little messy and the film is a little shaky, but deffinently over way too fast. It actually looks like a real life crime, with real life People (who make real mistakes like overlooking certain OBVIOUS clues), so with that in mind it really makes for a sort 48 hours (tv show not movie) aproach to a murder that is ultimately very intersting and invigorating. Plot: An autistic boy with a bad memory (the little guy), a teenage girl asleep in her bedroom (the girl from armaggedon), two parents butchard to death with a large knife that the boy is left holding when the police and the child psychiatrist (Dreyfuss) arrives. The case is set and the boy is the only witness, but the only words he can say are the words he heard from that night. Now a detective (I think John Litgo) and the psychiastrist along with some women i think is his wife (Linda Hamilton) Have to find out what the boy knows and protect him at the same time from the killer, but who is the killer, was it the boy...or someone else? Sorry about not explaining the characters too much but its been along time since iv seen it, and it took me forever to find out where I could buy it, then it dawned on me, AMAZON.COM. anyway, buy this movie, it is so cool, you'll never figure it out till its too late.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mysteries Tomb Down as Autumn Leaves. September 13, 2006
"Silent Fall" (1994) is a very good "whodunit" movie. It keeps you hooked from the very beginning.

Aussie director Bruce Beresford is something more than a good artisan. He is an artist, even if not so very recognized in the USA, where he received "only" two Oscar nominations. He has been endorsed with four Golden Berlin Bear nominations and a huge variety of awards.

He has delivered at least one unforgettable film: "Driving Miss Daisy" (1989).

At the present movie he manages to present a not very complicated thread as to what happened the crime's day, yet full of surprises and twists.

He also shows a sure hand directing boy actor Ben Faulkner in his only movie appearance.

The story is as follows a brutal butchery is perpetrated in well-to-do family's mansion.

A couple is stabbed to death, their teenage daughter is found alive but bloodied and in shock inside a closet and their ten years old autistic son has a huge knife in his hands and refuse to give it to the police or calm down.

The worried Sheriff resorts to his friend Dr. Jake Rainer to help him out of this situation.

From here on, a classic "whodunit" situation arises: the two witnesses are handicapped one way or the other. The girl wasn't able to see murder's face and was violently thrown into unconsciousness. The boy has seen everything but is unable to communicate verbally with coherence and answer questions.

No other clues arise from the following investigation.

When all leads are followed to no result the Sheriff is forced to recur to Dr. Harlinger's help. He is psychiatrist and prone to use drugs. Dr. Rainer interposes and asks to let him try to extract the information from the deeps of Timmy's mind.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great movie
Published 1 month ago by Josephine Austin
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW
Why don't they make movies like this anymore? Richard Dreyfuss is superb in this suspense thriller.
The who done it theme is pushed to the limits and the child actor is... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Tapman
4.0 out of 5 stars Many flaws but interesting anyway
This movie presents a top notch cast and generally well done. The very appealing little boy, with large, sad eyes, who was said to be autistic, was (as they did say in the movie)... Read more
Published 4 months ago by jeanniebear
5.0 out of 5 stars Great thriller!
Richard dreyfuss does a good job on playing a psychiatrist. The kid does a supurb job on playing a autistic child! Great story! Freaky outcum!
Published 7 months ago by Steven m. Godin jr
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
Good acting, good plot. I like all of the actors in this movie. It was quite interesting. I will probably watch it again.
Published 7 months ago by Patricia Getz
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
Great movie. I looked for this movie to be aired on cable for a long time. Then it finally dawned on me to check Amazon, I'm so glad I did. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Gloria Simmons
5.0 out of 5 stars Silent Fall
One of the best Richard Dreyfus films made ~ the only reason it didn't get big play when it first came out is because of a Tom Cruise film at the same time.
Published 12 months ago by David W Harding
5.0 out of 5 stars A Quietly Fine Film
Not much fireworks in this psychological drama in which Dreyfuss gives a typically fine performance setting a quiet tone for the production. Read more
Published 12 months ago by drkhimxz
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the movie
The movie is really good. The outtakes and delete scene were interesting. The picture is ten times better than the VHS version. The movie is worth watching at least once. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Nicolas E. Siligo
5.0 out of 5 stars Silent Fall
I ordered this movie for my father because he loved it when it came out years ago. It's the story of an autistic boy who has difficulty communicating and feels isolated from... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Martha S. Jones
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